3 Nov

2016-11-03-15-19-40It seems strange that this is all that is left of my stepfather, who was such a loud and alive person, but here it is, a box of notebooks. I can tell just by looking at it that we don’t have all of them, over the years many of them were lost, damaged, thrown out, abandoned and so this incomplete set is what I have left to work with. It took a few days to go through all of the paper in here, cataloguing each page, working out what was there and what the gaps were. Going through them was a revelation, because, although I had often seen Douglas with a notebook in his hand, I never actually knew what was in them until now. Some of the drawings are damaged and defaced as Douglas, suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s in the later years, cut pages out, drew over drawings and scribbled half-formed sentences over old designs. However, many are intact, and what they show is how Douglas solved problems, played with ideas and worked out how to make his inventions work. He wrote little notes to himself, practiced names, criticised and praised ideas, worked out measurements and drafted and re-drafted shapes. It was clear that he had a tremendous amount of fun doing his work, as well as playing too. Here’s an idea for toilet roll with curved perforations – anyone want to tell me if it would work or not??




One Response to “Sketchbooks”

  1. Judy Miller November 3, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

    Keep going Rachel, I’m interested Already. I want a verbal picture of him working, either in a workshop or head in a notebook. Let me see him…

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