Gwlas: A Glossary of Cornish Words from the Land 

Book design

Gwlas is a small pocket-sized glossary of Cornish words that relate to the land and rural history. The name "Gwlas" comes from the Kernewek word to mean "land, country, state" which encompassed the theme connecting the words, as well as hints to Cornwall's (or ‘Kernow’ in Cornish) identity, which often feels separate from the rest of England– an independent Celtic nation. The aim is to widen awareness of Cornwall's little-known native language through a collection of words on a shared theme, as well as helping people gain an understanding of places through through the meanings of their historic names. The words are a reflection on Cornwall's past in other ways, featuring words relating to the environment and more agrarian society, such as 'clidga' (the muddy area around a gateway) and 'dash' (unbound bundle of furze) which feel oddly specific to our lives now when fewer people work on the land.

Letterforms that mark the alphabetically group words come from different locations around Cornwall, like a typographic walk through the Cornish landscape, following granite guide stones and passing churches and local shops along the way. Alongside these are traditional examples and contemporary interpretations of Celtic typography. I chose to print the glossary with riso primarily for its affordability so that I could sell finished copies at a low cost and widen awareness of Kernewek language, as well as its lower environmental impact. 

To accompany the glossary, I created a jacket to be worn while exploring Cornwall's landscape. Inspired by artists' work jackets, it has pockets to hold the glossary, a notebook, pencil and space to spare for collected item. I made the jacket myself and hand embroidered it with letters and illustrations.