Be Careful What You Wish For - A Recent Artist Book

 I listed words which prompted images as I read the book. I intended to use the images in a drawing or series of drawings which I would incorporate into a relief print. This final sketch resulted from my combining an eye, a sewn scar, a needle and thread, mountains and birds off in the distance, a leaf, and a apothecary jar with a bone in it. I then decided to add the little blackbird on the leaf, and surround all of this with a stone arch. This would allude to a castle or stone architectural structure.

I listed words which prompted images as I read the book. I intended to use the images in a drawing or series of drawings which I would incorporate into a relief print. This final sketch resulted from my combining an eye, a sewn scar, a needle and thread, mountains and birds off in the distance, a leaf, and a apothecary jar with a bone in it. I then decided to add the little blackbird on the leaf, and surround all of this with a stone arch. This would allude to a castle or stone architectural structure.

 I worked with two linoleum plates to complete the print. This plate was printed in colored sections, very much like a reduction print. The sections served as a ground for the image.

I worked with two linoleum plates to complete the print. This plate was printed in colored sections, very much like a reduction print. The sections served as a ground for the image.

 I printed the image in black onto the colored ground. Notice the colored sections beneath the black image. These colored sections helped me to decide how to divide the image into pages for the tunnel book structure.

I printed the image in black onto the colored ground. Notice the colored sections beneath the black image. These colored sections helped me to decide how to divide the image into pages for the tunnel book structure.

 The accordion folded papers will become the sides of the book’s interior. I used a lovely teal Ingres paper for this part of the book. The pages are now cut into the arch shape. The white edges on the sides will be folded and placed into the accordion folded sides.

The accordion folded papers will become the sides of the book’s interior. I used a lovely teal Ingres paper for this part of the book. The pages are now cut into the arch shape. The white edges on the sides will be folded and placed into the accordion folded sides.

 I cut Davey board into the arch shape; then covered it with papyrus. Layers of milk paint in various colors (the final layer of paint was black) were applied to the papyrus. Once the layers of paint were dried and sanded; shoe polish was applied and rubbed with a soft cloth giving the covers and smooth polished surface.

I cut Davey board into the arch shape; then covered it with papyrus. Layers of milk paint in various colors (the final layer of paint was black) were applied to the papyrus. Once the layers of paint were dried and sanded; shoe polish was applied and rubbed with a soft cloth giving the covers and smooth polished surface.

 Here I am assembling the book’s interior pages.

Here I am assembling the book’s interior pages.

 This image shows how the accordion folded papers hold the book together at the sides of the assembled book. This also shows how the pages extend out creating the layered interior pages.

This image shows how the accordion folded papers hold the book together at the sides of the assembled book. This also shows how the pages extend out creating the layered interior pages.

Asheville BookWorks will close in March, 2019. It’s final Book and Print exhibition It’s Alive!: Frankenstein, 200 Years asked for interpretations of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication. BookWorks has meant a great deal to my growth as a book artist and printmaker since it opened in 2004. Though I was a bit daunted by the concept of creating an artist book in response to Frankenstein; I decided to first read the novel. I could then create a book or print to submit to the exhibition if the story inspired me. Upon completing the book I was excited about this project. I was particularly attracted to and inspired by the visual imagery which occurred thoughout the story.

Take a look at how I went about creating Be Careful What You For. The finished piece was a tunnel book structure. The internal image used a letterpress printed relief print combined with metal type. The covers were painted papyrus on Davey board with a leather, waxed linen, and a vintage button closure.

 I then carved this plate based on the pencil drawing. This provided the image which was printed on the colored sections.

I then carved this plate based on the pencil drawing. This provided the image which was printed on the colored sections.

 I used Rives BFK paper printing a pale gray-green for the first color.

I used Rives BFK paper printing a pale gray-green for the first color.

 Parts of each page were cut away, creating open spaces on the layered book pages.

Parts of each page were cut away, creating open spaces on the layered book pages.

 All of the components - cover boards, accordion folded sides, book pages, and letterpress printed colophon. I used 12 point Garamond for the colophon and additional text. Notice the sentence that is printed across the base of the front page. It sums up my response to  Frankenstein - Be Careful What You Wish For .

All of the components - cover boards, accordion folded sides, book pages, and letterpress printed colophon. I used 12 point Garamond for the colophon and additional text. Notice the sentence that is printed across the base of the front page. It sums up my response to Frankenstein - Be Careful What You Wish For.

 This is a front view of the interior.

This is a front view of the interior.

 The completed book. I added bits of leather, braided waxed linen thread. and a vintage button to the cover boards. This closure holds the book together when closed.

The completed book. I added bits of leather, braided waxed linen thread. and a vintage button to the cover boards. This closure holds the book together when closed.

This was a most rewarding project. I had never read Frankenstein. Reading this story and responding to it by creating an artist book - Be Careful What You Wish For; would never had happened were it not for Asheville BookWorks. I am so grateful to this most remarkable place and all that I have learned through taking classes there and participating in exhibitions!