Friday, April 26, 2013



This is another book I had in the COMING UNBOUND: BOOK AS SCULPTURE show at Northwind Gallery in Port Townsend, WA. It is a small book of haikus. As you probably know, a haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world. I love this form of poetry and the natural restraints that come with the parameters. This style definitely keeps one from getting too wordy. You are forced to examine each word....really, each syllable.... and get rid of frills and fluff and distill your intention down to the basics. I have written haikus for years...often tapping out syllables on my thigh while mowing with my tractor, Bliss. I usually jot the haikus down in my sketchbook before I forget them but sometimes I find the requisite three lines written on the back of an envelope....or on a corner of a paper towel....or occasionally written on the wall. Making this book was a good excuse to gather all my haikus from hither and yon and get them rounded up in one location. This HAIKU book is photo etched copper and is approximately 5.5" x 4".



Here are just a few of my haikus....written throughout the four seasons.

Wrapped in wood stove warmth
the steaming water escapes
like small birds singing

coyote prances
like a dancer on tip-toes
along the fence row

I awoke to song
one high note and four lower
birds welcoming dawn

Is heaven above
beyond the constellations
or below our feet?

thwack and dry ripping
the sound of firewood splitting
music for cold hearts

backlit by the sun
three hawks waltz across my sky
their tails glowing red

droplets perch like jewels
an early solomon seal
an uncommon crown

Under my gas cap
a most succulent spider
takes up residence

Three baby chipmunks
surprise me in the woodpile
all of us wide-eyed

Sunday, April 14, 2013



The Chinese proverb ..."A BOOK IS LIKE A GARDEN YOU CARRY IN YOUR POCKET"... seemed like the perfect spring board for launching myself into my first book for a book show here in Port Townsend. When I was asked by Jean-Marie Tarascio to be part of the COMING UNBOUND-BOOK AS SCULPTURE show at Northwind Gallery, I saw it as an opportunity... and as a brightly shining carrot dangled in front of me... to follow up with some ideas I have had for a long time. I have always thought that etched metals could be a perfect marriage with book arts.....the ability to etch front and back with pattern or words or imagery....rigid and permanent covers....a welcome heft when picked up....the ability to cut (with a jeweler's saw) beyond the natural border of the book...getting to use miniature piano hinges (they are so perfectly proportioned and beautiful and can be cut to any length)... and that glow of metal and patina that cannot be duplicated with paper or hardboard. The GARDEN BOOK was my first attempt for this show. There was a bit of a learning curve and everything did seem to take much longer than it should have but I am happy with the result. The GARDEN BOOK MEASURES 7.5" x 6" and is photo etched it a rich look.

I realized while making books for this show that content is as important to me as the etched covers. It wasn't going to be ok with me to just make a blank journal style book. A year or two ago I bought a plug-in program called Topaz Lab to go along with photoshop elements. With this program I can take any of my own photos and send them through multiple filters to get a look that is just different enough to stand out from a regular photo. That difference might be about the texture....the detail....or the color....or all three. The filters just 'art' things up a bit. The images in the GARDEN BOOK are all my own....mostly shot in my yard over the last several years. Here are a few images from the book...all are ink jet printed on Japanese Gampi paper and are attached to Arches Cover paper with vellum pages inserted between.

The other 10 artists participating in this book show are: Renee Bush, Mary-Ellen Campbell, Linda Jarvis, Gloria Lamson, Counsel Langley, Carolyn Law, Jean-Marie Tarascio, Rebecca Welti, Joan Wenske, Helga Winter.