Candis Litsey – The Clog Almanac, a medieval perpetual calendar


© 2017
edition of 2
dimensions in inches: 10.0 x 2.25 x 2.25


About this piece:

Originating in northern Europe, the clog almanac came to England in early medieval times. Complex in design but rough-hewn in execution, it stands out from the great majority of medieval relics in that it was created and used by unlettered country folk, the people whose ‘voices’ are most often lost to us.

It tracks the passage of time over the four seasons of the year and the nineteen year Metonic Cycle. Notches on the edges mark the days of the year and carved runes and symbols denote the lunar cycle and holy days. It was “read” to determine when to plant, which saint’s day to celebrate and when rent was due. As such, it was a prized resource, only replaced by printed almanacs in the 17th century.

The concept and design of the clog almanac embody the mother wit of medieval country folk, bound to the land and their overlords and dependent on the seasons and weather. Artifacts such as these are my touchstone to feeling a kinship across the centuries with the people who used them.


bark cloth, millboard, paper, cord, bone, wood, ink

About the artist:

Candis Litsey lives in Seattle. Books have long been central to her life but it was only in 2006 when her daughter brought home a handmade book from a course she took at Scripps College that Candis became aware of bookbinding and book arts. Joining a weekly studio run by Bonnie T Norman, she began by making travel journals. She has taken workshops in the Pacific NW to learn more about binding techniques and structures. During a recent two year stay in London she joined The London Centre for Book Arts, where she took a variety of courses and workshops and was able to practice daily.

University of Washington, 1976 MLibr

About Alicia Bailey


Candis Litsey – The Clog Almanac, a medieval perpetual calendar

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 1 min