Philadelphia: Alice Austin, 2018. Special edition with unique hand-made wooden box. Number 7 of 15 copies. This piece was produced in 3 different versions: the deluxe edition (1-6) is now sold out; the special edition (7-11) is issued in unique wooden boxes with specimens; and the regular edition (12-15) is the book only. In this elaborate work comprised of a hand-printed book, a collection of specimens, and hand-made box, Austin memorializes her walks along the shores of the ocean through poetry and lino-cuts. Her verse describes creatures encountered and beaches traversed. The supporting lino-cut illustrations depict an array of shells, horseshoe crab, and more. Physical specimens of most of the items illustrated are included in the accompanying box.
The accordion book is bound in Twin Rocker hand-made grey paper wrappers with black title and blue lino-cut scallop shells to the front panel. It is letterpress printed in Cheltenham Italic type on Somerset paper. Housed in a custom made unique cherry wood box with legs, with a vintage type drawer incorporated. The box was hand-made by Wilfredo Rodriquez of Philadelphia. It contains multiple compartments within, which hold treasures from the ocean including: a dog whelk, slipper snail, beach glass, periwinkle (Maine); moon snail, scallop, horseshoe crab tail (New Jersey); fishing float fragment, limpet (Ireland); an origami boat and a booklet listing the contents - both created by the artist.
Alice Austin is a printmaker, book artist and painter living and working in Philadelphia. She has been on the faculty at the University of the Arts, teaching book structures, and has also taught workshops at the Center for Book Arts in New York, Ballinglen Foundation in Ireland, The Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, and other institutions. She earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art and has been an active member of the Guild of Book Workers since 1998. She worked as a rare book and paper conservator for over 20 years at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Alice has also been awarded several artist residencies in Europe, and her work is widely held in private, public and special collections worldwide.Book Size: 8.5 x 9.5 x 1 inches. Box size: 12.5 x 12.75 x 3.5 inches. Fine.