A Little Book of Cockles, 2004
Carla Phillips, drawings by Laurie Clark
Edition of 500.
Typset by Colin Sackett, published in Docking, Norfolk
Coracle Press: A Little Book of Cockles by Carla Phillips is a wonderful book of cultural and culinary wisdom. Carla Phillips was an award-winning cook. For a few years she ran a celebrated restaurant at Wells Next-the-Sea, Norfolk. It was at the edge of the town centre and harbour and she wrote this very useful book from there. She describes how to harvest and clean the bivalves. How she throws discarded shells outside her back door to form a crunchy path which deters intruders. She includes recipes, from New England, from France, from Italy and a couple invented for her restaurant by Carla and her husband. This book will entertain you and will prove a useful guide for your next cockle harvest.
About Coracle Press
Coracle Press is a small and completely individual publishing press which has been operating for over 35 years.. Writer and artist Erica Van Horn and poet, artist and editor Simon Cutts, direct it now from a small farm between the hills of South Tipperary, Ireland. They have been there since 1996. However, they began in London in the nineteen seventies, as publisher, gallery, and a space for books. Their last London book shop project project was ‘workfortheeyetodo’ in the mid-nineteen nineties. They also had a Norfolk connection. They worked out of a studio in Docking and between 1989-2012, printing many of their works from a printer, Crome and Akers, based in King’s Lynn.
From their remote spot in Ireland, they continue as printer-publisher, editor of spaces. They describe their practice as ’employing many of the devices and formats of hypothetical publishing inherent in the small press’. Their books have both critical and playful dimensions. But they are also steeped in poetry – they call it a residue of poetry – concerned with the mechanisms of the book as a manifestation of the poem itself. They are also mindful of their many collaborations with other artists and writers, which evade any clear category.
Being open to new ideas and approaches marks all their projects. Limiting their scope or over-categorising their content or defining their range does not interest them. The books themselves are not so concerned with craft tradition, limited-ness of edition, hand-made paper or elaboration of binding. While each one has its unique character and appearance, what they want to achieve is the plain and simple case-bound book, the sewn paperback. They are working constantly at extending the category of ephemera. Making quirky visions, askance views, eccentric perceptions widely available is what they are all about.