Susurrus

Susurrus is an elegant, whispering, sculptural book creature. Adapted from the Fishbone Fold structure in The Art of the Fold, Susurrus is a delight to manipulate.

Five sheets of my handmade paper come together at four disguised joints. I letterpress printed each sheet with exclamation points and ampersands from wood type. The word “Susurrus” tracks the book’s spine. The folds of the pages, six per sheet (adapted from the 4 in Art of the Fold), obscure the word, helping to turn it from a statement into a texture that informs the overall movement and aesthetic of the work.

Materials: handmade raw cotton paper, pigments, ink, tape

Dimensions:2.25 x 2.25 x 9.5 inches

2018

Edition size: 1

 
 
 

Tent Cave Hut: This Connects That

A collaboration between an architect and a bookbinder. These three miniature books possess bindings and materials that recall typologies of construction.

Randy Sovich (my architect father) and I were driven to explore the relationships between our crafts. Joinery defines three typologies of construction: tent, cave, and hut. These relate to cultures around the world; each have binding structures that relate back to the three—as well as the fable “The Three Little Pigs,” so we created miniature books for each structure.

Tent adapts traditional Japanese 4-hole binding; the tackets and sewing recall the construction of a tent or yurt.

Cave adapts an Ethiopian binding; the cover’s leather shaped over cord recalls the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia.

Hut adapts a Western-style 2-hole link stitch; the stitching over parchment tapes and the basketweave cover recall post-and-beam and woven panel construction of huts.

The spines of each are displayed in a box, whose burnt finish represents the outside world’s dangers. In the process, we discovered that “a law of geometry and a law of poetry” connect our crafts.

Collaborator Bio: Randy M. Sovich, AIA, founder of RMSovich Architecture, graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University, and has practiced architecture for 35 years. His extensive experience designing buildings and places has been recognized for quality in international competitions and through awards programs locally, regionally and nationally. Mr. Sovich is co-founder and co-Editor of T3XTURE Archizine.

Note: We consulted a chapter in Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris titled “This Will Kill That,” in which he defines connections and tensions between architecture and the book (which had been predicted to "kill" architecture). We also consulted Joseph Rykwert’s On Adam’s House in Paradise, and 18th and 19th C architectural theorists such as Abbé Laugier, Viollet-le-Duc, and Durand.

Materials:

Tent - handmade kozo, 10 lb hemp thread

Cave - quarter-sawn oak, goat leather, hemp cord, 10 lb hemp thread

Hut - goat parchment, basswood, 10 lb hemp thread

Box - Shou-Sugi-Ban finished mahogany, aluminum pins

All contain handmade paper of raw cotton, flax, and and abaca

Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 2.25 inches closed.

2017

Edition size: 3

 
 
 

Wendy Rebinding Wendy

Wendy Rebinding Wendy is a book of poetry that layers four loose narratives in a story that shifts and changes, that builds on itself even as it contradicts itself. The book is the main character; she is also Kin, both Wendy and Peter from Peter Pan, and a reluctant architect of herself.

The book opens four different ways; it is comprised of four joined textblocks to guide the reader through the four discrete yet connected sections. No one opening is prioritized; no one narrative is first or last.

The book's structure is an adaptation of a 16th-century German Protestant book, a backless vexierbücher that opens six different ways, held in the Swedish National Library. Similar books contained as many as eight or as few as four texts stacked within two covers.

The imagery is letterpress printed from photopolymer plates based on photolithographic prints made by the artist. The text is also printed from photopolymer plates. The book is housed in a chitsu box with a hand-shaped bone clasp.

2015. Letterpress printed on a Vandercook 4 Proof Press. Text paper handmade of abaca, raw cotton, and flax in the Lost Arch Papermill at the University of Alabama. Edition of 50. $665

 
 
 
 

LadyBody

LadyBody: A Micro-Anthology of Vibrator-Friendly Poetry collects poems from 17 poets who responded to a call for “poems intended to be read with easy access to a vibrator.” Not necessarily erotica, these poems are wild and classy, tongue-in-cheek, thrilling, loud, delicate, uproarious. They celebrate lady bodies and lady minds.

June 2014 - July 2015 was the year of my “Great Uterine Rebellion.” My uterus had a submucosal fibroid that interfered with my cycles. I ended up in the emergency room for a blood transfusion. Doctors inundated me with hormone treatments; I had four surgeries, a second ER visit, a second blood transfusion. I was sick of hating my body. I made this book to curate positivity.

Letterpress printed on a Vandercook 4 at the University of Alabama. Edition of 50;  handmade box and vibrator available special order.

Forthcoming.

 
 
 

Fibroid

This book tackles the emotional and impersonal sides of uterine surgery, and attempts to bring beauty to a terrifying, yet normalized approach to the female body. 

I wrote and designed this book after a dilation and curettage, a blood transfusion, and a myomectomy in 2014.

Letterpress printed on raw cotton and abaca paper hand made by the artist. Structure: accordion made from sheets shaped on the mold; it unfolds to 23" x5." The accordion sheet was manipulated from double-couched sheets to have thin and thick panels, in which thin areas that shape abstract labia visible when the accordion is held to the light.

Poetry by Emma Sovich is on one side, a surgery transcription and MRA imagery are on the other side. Imagery is drawn from MRAs and the artist's painting of a fibroid. Cased in a portfolio with printed-on flaps that are also of the same handmade paper, but a thicker weight.

Edition size: 23

 
 
 

Uterus

Uterus is a book womb.

It houses a Mirena IUD my own uterus rejected. A book can hold our waste as well as our hopes. A book is a vessel.

I built this book womb in 2014 after my body expelled the IUD intended to help prevent my anatomical uterus from bleeding me out, again. I pulled the IUD from the medical waste receptacle when my gynecologist was out of the room. I paid an $80 copay for it; it was mine even if part of me did not want it.

Sometimes when faced with disappointment, I need to create something beautiful to contain the disappointment and all its attendant emotions.

The IUD is protected behind a mylar sheet, because it was designed to release hormones slowly into the body over five years, and I have no idea whether it is still functional outside of the body.

Materials include book board, cardstock, fine marbled paper, book cloth, and mylar.

Edition size: 1

NFS
 
 
 

Mothers by Freya Gibbon

 
 
 
 

"Mothers" is the central character of these poems, the focus of the speaker's obsession, a witch, a woman, a lover, a fruit-bearer. The poems are gravid in both senses, potent with meaning and pregnant. "Mothers" seeks through fabulist poetry to construct a personal cultural narrative through metaphor, connection to each other, and to the land.

I fell in love with these poems when Freya was puzzling over whether these strange new beasts would be able to interweave with a nonfiction essay close to her heart.

Because the poems draw heavily on earth imagery, I paired them with letterpress-printed imagery of nebulae, the birthplaces of stars.

2014. Drumleaf binding, 4" x 7"
Letterpress printed on a Vandercook SP15 at the University of Alabama. In an edition of 45, 15 are on handmade abaca-cotton paper ($195), 30 are on Arches text wove ($95).

Available with two months notice.

Unbinding the Body

This miniature book gives one prose poem space to breathe among cellular automata. 

Images were generated by Nicholas Moran in the course of his research. Full cloth flatback case binding with inset title. Iris bookcloth, Somerset text. Printed on a Vandercook SP-15 at the University of Alabama.

2.5" x 3" Edition of 30.
$65

Available with two months notice.