These sunny days coincide with the final few days of the show at Allied Arts of Whatcom County. I’m just a wee bit late in making this blog post, but I’ve been very busy getting books ready for the official signing of the soft cover edition of The Moon’s Answer, a poem by Lana Ayers, which will happen at the end of this month. All one hundred of the soft covers are completed. I’m still working on the hard covers.
But there are three other handmade books of mine to view at Allied Arts. Plus, the beautiful artwork of my good friend Nancy Canyon, and two other excellent artists. I really enjoyed this show titled “Nature,” and hope you have time, too, before it comes down next Monday.
The first is a small casebound hard cover, called Journal of small things.
The title is embossed with silver onto a mat, which was glued onto a piece of marbled paper. The book is covered in paper made using seaweed from the Pacific Ocean—There’s nothing like the Pacific to make you understand smallness. Well, maybe the universe.
But the book contains handmade paper, and along its spine rough beads dangle from knotted cords. The pocket in the back is ample enough to contain several tiny things one might find while wandering along a beach.
Another book that is on display in the gallery is titled Shadows We Leave Behind. It is a truncated tale told in sporadic language by the dogwood petals and their impressions from the young, single tree that grows outside the window of the frame shop here.
The cover is embossed with a double title, one with and one without a silver lining. A word or two are hand-printed on every page of petals. Each page contains one to three petals, and their embossed “shadows.” The book is bound with a version of the Japanese stab binding. This is the first paper I made that was dyed with Indian plums, which, as you know, is one of the very first flowers to bloom in spring. Poets here have written almost as many Indian plum poems as heron poems. [Joke! But nearly true as well.] It’s a wonderful plant.
There’s also another book on display, but I’m running out of time, and want to post this as soon as I can. I may update this later, if I can. But the other book is titled Journal of the Future and Back, with the rich brown of late blackberries in the dye for the pond algae on the cover.
I’ll make another posting of the process used for making the editions of the handmade books for The Moon’s Answer in the near future, hopefully. It’s been quite the process, and a lot of fun. Meanwhile, I continue to gain experience in paper-making, bookmaking, natural dying, printing, drawing, and much, much more.
—Anita K. Boyle