The Cat Circus - Illustrations, handmade books and an exhibition alongside Quentin Blake

The Cat Circus is an illustrated story of a nameless woman who is kidnapped by cats. It started life as a small zine and developed into three books and an exhibition alongside the As Large as Life Quentin Blake exhibition at Bexley Heritage Trust, March - August 2014. 

Original illustrations from The Cat Circus, made in pen, ink and watercolour

Handmade Cat Circus books

I had experimented with a pen and watercolour, lino-printing and plate-litho printing whilst illustrating The Cat Circus story, so I thought it appropriate to publish three books. The first book was produced by scanning in the original pen and watercolour drawings, it was hand-bound by Amelie Genestine-Charlton (of Shed Press Publications) in a hardcover edition of 50 only, each signed and numbered. These are now all sold out. 

The second book was printed on our Lithographic press, in an edition of 27 only, this accordion book was completed with letterpress printed covers. 

The third and most beautiful book is the star-fruit shaped lino and letterpress book. Hand-printed in an edition of 56 only. This book was bound by Amelie. 

As Large as Life - Bexley Heritage Trust

From March - August 2014, The Cat Circus was invited to set up residence at the Bexley Heritage Trust alongside Quentin Blake's As Large as Life touring exhibition. 

Jessica Jane Charleston

© 2020 by Jessica Jane Charleston