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Rhiannon Alpers ~ Colorado
(Gazelle and Goat Press)

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About: "Rhiannon Alpers, has an MFA in Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in Book Arts from UC Santa Barbara, College of Creative Studies. She is a papermaker, letterpress printer and book artist.”

Finding Her Place
Jeanne Baret: The Woman Behind the Naturalist
By Rhiannon Alpers
San Francisco, California: Gazelle & Goat Press, 2018. Edition of 40.

9.5 x 8.75"; 8 sections. Removable magnetic spine binding opens completely back-to-back. Digitally produced specimen chart hidden within. Hahnemuhle Bugra Fawn folio maps letterpress printed from polymer plates, adapted from French expedition maps from the published logs “Voyage Autour du Monde par la Frégate du rio la Boudeuse et la Fluté L’Etoile,” with thanks to the Internet Archive for their digital copy of the book. Crane’s Lettra Ecru 90lb specimen folios letterpress printed from linoleum blocks and polymer plates. Plant outlines laser cut and secured with Japanese tissue. Laser cut specimens adapted from the original plant specimens collected by Commerson and Baret on the expedition, archived in the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Interleaved vellum sheets with macro photography by the artist laser printed on Neenah UV Ultra II. Spine bound with Gmund Bier Paper Accordion (made with brewer's spent grain). Signed and numbered by the artist.

Rhiannon Alpers: "When Jeanne Baret stepped on-board the Etoile ship in 1766, she didn’t set out to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. Alongside her colleague, accomplice and lover, Philibert Commerson, she took on many roles during the expedition as a botanist, herb woman, nurse, and cataloger of the more than 630 specimens they brought aboard.

"This limited edition artist book traces the expedition of the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, through the lens of the botanical discoveries she made along the ship’s journey. Jeanne Baret was not able to document the expedition herself, due to the forbidden nature of her passage on this journey, but her legacy has inspired many, and spurred the creation of this book."

Finding Her Place book
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Rhiannon Alpers SOLD / Out of Print Titles:  

By Rhiannon Alpers
San Francisco, California: Gazelle & Goat Press, 2019. Edition of 6 + 2 AP.

19 x 14 x 15 cm book with two compartments for objects. Foldable case. Handmade paper. Printed letterpress. Two tray compartment box with handmade bookcloth of dupioni silk in midnight purple and rust. Abaca cocoon sculpture nested in one tray. Accordion book in other compartment. Numbered and signed by the artist.

Rhiannon Alpers: "'Dwellings' investigates the imagined, built, and mended spaces we inhabit for our emotional safety. We as humans can’t dwell where we haven’t been. Conceptually speaking, our own dwellings (both spatially and mentally) change as we navigate our surroundings in the life cycle.

"This book attempts to materialize the personal process of creating a 'dwelling' to capture moments in time (both spatially and mentally). Deriving inspiration from natural seed pods, animal metamorphosis casings, and hummingbird nests the sculptural handmade paper pods were formed with wet sheets and either stitched with synthetic sinew if needed or left as they formed. The pods are purposefully small imperfect spaces with crevices fissures and multiple openings.

"Each book/box within varied edition book contains unique handmade paper abaca pod in the box structure. The multi-panel unfurling two tray compartment box is made of handmade dupioni silk bookcloth in midnight purple and rust, created by the artist. Both the compartments hinged trays open, one to reveal a nested cocoon sculpture made of over-beaten abaca nested and the other side to reveal a book cover containing letterpress panel poem, a colophon, and a loose over-beaten abaca accordion sculptural book in the other.

"The handmade paper, letterpress printed poem, and multi-panel box were created by Rhiannon Alpers. Quote inclusion by Susan Brind Morrow."

Excerpt from "The Names of Things" by Susan Brind Morrow.
      Words begin as description.
      They are prismatic,      
      vehicles of hidden,
      deeper shades of thought.
      You can hold them up at different angles until the light bursts through
      in an unexpected color.

Susan Brind Morrow, wikipedia 7/30/2021: "(born 1958) is an American author and poet. Morrow was born in Geneva, New York and attended Barnard College and Columbia University. Her first book, The Names of Things: A Passage in the Egyptian Desert, is 'travel writing and memoir threaded through with musings on the origins of words' which Annette Kobak says 'manages to unlock a sense of the awe and poetry our most ancient ancestors must have felt in naming things for the first time'."
(SOLD/Out of Print)

Dwellings book
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A Thousand Starlings
By Rhiannon Alpers
San Francisco, California: Gazelle & Goat Press, 2016. Edition of 30.

5.5 x 7.25"; 20 pages. Flutter accordion construction. Written, illustrated, and printed by Rhiannon Alpers. Letterpress printed with photopolymer plates and monotype, with an under layer of hand painted stars beneath, on Somerset Velvet Black. The endsheets are Fabriano Tiziano Anthracite and bound in Asahi Grey Crepe bookcloth. Foil stamped birds and title. Secret Belgian binding with Italian film yarn. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Rhiannon Alpers: "The book explores an imagined journey, being carried through the comfort of one’s dreams. A journey guided by a murmuration of a thousand starlings, undulating and wisping through the evening sky, their soft voices calming and cooing as they head into the unknown.

"Metaphors abound in this book. The support system of family and friends manifests in the starlings, and the twilight evokes a sense of comfort and stability amidst the unknown. The many threads pulling the dreamer along in this world are the guiding voices that safely and carefully show us our way. When we steer off course they gently nudge us and support us as we explore an unknown route. Murmurations themselves have an astonishing and dreamlike effect. Their immense rhythm and flow symbolizes the thin line between the dream and day.

"Much of the symbolism also stems from the author’s rekindled interest in the long tradition of fables, passed on in her new nightly rituals of telling stories to small ears and eager eyes in the low light of the evening. It is in these final hours that our day fades away and our imagination is carried off to many wondrous places. "
(SOLD/Out of Print)

A Thousand Starlings book
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Page last update: 04.04.2022


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