A-Z Alphabet Book

Hello, Friends! I have been wanting to do this for a while now but didn’t have the platform to do so until I started this blog.

During my last year of college at UC Santa Cruz, I found myself alone in a new city and surrounded by students who were ten years younger than me. I was lonely and anxious to find somewhere where I could feel as though I belonged. On a whim, I decided to enroll in an introductory bookmaking course held in the Cowell Press. After my first day, I knew I had found my people. The professor Gary was one of the warmest and most welcoming professors I have ever had the pleasure of studying under. He made me feel like part of the family immediately. And, my fellow student did the same. We became a little family, dressed in ink-stained aprons, who shared a cramped, wooden garage, surrounded by cheerful music, antique presses, shared mugs full of coffee, and laughter — lots of laughter. And, it was exactly what I needed. I found myself staying late after every class so I could finish one project or another, volunteering to help with miscellaneous tasks, or lingering to help a fellow classmate. I often locked up the press at the end of the day, after having lost myself in hours of solitary printing only to feel like it was too soon. I was enamored by the printmaking of course, but beyond that, I was so grateful to have a place that felt like home in a world that felt so foreign. During this time, my husband and I were living apart (he in Minnesota, me in Santa Cruz), and it was extremely difficult. I craved the companionship of my fellow printers, the tactile work of setting type, arranging paper, and rolling out the ink. I got good at the work, and that gave me a boost of self-confidence — something I dearly needed at the time. The press was a bit of a savior for me, and I don’t know what that year would have looked like without it.

Among the body of work that I created in the press, including broadsides, magic books, and linocuts, I also created an alphabet book. It took me two academic quarters to finish, and countless hours of planning, cutting paper, setting individual letters and images, printing (and re-printing), and assembling to create. The finished editions are some of the work that I accomplished at UC Santa Cruz that I am the proudest of. The book represents so much more than the hard work and dedication that the physical act of creating it demanded. It represents a piece of time in my life that I cherish. And, I would like to share that with a few of you!

I made fifteen of these editions, plus one more in a gray binding, which I will not be selling. These editions are meant to be shared, and my original plan was in fact to sell most of them. But, immediately after finishing the project I realized that I was going to need some time before I was willing to part with any of them. I think that time is now. I should also mention that this book was the winner of the Cowell Press Prize, which was judged based on excellence in printing or book art production.

I am selling three of these editions for $100 each. Each edition is handset, hand-printed, and hand-assembled by myself. They are also each signed and numbered.

If you find yourself interested and would like to see some more pictures, descriptions, etc., please message me via the contact page on this blog. I would be thrilled and honored if any of these editions were to find their way onto your shelf. Cheers!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. This is an exquisite piece of art! Inspiring…


    1. Rachel says:

      Thank you, darling!


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