ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project
ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project

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ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project
ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project

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ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project
ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project

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ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project
ARCTIC DREAMS Altered Book Project

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Re-binding of Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams

This book alters the binding structure and cover of a first edition copy of Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape by Barry Lopez so that it might be read as a book of spells. The specificity of Lopez’s detailed descriptions of animals, land, light, temperature, navigation, and human lives may occlude or—depending on the reader’s access to her own sensory memories of the land— transport through vivid, dream-like clarity. The power of the text to move the reader depends on the renewal of her own lived experiences of nature. Lopez writes,

 

The Airplane, like the map, creates a false sense of space; it achieves simplicity and compression, however, not with an entered perspective but by altering the relationship between space and time. . . The plane is a great temptation but to learn anything of the land, to have any sense of the relevancy of the pertinent maps, you must walk away from the planes. p. 284-5

 

Reading Arctic Dreams, I found myself relying on much earlier experiences of the land to contextualize Lopez’s descriptions of sound, rhythm, and other sensations specific to time spent in nature. It is difficult in the heavily farmed, suburban environment where I currently live in Council Bluffs, Iowa to know the land in layered, dimensional ways or to find what Lopez describes and the land’s ‘innate rhythms.’ Lopez articulates a familiar, nagging fear when he writes, “to consider human quest and plight and not know the land, I thought, to not listen to it, seemed fatal.” (p. 138) I interpreted the text as a series of literal and metaphorical directives, using the process of altering the book as an opportunity to create my own encounters with the land where I currently live. Lopez suggests,

 

In approaching the land with an attitude of obligation, willing to observe courtesies difficult to articulate—perhaps only a gesture of the hands—one establishes a regard from which dignity can emerge. p. 404

 

Responding to the sound, movement, and energy of the landscape through asemic writing and using dye from plants growing there becomes a gesture or ritual encounter with the land that marks or practices ideas presented in the text.

 

Vincent Bluffs Preserve, a small piece of land that is nonetheless the largest urban prairie remnant in Iowa provided a place to ‘listen.’ Roadside gores representing even smaller remnants, disturbed yet unmanicured, provided places to gather plants for the project. Moving from the gravel shoulder to the gore to collect goldenrod and cattail requires pushing through grasses whining and rustling with grasshoppers and cicadas, thistle alive with butterflies and stinging wasps, selecting blooms from a field covered in beetles. One considers blackbirds, snakes, mud, unfamiliar plants, refuse, and the gaze of passersby. Gathering and processing such materials requires a level of discomfort or risk that brings focus to the idea of maintaining an appreciation for the “dark threads of life” (p. 405). Taking material from land and processing it by hand alert me to the human relationships I exist within and remind me to take great care in the creative choices I make. Incorporating such materials into the visual language I use prompts research and consideration of the risks I choose to take. Lopez writes, “To wonder which rhythms are innate, and what they might be, is related . . .to the survival of the capacity to imagine beyond the familiar.” (p. 176) The imagination necessary for artistic creation, reading Lopez’s text, or knowing the land evolve through physical engagement with dynamic, meaning-rich materials and landscape which sometimes become one and the same.

 

The original cover of the first edition book has been removed and re-bound by Chelsea Herman using a limp parchment structure. The hand-sewn silk headband is dyed using nettle. Symbolically colored book ribbons respond to excerpts in the text. Dyed, threaded book markers evidencing lived, sensory experiences of prairie remnant or woodland include asemic text documenting the sounds, movement, and natural forces perceived there. Book markers are bound with woven cattail leaves and book ribbon as well as handspun hemp and nettle thread. Painted silk book ribbons tie to the continuously growing strings of naturally dyed markers. The book was originally gifted to the artist and is kept and annotated as a personal prayer book or book of spells that may be re-gifted but not sold. One of a kind. 2022

NFS

Kaleidoscopes
Kaleidoscopes

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Kaleidoscopes
Kaleidoscopes

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Kaleidoscopes
Kaleidoscopes

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Kaleidoscopes
Kaleidoscopes

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Kaleidoscopes

Kaleidoscopes responds to post forest fire landscape of the Monterey Bay Area and ponders how to contextualize, read, and articulate the sudden blooms of life and growth encountered in the wake of a fire storm. 

 

Kaleidoscopes includes chinè colle etchings and text by Chelsea Herman. The text is handset in Romulus and printed letterpress on Rives and Somerset papers. The book is bound leporello style  as a dos-a-dos and covered in handmade abaca paper. Ash recovered from books burnt in the CZU Lightning Complex fire Cover are laminated within each sheet of cover paper. Edition limited to 8 copies, each signed and numbered. 2022.

700.00

Millie's Foil
Millie's Foil

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Millie's Foil
Millie's Foil

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Millie's Foil
Millie's Foil

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Millie's Foil
Millie's Foil

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Millie's Foil

Millie's Foil reflects on the recovery of generational knowledge and wisdom, and considers how these may simultaniously be protected, sabotaged, lost, transformed and recovered. Trees encountered in city scapes or isolated from the forests in which they evolved act as muses for this book.

Millie's Foil includes multi-plate etchings and a poem by Chelsea Herman. Etchings and trace transfers are printed on Rives paper. The text was set in Perpetua and printed letterpress. The book is bound with a Criss-Cross binding and includes an image of the artist's grandmother as a young woman. The edition is limited to 8 copies, each signed and numbered. 2022.

700.00

Chelsea Herman, Cypress, Artist’s Book, Cover Size: 12 1/4 X 8 3/4, 2013.

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Chelsea Herman, Cypress, Artist’s Book, Cover Size: 12 1/4 X 8 3/4, 2013.

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Chelsea Herman, Cypress, Artist’s Book, Cover Size: 12 1/4 X 8 3/4, 2013.

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Chelsea Herman, Cypress, Artist’s Book, Cover Size: 12 1/4 X 8 3/4, 2013.

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Cypress

Cypress responds to the long inhabited natural landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area and borrows its forms to explore what it means to be shaped by a distinctive environment, language, or tradition over time versus occupying a more transient existence in which innovation, mobility, and adapting to rapid change are central themes. 

 

Cypress includes chinè colle etchings and text by Chelsea Herman. The text is handset in Bembo and printed letterpress on Stonehenge paper. The book is bound leporello style and covered in hand painted paste paper. Cover size: 10 1/2" X 12 1/2," 2013. Edition limited to 15 copies, each signed and numbered.

700.00

Chelsea Herman, Empty Vessels, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 12" X 17," 2013.

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Chelsea Herman, Empty Vessels, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 12" X 17," 2013.

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Chelsea Herman, Empty Vessels, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 12" X 17," 2013.

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Chelsea Herman, Empty Vessels, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 12" X 17," 2013.

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Empty Vessels

Empty Vessels questions the changing visibility of nature in daily life, loss of shared language for describing the landscape and how mental, spiritual, and intellectual elements of identity depend on shared language for describing the natural world. 

Empty Vessels includes etchings and a poem by Chelsea Herman. Drypoints and spit bite etchings printed by hand on Gampi paper. The text was set in Centaur and Arrigi and printed letterpress. The edition is limited to 20 copies, each signed and numbered. Published in 2013 by FlightPath Press.

700.00

Chelsea Herman, Untitled Book I, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 10 3/4" X 13 1/2," 2011.

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Chelsea Herman, Untitled Book I, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 10 3/4" X 13 1/2," 2011.

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Chelsea Herman, Untitled Book I, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 10 3/4" X 13 1/2," 2011.

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Chelsea Herman, Untitled Book I, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 10 3/4" X 13 1/2," 2011.

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Untitled Book I

Untitled Book I reflects on how languages become distinctive over time depending on their context. This book combines visual, written, invented, and material languages through etchings, a poem, invented text, rubbings, and various kinds of paper. It explores how a mark, sound or material’s ability to convey specific meaning depends on its context. A mark that is evocative on a visceral level for some people may operate as an abstract symbol for others. Eventually, the same mark may become illegible, yet remain identifiable as a form of communication. This book questions how we recover forgotten knowledge or access highly specialized information.

Untitled Book I was created, printed and bound by Chelsea Laurel Herman in 2011. The colophon was set in Perpetua and printed letterpress. The etchings and rubbings were printed by hand on Reeves paper and Gampi infused with encaustic wax. Edition of 12.

700.00

Chelsea Herman and Angela Mele, Recall: e. T512694339A55309428, Artist’s Book, Cover Size 3 1/4" X 3 3/4," 2016.

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Chelsea Herman and Angela Mele, Recall: e. T512694339A55309428, Artist’s Book, Cover Size 3 1/4" X 3 3/4," 2016.

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Chelsea Herman and Angela Mele, Recall: e. T512694339A55309428, Artist’s Book, Cover Size 3 1/4" X 3 3/4," 2016.

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Chelsea Herman and Angela Mele, Recall: e. T512694339A55309428, Artist’s Book, Cover Size 3 1/4" X 3 3/4," 2016.

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Recall: e. T51269439A55309428

Recall: e. T51269439A55309428 was concieved as a collaboration between artists Angela Mele and Chelsea Herman to be part of entomologist Barrett Anthony Klein and artist Karen Anne Klein's project, The Cabinet of Insect Dreams. The Cabinet of Insect Dreams includes books by over thirty artists and writers that interpret and respond to the theme of insect dreams. Recall: e. T51269439A55309428 explores how human visions of the Western landscape might be stored in physical and archival remnants of the extinct Rocky Mountain Locust, Melanoplus spretus.

Recall: e. T51269439A55309428 includes pen and ink drawings by Angela Mele printed letterpress from photopolymer plates on Usu Kuchi paper and etchings by Chelsea Herman. The title was hand set in Venus Light Extended and printed letterpress. The Colophon was set in Athelas. The book is bound Japanese side stab and covered in hand painted Mulberry paper infused with encaustic wax. Recall: e. T51269439A55309428 was published by FlightPath Press in 2016. Pen and ink drawings printed letterpress from photopolymer plates © 2016 by Angela Mele. Etchings © 2016 by Chelsea Herman. 

Edition of forty copies, each signed and numbered.

200.00

Chelsea Herman, Copse, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 5 1/2" X 10." 2011

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Chelsea Herman, Copse, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 5 1/2" X 10." 2011

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Chelsea Herman, Copse, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 5 1/2" X 10." 2011

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Chelsea Herman, Copse, Artist's Book, Cover size when closed: 5 1/2" X 10." 2011

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Copse

Copse questions what must be discarded in order for intentional growth or expansion to take place. This book uses the viual metaphor of a thicket to explore the constant human need for deciding what to cut away, release, cover, sink, or bury and what to grasp, tie down, bind

or keep.

Copse was created printed and bound by Chelsea Herman in the Spring of 2011. 

It was hand set in Bembo and printed letterpress on Rives paper. The etchings were printed by hand. The book was coptic bound with wood covers. The Edition is limited to seven copies, each signed and numbered.

700.00

Chelsea Herman, Reclaim, Artist's Book. Cover size when closed: 7” X 8 ½,” 2010.

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Chelsea Herman, Reclaim, Artist's Book. Cover size when closed: 7” X 8 ½,” 2010.

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Chelsea Herman, Reclaim, Artist's Book. Cover size when closed: 7” X 8 ½,” 2010.

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Reclaim

Reclaim explores how details can be both miniscule parts of greater structures and provide insight into vastly complex worlds of information. Collaged bits of photo etchings, woodcuts, drawings and a found poem are combined within Leporello binding.

This book includes text and imagery by Chelsea Herman. The etchings and woodcuts were printed by hand, collaged and drawn on with ink. The poem was assembled from parts of Women’s Wear of the 1920’s: With Complete Patterns by Ruth S. Countryman and Elizabeth Weiss Hopper, Studio City, Players Press, 1998. The poem was set in Bauer Bodoni and printed letterpress on Stonehenge paper. Bound with paste paper. Edition of five. 2010.

Out of Print

Chelsea Herman, Read Fields, Artist's Book, Cover size: 9 ¼ “X 9 ¼,” 2009.

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Chelsea Herman, Read Fields, Artist's Book, Cover size: 9 ¼ “X 9 ¼,” 2009.

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Chelsea Herman, Read Fields, Artist's Book, Cover size: 9 ¼ “X 9 ¼,” 2009.

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Chelsea Herman, Read Fields, Artist's Book, Cover size: 9 ¼ “X 9 ¼,” 2009.

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Read Fields

Read Fields questions how the human creative process may be embedded within greater, concrete natural processes. Etchings of imagined, remembered, and dreamed landscapes overlay fractal-like salt and ink paintings.

Read Fields includes etchings, drypoints, and a poem by Chelsea Herman assembled from parts of Seeing Earth from Space by Patricia Lauber, New York, Orchard Books, 1990. The text is set in Cambria and printed letterpress on hand painted Stonehenge paper. Cover size: 9 ¼ “X 9 ¼,” 2009. Edition of five.

Out of Print