You can't judge a book by its cover but I'm covering a book with judges' untenanted
The editors say they'd like a cover picture based on this sketch, but
without the man from Ede & Ravenscroft. That's a pity but I take their point. In this drawing,
Christopher Allan, the company's Court and Ceremonial Manager, is
addressing an academic workshop organised by judicialimages.org.
I mull over a few other ideas, including this next one, but we stick with the robes.
I need to inspect ceremonial garb for the Court of Appeal, High Court and Circuit Bench, so I head for the Chancery
Lane emporium. As I enter, a QC whose career is sprinkled with Supreme
Court stardust is leaving; he beams into the sunshine, a happy man.
Chris kindly sets up the robes on dummies. They are in beautiful
condition, just raring to go - unlike the peer's robe awaiting repair in
the basement, with grubby ermine and ripped hem, which looks as if it
saw action at the coronation of Queen Victoria.
Back home, I do a rough sketch the same size as the book in ink, felt tips and waterbrush.
Then, mainlining Radio 3, I do the larger unfinished-looking finished version in ink and watercolour.
As a sort of coda, because I would be happier if the robes were
inhabited and moving around, I do a much faster but pointless degraded
version in ink...
...followed by some ink splodges.
The title lettering will need a dark background so I do a rough drawing
of figured damask, based on but not slavishly copied from the Court of
Debating Judicial Appointments in an Age of Diversity
|And again, manipulated...
, edited by Professor Graham Gee and Professor Erika Rackley, is published by Routledge in 2017.
And if you aren't qualified for an Ede & Ravenscroft uniform, don't
despair. My party outfit here is assembled from H&M, a jumble sale,
Portobello, Oxfam, Claire's,
Rigby & Peller and a gift from Simmons &
Simmons' Black Museum of Passing Off.