I love making books. It is a diversion from my other work. Most of my books are personal, about people I know and care about or things that have happened to me. It’s often a time-consuming process as I gather bits and pieces or prepare surfaces. I begin and then need a break while ideas settle. Sometimes I have a fully formed concept and sometimes it grows.
Some books like “The Distaff Side” took many iterations to develop the format of the fold out pages and the second side alternating the fading woodblocks and text. Others, like “Bikes and Dirtballs” made about a dear friend, mainly needed to be executed as the idea was there from the start. “Lizard” celebrated a milestone birthday and “Sweetgum” a hike in the woods.
Here is a sampling of my books with “The Distaff Side” as one of my oldest to current books done during lockdown.
BOOK OF SPELLS—4 3/4 x 3.3/4 in, Mixed Media
This represented a very old delicate book of spells, stained with worn pages, stitched repairs, and the odd notation in addition to the original magical writing. Shown are the front cover and two inside spreads. This was very fun to make.
HAVIN' FUN—8.5 x 6.25 in. (38.75 x 6.25 open) Rust dyed paper
After exploring rusty marks on paper one cold January, I decided to create a book documenting my work. As all the pages were different sizes I had to find a way to make them work together and "Havin' Fun" is the result. It uses an accordion design, going from the largest page to the smallest, relying on serendipity to arrange the marks. I love how the pages work together, especially from the back when it is closed.
LOCKDOWN 2020 BOOK—9 x 6 in, (72 x 12 in, open) craft paper, ink, acrylic, pastels, collage
Lockdown 2020” is made from paper that had been used as packing in a delivery I received. It was made as one long strip, cut and folded, representing the crazy outside world and my inner struggles. The last images show it unfolded with both the outside and the inside.
LITTLE STORIES AND OTHER BITS—3.5 x 3.25 in, paper, fiber, wood, and other mixed media
This was a fun book to make. The main structure is folded from one sheet, dyed with tea, iron, onionskins and leaves. It has six different signatures, each with a different story. Some about women's lives in general, some about my life and travels in particular. It is tied with a bit of cordage made out of shredded wood from my walks in the Wissahickon.
TEA BAG BOOK—3 1/8 x 4 1/4 in, tea bag paper pages, rusty dye, ink, dandelion cordage binding and book mark
“Tea Bag Book” is about materials and methods that excite me.
GRAM'S BOOK—4 x 6.5 in, fiber, Stitching, photography, dyeing & other mixed media
“Gram’s Book” is about women in my family and of their lives.
RUSTY DYE BOOK—4.5 x 6.5 in, paper, rusty dye
This book consists of pages of wonderful patterns made by dyeing with rusty objects.
FINLAND BOOK—7 x 5.5 in, loose book in portfolio tied with ribbons, paper, fiber, photography, wood block printing
“Finland” is a loose collection of objects and work from a most wonderful print workshop I attended.
ACCORDION BOOKS—“Bikes and Dirtballs”, 4.75 x 6 in | “Lizard”, 3 3/8 x 3 in | “Sweetgum”, 5 x 6.5 in
COLOR—4.75 x 7.25 in, paper, digital printing
“Color” is an Accordion Post Card Book, based on color theory. When it is fully extended it forms a color wheel.
THE DISTAFF SIDE—3.25 x 6.5 in, paper, photography, digital and woodblock printing.
This book was made for my mother featuring woman in her side of the family. The image of the distaff represents woman's lives in history and is faded out to represent the passage of time.