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Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

December 2008

St Teilo's Church - the book

Posted by Mari Gordon on 29 December 2008

[image: Church Exterior Summer]

The church as it stands today, in St Fagans National History Museum.

We had a very positive meeting with the book's designer before Christmas at St Fagans. She's come up with some lovely ideas, it makes a big difference when you've seen something and you then have a set of images and visual themes you can relate to. The design manages to convey a sense of the crafts, skills and techniques behind the whole project, which is something I really want the book to convey.

We're still looking for exactly the right image for the cover though. We decided, although it might seem a bit unimaginative, to use a picture of the exterior of the Church. For all the amazing images we've got of the interiors, especially of course the wall paintings, I really believe that the audience for this book will be looking for a book with a picture of the church on it - sounds obvious I suppose! The book covers many things including art, archaeology and architecture, but in the end it's primarily about the story of St Teilo's Church. So that's the message the cover will convey. Plus, the building itself is now so recognisable, its shape is almost iconic.

I think one of the features that draw people to the Church is the contrast between the simple, white, almost humble-looking exterior and the riot of colour and images inside.

As soon as I've got images of the sample spreads I'll publish them here - it would be very interesting to know what people think of them!

St Teilo's Church - the book

Posted by Chris Owen on 12 December 2008

[image: St Christopher]

A fuller view, as you enter the church, of the central arcade.

[image: Church exterior]

View of the church from the south. The sacred east end, where the altars are placed, are on the right of the picture.

I think we've just about finished the glossary. It's only short, but a very educational process for me! I've just a couple more images to chase and then I think we'll have all the content, apart from the illustrations we've commissioned.

The designer is coming to see us next week with some sample design concepts. I always get nervous about that - what if they turn up with something horrible?! What if they've completely misunderstood the brief? What if...    I shouldn't worry too much as I've worked with this designer before and they've always produced lovely work, always very sympathetic to the subject and,  importantly, the audience.

We're meeting at St Fagans and if the weather's dry we'll be able to take a walk over to the Church for further inspiration. When we had the initial briefing meeting with the designer, we took her to see the Church. We stayed in there for a while, and only left as a fairly large group of visitors wandered in. As we were walking away down the path the group in the Church, who must have been a choir on tour or something, suddenly started singing, in really beautiful harmonies - we were rooted to the spot, and I can honestly say I had goose pimples, it was so unexpected, so moving.

A Christmas card from Professor Plant

Posted by Mari Gordon on 12 December 2008

[image: ]

Prof plant

I'd like to say Merry Christmas to all the school pupils who are helping this year!

I am truly delighted with all the weather records that I have recieved so far.

Do you like my Christmas hat? I can't wait until the Christmas holidays! Not long now. I'm really looking forward to relaxing and spending time with my family and plant pals. I wonder if we will get a white Christmas this year?

I hope you have a really fantastic holiday and get everything you wish for!

Best wishes

Professor Plant

St Teilo's Church - the book

Posted by Mari Gordon on 8 December 2008

[image: ]

[image: Re-erecting the church at the Museum of Welsh Life]

[image: Church nave - interior]

I'm working on a book about the fantastic St Teilo's Church at St Fagans. Been really looking forward to this one, it's a lovely story and there's a wealth of fab images - unlike usually, when I have to scrabble around for some decent stuff. I thought we'd be much further on than we are mind, I really expected to be up to my ears in proofs by now. I sort of know why we're further behind than I'd planned, just can't quite explain. Or I could, but it still probably wouldn't make much sense. Plus, designers work in different ways, and this one likes to take a lot of time 'up front' working on the design concept, then when that's agreed we crack on with the proofreading fairly quickly. I suppose I'm more comfortable with spending the bulk of the time at the proofreading stage, especially with a fairly text-heavy book like this one. Still, we always manage to end up with a book on time. I should be designing the marketing plan by now, but I'm still getting the images together and finishing the copy - things like indexes, the glossary, that kind of thing. And I haven't written any of the image captions yet, which I decided would be quite long, narrative style, so that we don't have to cram absolutely everything into the main copy.

Having to work within a financial year is odd too - not at all the way publishing works. I could get really quite anxious about this if I let myself. I just have to concentrate on how good the book's going to look, and having a high-profile launch, with a popular speaker, where everybody buys a copy of the book, which will get great reviews...

In our favour is the fact that the Church is already incredibly popular and has had a lot of good press. The whole re-erection project at St Fagans has built up a swell of good will, and the Church has its own loyal following - a sort of fan-base! All that's keeping me going at the moment, but I know things are going to get pretty intense over the next couple of months.

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