Amelia Bird ~ Louisiana

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WSW: "Originally from Florida, Amelia earned her first degree in environmental science. She then went to Iowa City where she earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and also completed the Certificate Program in Book Arts. Amelia now lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana where she is a founding member of Baskerville, a letterpress and book arts collective that offers education, special events and studio access to the community."

Diary of Days
By Amelia Bird
Iowa City, Iowa: Amelia Bird, 2010. Edition of 25.

6.125 x 9"; 12 pages. Pamphlet binding with decorative sewing. Sandra-graph and linoleum images. Handwriting printed from photopolymer plates. Text hand-set Baskerville type on Mohawk Superfine. Bound in flax UICB Case Paper covers.

Introduction: "At an auction where the belongings of the dead are bid on by people with numbers sticking out of their overall pockets, on a table brimming with strings of Christmas lights, empty picture frames, a broken tape dispenser, and a box of highway maps, I found an old notebook with no cover, filled front to back with handwriting, and for a dollar it was mine. The book spans fourteen years - it's a diary of days - and though I don't know who wrote it, I now carry it with me everywhere. Each entry is only a few words, but the diary is by no means scant. Rather, here is nothing less than everything a woman did, just the way she wanted it documented, perfectly understated, a kind of domestic code. When I'm feeling quiet I open the diary and listen."

Amelia Bird: "With text compiled from the diary of an Iowa farmwife, this book explores the narratives projected on found objects and the nostalgia that still exists for Midwestern farm life. Found at a property auction, the diary contains 14 years of a woman’s life—from 1939 to 1953—in brief entries. A Diary of Days pulls poetry from these entries, finding themes and beauty in her domestic language. Direct excerpts of the diary in the form of images of the woman’s handwriting are printed alongside the culled text. As A Diary of Days progresses, the handwriting seems to become erased by time or overshadowed by the imposed narrative of the modern-day reader."
$60 (Last 2 Copies)

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By Amelia Bird
Iowa City, Iowa: Amelia Bird, 2010. Edition of 25.

6.25 x 10.75"; 12 pages. Pamphlet structure. Text hand-set in metal Joanna type. Illustrated with hand-painted sumi and india ink on partially-waxed Japanese paper. Enclosed in a cloth Japanese Portfolio with embossed title.
Essay by the artist about her brother.

Amelia Bird: "The short text in Holes is about my younger brother’s relationship with digging holes in our yard when he was a child. My brother’s holes, like many youthful games, start out as innocent experiments, but end up being repurposed in ways he never could’ve anticipated and they give insight to what kind of man he will become. Visually, the way the text, wax, and ink move down the page, accumulating weight from behind as the story progresses, mirror both the act of digging a hole and the gathering of experience that can occur in our own backyards."

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Amelia Bird Out of Print Title:  
Walden Marginalia;
or, The Contents of a Dozen Shanties
By Amelia R. Bird
Rosendale, New York: Women's Studio Workshop, 2012.
Edition of 50.

6 x 9.5"; 80 pages. Letterpress printed from relief blocks and photopolymer plates on Zerkall Book vellum paper. Types are hand-set Bodoni and Scotch Roman, the closest approximations to those used in first edition of Walden (1854). Casebound.

Amelia Bird: "Walden Marginalia; or, The Contents of a Dozen Shanties is an examination of margin notes in twelve copies of Thoreau's Walden found in various libraries across the country. By withholding the original text to focus solely on the marks of past readers, Walden Marginalia turns the same kind of close attention Thoreau inspired in his readers onto the readers themselves. The text that accompanies the images of marginalia has the tone of a personal essay and serves as a commentary on the reading habits of strangers, assumptions about nature writing and learning, and the lingering effects of Thoreau’s classic work."

Colophon: "All marginalia … were rendered in the artist's hand, conformed to the dimensions of the first edition of Walden, and printed from photopolymer plats on the Vandercook No. 3."

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Letterpress Erasure
By Amelia Bird
Iowa City, Iowa: Amelia Bird, 2011. Edition of 20.

11.5 x 7.25”; 12 leaves. Types are Bembo. Printed on a Vandercook proof press. Various image making methods: pressure printing, blind embossing, reduction linoleum, various relief surfaces, and photopolymer plates. Paper case binding with Biblio paper, Hahnemühle Ingres Antique paper covers, and Bamboo paper cover stiffeners.

Colophon: “A found block of standing type – incidentally, a page of Laurence Lafore's essay In the Sticks, which appeared in Harper's in 1971 – was erased on a Vandercook SP-15 with metal type, photopolymer plates, wires, scrim, and linoleum cuts.”

Amelia Bird: “Letterpress Erasure utilizes the process of letterpress printing to erase an existing text. On each page, a single block of type has been erased on the press by one of several reductive or additive methods. The visuals of this artist’s book are a tour of color and technique; the text is a commentary on the erasure poetics movement and erasure a creative, destructive, and collaborative act.”

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Page last update: 04.26.18


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