New Botanical Book Finished in Iceland

June 24th, 2007

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I have just completed a botanical book that contains altered photographs of the common flowers and plants I have encountered in Iceland. Many of them are new to me, and some we have in Illinois. The book was produced by taking files to a color Xerox machine here in the town where I am staying. I will continue to stay on in Iceland until July 20, so I will see many more plants come into high season.

Lecture at Hafnarborg Center in Hafnarfjordur, Iceland

June 11th, 2007

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Last Thursday night I lectured on my work at the Hafnarborg Center for Culture and Fine Arts in Iceland. I will be here for the month of June, photographing and working on artists’ books. I am pictured here with my daughter Rachel, who has been a resident artist here before, and the Director of the Center, Petrun Petursdottir. When Rachel was in Iceland she created a wonderful body of work in felt which was published alongside her landscape photographs as a book Cool Light. It can be seen on her site atIt can be seen on her site at http://test.rsuntop.com/gallery/book/index.php?image=icelandcover1.jpg

Book about Snorri Sturluson: Recorder of the Norse Myths

June 10th, 2007

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The first book I created during my residency in Iceland was Snorri’s Pool, a narrative surrounding this small body of water that can still be visited. The text for the books is:
Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241)

This Icelandic poet wrote several historically important books including the Prose Edda, a collection of Norse literature and cosmology. Although anonymous, Egil’s Saga is thought to have been written by him.

After his father died, Snorri married a wealthy woman and in 1206 he settled without her in Reykjaholt. Rich and powerful, this intellectual could not avoid politics. His original support of Norway’s domination of Iceland, and his own lifestyle, which involved having illegitimate children and living with a widow, gained him enemies on many sides, including his own family.

The story of his death on September 22 is well known in Iceland. The murder was most likely ordered by King Haakon of Norway himself. As Snorri tried to exit by the back tunnel, he was killed with an axe beside the pool that still remains as a haunting reminder.

He is honored as a fine writer of poetry and prose who contributed enormously to our understanding of this culture.

Read this excellent review of The Observer:Addressing Age

May 15th, 2007

observer_cover.jpgI found a very insightful review of my work on aging, particularly the section that discusses the book The Observer. Here is the link
http://castingthefirst.blogspot.com/2006/04/addressing-age.html

Artist’s Residency in Iceland this June

May 13th, 2007

iceland_center.jpgiceland.jpgFor the month of June I will be in residence at the Hafnarbor Cultural Center in Hafnafjordur, Iceland (seen here as the white building with the red roof.) Here I plan to photograph, particularly at the Saga Sites. My daughter Rachel is a textile artist and she was a resident for two months at the Cultural Center a few years ago. She created a wonderful body of work in felt which was published alongside her landscape photographs as a book Cool Light. It can be seen on her site at http://test.rsuntop.com/gallery/book/index.php?image=icelandcover1.jpg

Dedication of Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies, Soybean Press

May 8th, 2007

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On Friday May 4, we held the launch party for the Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies program and the new Soybean Press. Attendees were able to print their own bookmarks on a letterpress proof press. There were door prizes, refreshments, and a large crowd eager to hear about these new initiatives sponsored by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Art and Design, The University Press, and the Facilities & Services Printing Department.
To find out more about the Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies activities, visit their website at
http://www.lis.uiuc.edu/programs/mbms/

Scott McCloud visits my Printmaking Class at UIUC

April 24th, 2007

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On April 23, Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics and several other seminal books on the topic, spoke on our campus. This was part of his 50 state tour. Today we were fortunate to have him visit my Experimental Printmaking Class. You can find out more about his work at his website:http://www.scottmccloud.com/

Vamp and Tramp’s visit to UIUC

April 12th, 2007

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Thanks to Bill and Vicky Stewart of Vamp and Tramp Books for bringing a van-load of fine press and artists’ books to the University of Illinois Art and Design Department today. They shared their philosophy and enthusiasm for books of this sort.

Have a look at their website at: http://www.califiabooks.com/html/home.html

First Day at the Soybean Press

April 6th, 2007

Soybean PressToday was the first day of printing at the new fine press at the University of Illinois, the Soybean Press. This is a teaching laboratory located at the Facilities and Services Printing Division. Students and community members are introduced to letterpress printing through a combination of staff and faculty expertise. A Vandercook press and an ample supply of type is on hand. Here we are shown working with photo-polymer plates on what will be the first broadside of the Press. The official dedication will be in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on May 4 from 4-6.

Class Visits the Lincoln Bindery

March 14th, 2007

Group

My book arts classes both made visits to the Lincoln Bindery in Urbana this week. Here Christopher Hohn made a classic library bound book from the very start and Tedra Ashley showed them her fine bindings. More about this unique bindery can be seen on their website: http:// http://www.prairienet.org/bookbindery/ Tedra’s fine books can be seen at: http:// http://www.fineblankbooks.com/

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