A Suite of Reliquary Assemblages

 Drawing images for the relief prints.

Drawing images for the relief prints.

 Carving the cicada.

Carving the cicada.

 Printing on my Vandercook; I printed the insects on a handmade cotton rag paper. 

Printing on my Vandercook; I printed the insects on a handmade cotton rag paper. 

 I constructed a tunnel book using layers from each print. Here is the cicada tunnel book underway. I cut away layers for each insect for each tunnel book. 

I constructed a tunnel book using layers from each print. Here is the cicada tunnel book underway. I cut away layers for each insect for each tunnel book. 

 Here is a close-up of the butterfly tunnel book - note the cut layers.

Here is a close-up of the butterfly tunnel book - note the cut layers.

 Each box had a mica window.

Each box had a mica window.

 Adding the feet to the Cicada reliquary.

Adding the feet to the Cicada reliquary.

 Completed Butterfly and Dragonfly reliquaries.

Completed Butterfly and Dragonfly reliquaries.

 Completed Cicada and Bee reliquaries.

Completed Cicada and Bee reliquaries.

I often find bits of insects while gardening; and am attracted to their ephemeral beauty. I have collected numerous insects and their wings over the years; which I often use in my books and boxes. I recently completed a group of reliquaries inspired by these 'garden remnants'. I began by selecting a butterfly, cicada, dragonfly, and bee from my collection. I completed a group of small prints which I then used as the focus of the reliquaries. 

 Drawings transferred to blocks, now ready to carve.   

Drawings transferred to blocks, now ready to carve.

 

 Pressure plates. I printed papers to use in the reliquaries using these plates.   

Pressure plates. I printed papers to use in the reliquaries using these plates.

 

 Insect prints completed, pressure prints completed (on Niddeggen paper). I will now begin designing and building the reliquaries. I love playing around with the various components!

Insect prints completed, pressure prints completed (on Niddeggen paper). I will now begin designing and building the reliquaries. I love playing around with the various components!

 Here are the completed cicada and dragonfly tunnel books.

Here are the completed cicada and dragonfly tunnel books.

 Next, I built a box using Davey board for each book.

Next, I built a box using Davey board for each book.

 I then constructed a case binding for the boxes; covered them with pressure printed papers and a printed cover;  gave them a base covered with cork paper; and added vintage button closures and feet! Whew! 

I then constructed a case binding for the boxes; covered them with pressure printed papers and a printed cover;  gave them a base covered with cork paper; and added vintage button closures and feet! Whew! 

 I couldn't resist adding a window at the top of each piece - I placed  actual wings behind a piece of mica.

I couldn't resist adding a window at the top of each piece - I placed  actual wings behind a piece of mica.

 Dragonfly reliquary with the door opened.

Dragonfly reliquary with the door opened.

 Top of the Cicada reliquary - I just love how the windows enhance the finished piece.

Top of the Cicada reliquary - I just love how the windows enhance the finished piece.

I learned so much constructing these pieces bringing together my love for nature, letterpress printing, and book arts! Additionally, the Cicada Reliquary was juried into Pop-Up Now II at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon; and was purchased by Ohio University!