Thursday, May 24, 2012

Flying Car

John Silvis
(New York, NY)

John Silvis is a great promoter of artists, so he's a perfect fit for this eclectic collection in the Songs About Books gallery.  He's also a serious artist himself, but I like the very most playful take on this trade he sent: a car that seems to have suddenly decided to make its escape from the grip of gravity, and set a course for the sky. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lover's Repository

Lucy E.
(Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Lucy E. is a writer and a librarian who has been creating her own corner of the British Library for years.  Her trade will enable the handwork necessary to conserve a title in that library: Carvalho's Town and Country Valentine Writer, or Lover's RepositoryIt's a book designed to help the tongue-tied put words to their feelings in a love letter, so its a perfect fit with the love letters that form the heart of The Blind Contessa's New Machine.  And the book was published in 1820, so it's something Carolina and Turri might actually have read. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sea Glaze

Elicia B.
(Brooklyn, NY)

I wish I could marry you
I will buy Bat Trang bricks to build our house

These beautiful dishes were handmade in Vietnam, southeast of Hanoi, in Bat Trang village.  The fame of their ceramics, and especially their stunning glazes, has spread so far that it has actually seeped into the country's love poems, like the one above.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo Booth Spring

Liza L.S.
(Harper Woods, MI)
Liza L.S. has a great eye, so these prints are wonderful photographs in their own right, but the print style  reminds me of all kinds of other delights, from the stylized opening credits of 1960s spy caper movies, to the collections of matched prints that used to spool out of old-fashioned photo booths -- as if Liza had somehow managed to convince one of these beautiful spring days to step into the photo boot for a moment with her. 

Friday, May 11, 2012


Linda A.
(North Wales, PA)
Linda A. draws these incredible designs freehand, although her hand has the precision of a fine machine.  They started out as meditations, because each takes hours to complete, and she gives them to friends on the occasion of weddings and other celebrations -- like a new book starting to make its way in the world.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Two Whale Woodblock

Chris E.-B.
(New York, NY)
This beautiful block print of two whales, An Ocean's Call, is Chris's first attempt at print-making.  The number on the print is incredibly low: number two, out of two.  And it's accurate -- the block broke just after this print was made, so it's one of only two in the world.  I especially love the sense of tenderness between the parent and child, and the way the larger whale's tail breaks as it breaks the surface of the water.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

True Love

Christy T.
(Seattle, WA)

Christy found the typewriter keys to make this bracelet at a magical booth in a Seattle-area flea market, and instead of choosing them at random, spelled out a message.  I love the punctuation she chose in between, the imperfections in the keys, and the irregular pattern, which means your eye can go over and over it and settle on something different each time. When I wear it, the keys work as a kind of rosary, to help me count off my thoughts and worries and dreams.