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PILGRIMAGE, Upcycled book, 2011

I often collect old books with great covers destined for the bin. I rescue them, remove the book block, carefully separate the pages, and then randomly reorder them with other similarly sized pages from other books and scraps of paper and blank pages from the studio. I learned this technique of "upcycling" at the San Francisco Center for the Book. The result is a newly revived book that I use as an oracular journal. This is one of my favoirtes, a book I upcycled to take on a pilgrimage to Malta in September of 2011. The spine reads "Pilgrimage of Grace" and the cover "A Tale of the Reformation". The book had been sitting in my studio for 5 years waiting for this serendipitous occasion.
Wooden box that houses Atone book
Wooden box open revealing Atone book wrapped in gauze with seed
Atone book, velum, waxed thread
ATONE, Handmade book, 2009

I've always found the wide open expanses and empty highways of the West compelling. On a roadtrip in 2009, driving through the terrain of Nevada and southern Utah, I had an overwhelming sense of the highway as one long wound, an imposition of man on the landscape. The center line felt like stitches, an apology, an effort to heal that wound. On that trip, I took several photographs of the highway from the passenger seat. I hand bound a selection of these images into a small handmade book with the letters A,T,O,N, and E interleaved.
2008, Etching for Fisherman's Wife
2007, Etching for Bone Forest
2008, Etching for Dual Nature
ETCHINGS for books, 2007/2008

Books take a long while to unfurl. I have been doing etchings in conjunction with the books I am currently bringing to life.
PUDDLE BEACH, Handmade book, 2008

In 2008 I was living in San Francisco and was part of a group of Eco-artists who congregated in a classroom led by Andree Singer-Thompson, a powerhouse of activism in Berkeley. Many of the "students" were experienced artists who were seeking other artists who shared a passion for the environment, as well as a forum for plunging more deeply into studying and examining environmental issues. One week Andree asked that we find two hours during the week to go out in nature and create a small piece of art based on that experience.

This sounds simple, but I found it difficult to get out of the city that week, so I walked instead to the boardwalk near the Bay and decided to photograph whatever I found. It had recently rained and I began to notice a very amusing phenomena. Birds were gathered in the wet puddles in a vacant asphalt parking lot, lined up in formation as if they were at the beach. The birds reminded me that there is never any real "going to nature". One can leave a city, but not separate from nature. This inspired a poem and a handmade book titled Puddle Beach.