The Intimacy of Books

A fragile creature, she fears rodents, the elements, and clumsy hands, 2017, Coptic stitch, rust printing, and cut paper

I’ve been remiss in posting most any of my recent experiments in book arts but it’s been a big part of my MFA work this past year. These wordless books have companion phrases – more than titles, perhaps, but words that stand alongside them. And they are almost all very small, which underscores the need of such objects to be held. The scale (most less than 3″ tall) and the words both speak to an intimacy that I have felt all year as I’ve made the work, a feeling that I hope translates to viewers as they imagine their own narratives. A few examples:



Have you planted the marigold seeds that I sent?, 2016, accordion fold with handmade papers and watercolor
Now the garden is gone to seed, 2017, monoprinted and handmade papers with Coptic and centipede stitching
Our backyard miracle began on the south side of the house, 2016, Kozo and monoprinted papers with lotus blossom stitch
We survive storms with laughter, 2016, spiral accordion with handmade paper
I imagine three nights of full moon, 2016, accordion and flower fold with monoprinting


  1. Rachel, revisting the wordless books you created this past year and seeing them again is really refreshing. I see them anew and the one phrase titles have more impact – I’m not sure why – maybe from getting to know your work over the past year. I love the door/window it opens in my imagination and how you used the intimacy of the size to invited inspection and introspection. I am especially drawn to the “We survive storms with laughter” – the visual of the book, suggesting a mini cyclone which opens and twists and twirls only to open ribbons of joy that escape without fear. All so lovely! xx Julia

  2. Thank you so much, Julia! It’s fun to look back and to think about what might be coming next… So many possibilities in store for us! xo-Rachel

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