Serpents, Scales and Pyramids

Recurring Images and dreams.

:: Tile Scales ::

:: Louise Bourgouis, Swaying, 2006 ::

:: Agnes Denes, The Human Argument, 1974 ::

:: source unknown ::

:: Koryak armor ::

:: Marianne Dages, Quoin ::

:: Marianne dages, Chymia ::

:: marianne dages, i had that dream again ::

:: waves, from a very old book I own ::

:: Iceland, herringbone pattern in house, photograph by Andrew Frederick ::

:: Animal figures and patterns from various Udeghe shaman’s costumes, shoes and bands ::

The Iceland Book

Making progress on the design for my new book. I've spent the last month doing sketches of sorts. Little pictographic drawings, imaginary maps, experimental prints, etc. to get a feel for what I want the look and feel of the book to be. It's getting there.

The inspiration for the book is Iceland. New worlds. Far travel. That's all I'll say for now.

 :: drawings ::

This will be the first time I've digitally designed a book before letterpress printing it. The editions I've made before this have been handset and the imagery hand-carved or manually produced some other way. This book will include many drawings, but I wanted to incorporate photo imagery and to use a typeface that is not available in metal. So InDesign it is.

:: first draft - computer printout ::

I finished my first draft and printed it on a laserjet to get a feel for the scale. Boy does it look different than on screen! 

Everything needs tweaking...

:: first draft - computer print out ::

I've wanted to go to north for years, since I read Bulfinch's Mythology and of The Hyperborea, the land beyond the Northern Wind. I know this book will bring me there, in some way, shape, or form.  

:: Islande ::

A coffer full of words

:: A coffer full of words, 2012, Huldra Press ::

This new print was printed on the Risograph at The Common Press. I hope you like it. I'm very excited about the direction my new work has been taking and hopefully will have more to show you soon. I am also posting now at my new tumblr page, Tiger Feathers, which is about the things I think about. I'm going to keep posting here to show you new work and talk about the studio as well.

Beautiful Books

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I spent a day walking around the city and we went to several used bookstores along the way, something we both love to do. I always make a beeline towards the children's section, followed by the science and art, he heads straight for science fiction. I read his science fiction books and take pictures of the books I buy. It works.

:: german biology textbook ::

:: American Wild Life with heavily embossed cover ::

:: American Wild Life, three foxes ::

:: a drawing I made a few years ago from this same book, different edition ::

:: Science Stories, gorgeous ::

:: Science Stories, how the moon looks ::

Three Things

:: me and my buddy ::

I had such a wonderful open studio weekend. It was a beautiful weekend here in Philadelphia, and I'm so grateful to everyone who came by to say hello and see the shop, I had the best time and met so many interesting people.

Also on my list of things I'm grateful for...

:: Bear and Snake, by me ::

This week on Cheek Teeth, the blog of the Trachodon, the fascinating biannual magazine literature, art, and artisan culture, there's an interview about my work. I was invited by their super talented Managing Editor, Katey Schultz, to have my work featured in their last issue, thank you Katey!

:: Blade Runner Poster by Godmachine ::

And lastly, Blade Runner. I'm completely obsessed with Blade Runner. I think it might be the most beautiful movie ever made. The reason for this renewed love affair, a friend of mine gave me the soundtrack (by Vangelis) a few months ago, which I've been listening to while I work. Then I rented the documentary Dangerous Days, about the making of the film. I've always been fascinated by this movie and learning more about it's difficult production only made me more appreciative of its beauty. And, I think I want to be special effects designer circa 1984.

My sketchbook

Sometimes people tell me they are afraid to use a handmade book. I tell them I make them to be used and that I think they only grow more interesting and beautiful with use.

This is a book I made for myself about six years ago.

The covers are made from an old book. They were already quite worn.

I inset a vintage photograph into the front cover. The owl is original to the old book covers.

:: sketches, left, illustration, right ::

I dyed the pages with black walnut dye and bound six the original illustrations into the new text block. Those are some cat sketches.

This is an autograph from Crispin Hellion Glover. He makes books too. I'm a fan.

A friend gave me this stamp of a fox, which I glued to the back cover.

There's no wrong way to use a handmade book. You can use it for your grocery lists or your diary, your notes for class or your drawings, and if you like, you can put it on a shelf and look at it when it pleases you. Anything you do is right.


:: Georgia # 2 ::

:: Eastern Missouri # 2 :::: North Carolina # 2 ::

My friend Shane Darwent just launched a website. He takes incredible photographs and makes sculptures inspired by the sights he's seen in his travels around the country. Last fall, we collaborated on a portfolio as part of a show at Rebus Works.

The idea was simple, Shane selected a series of image of basketball hoops and mailed them to me. When I received them, I laid them out and began "altering" them with a mixture of drawing and collage.

I wanted to make marks that accented the tight composition of Shane's photographs, obscuring and highlighting parts of the photograph.
:: Tennessee # 1 ::

We ended up with a portfolio of five which happens to be the number of players on a basketball team.
:: Ava, MO ::
Shane and I are interested in producing a small edition of prints from the originals. I'll keep you updated on the project as it develops.

The Giant Wave of Fog

:: altered image from a glass plate negative by Huldra Press ::

Last night, I dreamt about a giant wave of fog, as tall as a mountain, rising up and up until it curled and fell onto everyone below. I remember saying, "here it comes," and we all held our breath and closed our eyes, as if it would crush us, but instead, it blew over us, for many minutes, and then it was gone.

It was strange and lovely image, and I'll be thinking about it for some time.

Via Penland

Mr. Shane Darwent, bookbinding by Kathy Steinsberger

If you're in North Carolina, there's a great show up in Raleigh at Rebus Works Gallery featuring photographer Shane Darwent. The show's name is Via Penland. Every year, the gallery features one artist connected to Penland School of Crafts. This year, they featured Shane and his collaborations with five book artists, including myself.

Via Penland

This show represents over a year of travels and residencies, which are beautifully documented on Shane's blog. Shane also put together a great slide show of the opening, which you can see here.

My collaboration with Shane, a portfolio of five collages/drawings on his photographs housed in a box.

Some of Shane's hand-colored photographs

It looks like it was a great opening, I wish I could have been there! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you were there. I'm so glad I got a chance to do this collaboration with my fellow former core student, Shane. Thank you Shane!


My roommate Joshua gave me that beautiful mug.

This last week, I've been working in the letterpress studio. All by my lonesome with a thermos of coffee, some snacks, and Pandora radio (lately Hall & Oates and Psychedelic Furs). I'm making new work... recipe and holiday cards, postcards, and gift tags. My goals this winter are to branch out with my color palette and work more practically and efficiently. It's good, I'm learning a lot and making things I'm excited about. I love working alone. At my own pace.

Last weekend, Jason, Wes, and I went to Knoxville to get off the mountain and see the drawing show that Rachel Clark had been so kind to invite Beth, Mark, Jason, and I to take part in. The show was called Seven Times Standard and each artist submitted seven drawings. Thank you Rachel, for inviting us and for your hospitality.

Mark Warren's wind drawings. Take a look at his blog to see more.

This is one of the drawings I did. A bit Pythonesque.

Knoxville was a refreshing breath of car exhaust and concrete. God I miss the city. I liked how industrial it was, with railroad tracks crossing the downtown, and garages at every corner. I got to visit Yee-Haw Industries, but was too shy to ask for a tour. I did get a nice nuthatch card though.

Via Penland Show at Rebus Works

I'm so happy to be part of this wonderful show again this year. Rebus Works is in Raleigh, NC. The opening reception is December 4, 2009 from 6-10 and the work will be up until January 30, 2010. I'll be showing a series of drawings from the summer, and my new letterpress edition book "For You".

Layers, mixed media on book page

from For You, letterpress

There's more information about the show here. Hope you can stop by!

On another happy note, I am done with my work obligations as a core student. This is a joyous occasion. Mike and I will be moving to Philadelphia in early spring, and I will be working on getting my Chandler and Price press up and working. Till then, I'll be making paper, making books, some new stationery, and making some phone calls looking for a job. So if you know anyone who is looking for a studio assistant in Philadelphia, I would love to assist a printer, bookbinder, or conservator to keep learning about what I do. Thanks!

Old Books & New Drawings

Used books. My greatest weakness. Remember that in case I ever become a super villain or a zombie and you have to defeat me to save the world. As I was saying...used books. There is no greater pleasure then wandering through aisles of musty books looking for that one treasure. I hardly ever buy new books, instead relying on chance to guide me towards my next read. Old books are also key material in my projects. I use them for stationery, blank books, and drawings. Sometimes, one book can even become the foundation for a whole body of work.

Recently, I started a new series of drawings using the pages from an 1897 geology textbook. I haven't done a series of drawings for quite some time. The act of drawing doesn't come easily to me, I liken it to pulling teeth. There's no structure to hide behind, no rules really. You just have to do what comes to you. That can be pretty scary.

I can't say I know where these are going yet, but I like it.