Part of an ongoing Synthesis Series, these were created for Magick 4 Terri, an auction to benefit artist, author and editor Terri Windling. Eventually I’d like to catalogue all of my book art here, so we’ll start with these.
Original book art with poem “The Grand Finale of Mr. Fox” by C.S.E. Cooney, author of Jack o’ the Hills (soon to be released as an audiobook).
Original book art with poem “The Tall House of Mr. Fox” by Caitlyn Paxson, who I hope will write something for me in the future.
In each of these pieces I’ve used the rib bone of a fox as the ‘spine’ of the book, backed the piece with lokta paper, and used natural elements that compliment the poems themselves. The pages have been coffee-stained, gently sealed and tied to the spines withe faux sinew, the frames stained mahogany and decorated with ivy leaves.
There are two more of these in progress. A theme of foxes, a sub-series of the series, perhaps. Hopefully all of them will go to good homes.
Stone Telling is an online magazine of boundary-crossing poetry edited by Rose Lemberg, who named the quarterly after the main character in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. When Rose approached me about binding the first issue of Stone Telling as a gift for Le Guin, I knew I had to get it right. Rose provided the photograph you see on the cover — it appeared in the first issue along with Le Guin’s poem.
The book was case bound with handmade paper on the cover and a cloth spine and red Lokta endpapers. The text was printed on linen. This book is how I thought Stone Telling would look if it appeared in print.
Berry Moon, Bound was created for the Interstitial Arts Foundation. Berry Moon was written by Camilla Bruce and is one of the stories found in Interfictions 2.
Handmade Lokta paper, glass beads, faux berries, cotton thread and silver foil make up the cover along with a spine of black cloth. Lokta paper throughout, text printed on white, laid paper.
I chose Camilla’s story to work with because it so wonderfully describes the relationship between artist and muse. It is said that the muse—whether she dictates writing, binding, beading, singing or painting—knows her artist more intimately than anyone else. It is also said that we must not neglect our muses. In ancient times, shrines were built to honor the muses and cults existed which venerated them at springs or fountains or caves. Today some believe that the muse is no more than a myth.
When I begin to bind a book, the text with which I am working becomes my muse, informing the color, shape and structure of its eventual container. For this book, the text of the story clearly revealed the colors, texture and decoration of the finished piece. It is the text that creates the book; my hands are merely the tools through which the story operates. I find that my work flows more smoothly when I maintain an awareness of the muse who guides me. This book came into being like magic; there was no hesitation between its initial layout and the final bead being tied to the spine. I can say, after binding it, that the muse is no myth. She is real, and this is my offering to her.