So, UTas is on my list for potential Masters by Research. And there are a few uncanny little ways in which this would be a very fitting location:
- I’ve always been drawn to Tassie. It’s cold and it’s an island – just like the parts of Scotland I love.
- A few years ago I discovered my maternal grandmother was born in Launceston, as was my great-grandmother, Eileen Littlejohn.
- I carried Eileen’s leather-bound KJV around Europe, destroying the cover in the process. That drew me to bookbinding, and I found a leather artist in Tasmania that was a dream life goal of mine just before I became a librarian.
- Again, before I was a librarian – I travelled to Tasmania for a library job interview in Burnie. We stayed in a grotty old hotel, and I managed to squeeze Matilda into a lovely childcare for a day while I went off to be grilled by a panel of 4 or 5 beige-dressed, dour looking council staff, for what I think was a 12-hour-a-week library assistant role in Strahan – a sort of town from where you can quite possibly see the end of the earth.
- While researching sheep poo paper, I came across Creative Paper Tasmania, who hit the headlines by making paper out of wombat poo. They’ve also been mentioned by famous paper artist, Helen Heibert. Turns out, when we were in Burnie for that job interview, we stumbled upon the visitor centre. The exhibition was an amazing paper display – life sized paper mâché people and all sorts. I remember it gripped my soul – I was possessed with the idea that I would get the Strahan job, work part-time and become a paper artist, maybe even a book-binder.
- Burnie is fascinating because hand papermaking began there as a “work for the dole” project, in part to combat the closure of commercial papermills…which links to my research!
I didn’t get the job in Strahan. Seems funny now. I wonder who did? Nobody I’ve ever met in Library land. They took months to get back to me as well – months and months to the point of ridiculousness.