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Africa’s Children

Williams, Thomas Parker; Williams, Mary Agnes Tight, bright, and unmarred. Limp patterned cloth binding, circular die cut; black paper slipcase with pattered cloth closures and edges, text in colors and printed on mounted circles; housed in a wooden drum, goatskin drum head, wire frame with cord (for tuning), hinged base. Book 7" in diameter, box 8.5" in diameter. np. Illus. (b/w plates). Numbered limited edition, this being 2 of 3. Signed by the artists. "Africa's Children is a personal view about music, based on the rhythms of the drum, that evolved from the African diaspora. Blues, Jazz and Funk are American forms; the music of Cuba combines African and Spanish roots." [artist statement] Concept, design, illustrations, binding, drum fabrication and printing by Thomas Parker Williams. Concept, text, hand typesetting and printing by Mary Agnes Williams. B 6 gravures from original drawings by the artist, 5 mounted as volvelles; hand-set letterpress text; wax-printed African cloth covers. "First, thin plywood was soaked in water and bent around a form. Then the four sections were glued together. Tuning rings were formed from wire and soldered. The goatskin head was soaked and formed around the interior ring. The exterior ring has eyelets soldered to it to pass the tuning cord through it as well as the eyelets on the bottom of the drum. The drum is then tuned in the African way by pulling the cords tight." The drum is, not surprisingly, playable. [artist statement]

2002-2003: Miquel Barceló

Barceló, Miquel Tight, bright, and unmarred. Red cloth binding, paper onlay, gatefold dos-á-dos binding, color printed onlay lables, color printed endpages, mixed media, techniques include typographic print, chromolithography, phototype, helioprint, plates and prints using a selection of colours for the prints from original digital sources; matching archival case. 8vo. np. Illus. (color and b/w plates). Limited edition of 99 copies and 5 hors commerce copies. Signed by the artist. 2002-2003. Miquel Barceló The artist’s handwritten pages have been transcribed under the supervision of José Díaz for printing at the Atelier du Livre d’Art et de l’Estampe at the Imprimerie Nationale. The manual typesetting consists of placing the letters one by one in a drawer, creating the printing layout line by line. Making a typographic cliché implies an original document that is photographed or scanned at a certain scale, obtaining a negative from the clichés that are created in relief on a magnesium plate. The printing entails transferring the characters and illustrations arranged on the metal plate onto paper. The print run and the number of prints per page are agreed by the artist and editor, and the resulting plates are later destroyed, ensuring no more copies can be made. To ensure print quality, images and watercolours are scanned from an original in a high-quality file (1440 dpi). After touch-up work, the files are converted to tiff format and are printed in four colours, with colour fidelity to the original. The inks used are based on ultrachrome pigment (a coloured liquid composed of minerals) to guarantee the stability and longevity of the prints on suitable quality paper. Handmade sheets of paper (with an output of 80 pages per day) are made of cotton linen using a pH-neutral glue at the factory of the Capellades Paper Mill Museum, under the supervision of Victoria Rabal. This book combines the computer processing of colour technology and the quality of traditional typographical machines at the Atelier du Livre d’Art et de l’Estampe at the Imprimerie Nationale, directed by Christian Jourdain.

Cooked Pig [artist book]

Grossman, C.J. Bright and unmarred. Mixed media/collage, includes miniature rolling pin, chain, laminated cut leaves. A brutal tale of revenge disguised as an innocent folksy recipe book.C.J. Grossman is a Berkeley-based book artist, teacher, & activist. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions and library collections, including Women of the Book and Under The Wings of Artemis. "At first glance, C.J. Grossman’s Cooked Pig appears to be a hand-crafted cookbook, created with collaged vintage imagery and a recipe for chocolate custard ice cream. A doll-sized rolling pin that serves as the spine for the book and embellishments such as the decorative scalloped edges lend the book a loving-hands-at-home quality. With a second look, a dual – and darker – story emerges. Juxtaposed against the stereotypical images of a happy housewife, a seductive 1920’s-era vamp and the archetypal whipped cream-topped chocolate dessert in a tulip sundae glass, Grossman has placed text that speaks of disappointed marital expectations that turn ultimately to spousal abuse.This spread is captioned, "She tried to be a perfect wife in every way." Additional text, which appears to have been cut from magazines or newspapers, includes cooking terms that come to have sinister connotations: "whip," "break" and "yield." As things move along, the double meanings multiply, wedding the humorous to the disquieting in both imagery and narrative. The tale accelerates as the woman, who really does try hard to be an ideal wife, is beaten by her husband for no reason. In the end, the battered wife retaliates, using her culinary skills in the process. She concocts a poisoned cake that kills her husband.Like Medea, Grossman’s heroine took revenge for being wronged by her husband. And, like the avenging wife in Cooked Pig, Medea, in her all-consuming love for Jason, tried to be the perfect wife, helping him obtain the Golden Fleece and aiding him in his escape. When Jason found a more desirable wife, Medea’s corrosive anger exacted an extreme retribution: she killed their children in a shockingly bitter act of revenge. Meanwhile, Grossman ends her tale of domestic misery in sweet revenge. As she writes, "She and the kids live happily ever after!"" [exhibition catalogue, The Wings of Artemis]