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MKimberly Press ~ Washington
(Mare Blocker)

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Mare Blocker self-pic Mare Blocker: "In 1979, I made my first trip to the Special Collections Library at the University of Washington, which literally, changed the pathway of my life. I realized that one form, the book, could encompass my interdisciplinary passions."

Sandra Kroupa, University of Washington, Marearcana Catalog 1999: "Her visual narrative style is populated by saints and martyrs, friends and family, and a range of animals and insects that look like people I know. … Dramatic relief prints and drawings and paintings constitute much of her work, sometimes in stark black and white, other times as a wildly colorful display. … Mare is first and foremost a storyteller … Her stories, which often sound like fantasy, come from her ability to take the lives we see all around us and focus on them in a way that can be humorous, tender and biting. The books are charming and disturbing at the same time."

One of a kind books by Mare Blocker  
Collected Verse

By Mare Blocker
Seattle, Washington: MKimberly Press, 2014-15. Edition of 31.

5 x 7.25"; 62 pages including pastedowns. Carved linoleum. Ink and paper. Bound in shirt-cloth covered boards with exposed stab binding. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Mare Blocker: "I started working on this book in 2011, and the nascent idea was a commonplace book. I collected little slogans and bits of poetry to include in the book. I cut a few of them in linoleum. Life happens, things change and my project changed forms too. Those first blocks didn't seem appropriate anymore, but they'll appear later in a different project. I love the word phant'sy. It's the archaic form of fantasy, and as a story teller I try to follow my own curiosities and fancies.

"The book now chronicles my journey of the loss of several family members, celebrations of life, the birth of two new family members, and the garden I inherited. Many of our verses are collected in one vessel. The majority of images are linoleum cuts, there are some collages and letterpress text. I wrote the poems, except for the piece from Walt Whitman. The book is bound in my father's shirts."

Collected Verse book
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Walla Walla Next 7 Exits
By Mare Blocker & Elena Mitchel
Walla Walla, Washington: MKimberly Press, 2009. Edition of 50.

6 x 9.5"; 108 pages. Letterpress printed on Rives BFK paper. Linocuts. Bound in brown cloth with embossed design on back cover. Illustrated pastedowns and free end pages.

"Crafting a work of art," Whitman Magazine (December 2010): "Blocker and Elena Mitchel ’10 — a 'super talented' art major — collaborated to create book art. They took photographs and then, carving for hours, turned those scenes into linoleum blocks that were made into 48 prints of life in Walla Walla: faces of farmers who sell produce at the farmers’ market, a special take-out box from a bakery, a spilled glass of wine.

"It’s the kind of collaboration Whitman wants for its students: The student’s ideas and approaches mix with the instructor’s. Blocker believes such collaboration strengthens flexibility skills — pre-conceived notions change as 'everyone’s voice is weighed."

Mare Blocker, October 2010: "[A book of] linoleum blocks of scenes and people in Walla Walla. There are more than 60 prints in the book, and it is sewn on linen tapes and bound in a cloth-covered case. Elena Mitchel ’10 and I each carved prints for the book and collaborated on the images, collation and the content. I printed and I am in the process of binding the entire edition."

With wit and insight, the linocuts present a mosaic of faces and places of the community of and around Walla Walla, Washington. The page after the title page is a series of highway signs: "Caution No Warning Signs Next 93 Pages." The colophon information is printed on tombstones of a linocut of the local Mountain View Cemetery.
Walla Walla Next 7 Exits book
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Giant Child Manifesto
By Miss Pixiemayhem aka Mrs White aka Mare Blocker
McCall, Idaho, and Walla Walla, Washington: MKimberly Press, 2007. Edition of 40.

5x7"; 28 pages including free-end page. Exposed handsewn binding. Photopolymer relief plates: handcut stencil type negatives developed in sun and kitchen sink. Handcoloring, collaged bits taken from Whitman College Book Arts class recycle bins. Shiny objects in envelope are found objects from artist's walks. Frontispiece page consists of sewn pieces from watercolors by Buzz Smith.

Words of advice about life from the artist to a friend who is concerned about being an adult and getting a job (e.g. Must I conform?)

"Live a charmed Life. Do what has heart and meaning to you. If a little glitter is good a lot is better...."

Giant Child Manifesto book
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By Mare Blocker
McCall, Idaho: 2005. Edition of 40.

6 x 9", 20 pages. Laid in letter-fold wrapper with paper hand-sewn at edges. Closure paper tab hand sewn to wrapper. Relief printed on magnani incisioni paper.

Mare Blocker: "The plates are photopolymer from the pen and ink drawings I did of the soil monoliths in the Maynard Fosberg Soil Monolith Collection at the University of Idaho. Soil monoliths are mounted soil samples that range in length from 2' to about 10' depending on the type and stability of the soil. The pages are sewn together in couplets, using what I call the baseball stitch, then I link the couplets together at the spine. I wanted the stitching to look like sutures. This series is an exploration of the philosophy of phenomenology and how things reveal themselves to us as we are working."

Alluvium book
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Dance of Death
By Mare Blocker
Ames Lake: M Kimberly Press, 1991. Edition of 150.

4.75 x 7.5”; 11 unnumbered pages. Linoleum cuts. Text in Times New Roman. Printed on Rives BFK and Folio. Accordion folded pages pasted to one end of paper wrapper. Title letterpress printed on front. Signed and numbered by the artist. Inscribed to Chris Stern on the colophon.

Colophon: "This book, illustrated in the tradition of Hans Holbein the Younger whose woodcuts have been a great source of inspiration, was printed on the occasion of The M Kimberly Press' Seventh Anniversary." The last lino cut image portrays the artist as a medieval scribe.

www.danceofdeath.ingo: “The central message or meaning of the dance of death is that this world is temporary and any worldly riches or power that you may accumulate will all disappear, because death always wins. … The dance of death originated as an actual dance, a form of morality play, that would be staged in medieval villages throughout France and Germany in which persons dressed as the Grim Reaper would dance with people representing various elements of medieval society, such as priests or noblemen, and lead then to their doom. The idea was to show that it did not matter what your station in life was, death was the great leveler.”

Blocker’s lino cuts show Death lurking in the shadows giving voice to the brief introductory story of a poor man who says to Death when he knocks on his door "You do not honor the rich or the poor, the old or the young, the beautiful or ugly. To you all are the same."

Dance of Death book
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Mystery Girls' Circus & College of Conundrum: Route Book
Season of 1991

Compiled by Katherine Dunn & Mare Blocker
Ames Lake, Portland, Washington D.C.: M Kimberly Press, 1991. Edition of 125.

6 x 9”; 56 unnumbered pages. Illustrated and bound by Mare Blocker. Text by Mare Blocker and Katherine Dunn. Color linoleum and magnesium cuts illustrations representing circus performers. Fold out color lithograph of performing lions and tigers printed at Ink on Paper. Two die-cut pages in the shape of animal heads. Type, linoleum and magnesium cuts printed and bound at M Kimberly Press. Numbered on the last three digits of the pink ticket on the colophon page. Case bound with brown and black cloth-covered boards with blue foil stamping on front cover. Hollow-back binding. Pages pamphlet bound with white thread. Illustrated endpapers. Inscribed to “Flying Fingers” (Chris Stern) by Mare Blocker.

This book was published in an edition of one hundred and twenty-five copies for the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), selected by the NMWA Library Fellows as a winner for the 1991 Artists' Book competition.

SMOA: "Passionate about storytelling and its role in examining and archiving, this artist's book was inspired by circus route books popular in America at the turn of the century. The book chronicles the exploits of an imaginary circus during its spring/summer season. "
$1,500 (One copy available)

Mystery Girls' Circus book
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Separated at Birth
A Strange Tale of Sharp Things,
Dark Things, Curiosity & Love
Told in Woodcuts and Text
By Mare Blocker, Chris Stern
[Seattle, Washington]: M Kimberly Press, 1989. Edition of 35.

6.5 x 9.5"; 32 pages including pastedowns and free end pages. Accordion structure. Printed on one side. Ten woodcuts in color. Printed on Rives Heavyweight in Times New Roman and Futura types. Bound in dark beige cloth with title in red on front cover. Numbered. Signed by Blocker and Stern on the colophon.

Preface: "This book was modeled after the popular Victorian parlor game, the 'Exquisite Corpse'. It was played by a number of people, each drawing one segment of a 'corpse' on an accordion-folded piece of paper. Each segment was drawn without seeing the rest of the corpse. That was how we wrote and illustrated this book. One of us wrote a paragraph and sent a sentence to the other, which then became the first sentence of their paragraph. The story progressed and her unfolds."
$500 (Two copies available)

Separated at Birth book
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The M Kimberly Almanac &
Type Specimen book

By Mare Blocker
Ames Lake: M Kimberly Press, 1988. Edition of 88.

5 x 8.5"; 26 pages. Letterpress printed on Ragston paper, with an Astrolux dust jacket cover. Lino cuts. Sewn binding. Signed and numbered by the artist. Near fine, spine slightly bent.

Letterpress printed specimen book to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the M. Kimberly Press.

A fun Type Specimen book that pairs the Type with guides to things such as poisons. Cameo type is paired with poisons. Skulls are printed with the names of poisons underneath each - snake venom, puffer fish, datura, tobacco, nux vomica, foxglove, hemlock, draino. Additional types and guides are News Gothic /Spontaneous Combustion; Barnum / Spotted Animals; Stymie Outline / Slug Extermination; and so on.

The M Kimberly Almanac and Type Specimen book
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By Mare Blocker
1986. Edition of 30.

6 x 6" Signed and numbered. Seven multicolor linoleum prints bound into a concertina with cloth covered case binding and Suminagashi end sheets.


Eden book
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By Mare Blocker
New York: 2001. Edition of 50.

11" x 11"Case bound concertina, lidded clamshell box. Multiple color linoleum blocks and type printed on Magnani Pescia. Round shaped, case bound concertina. Printed Iris cloth on both book covers and clamshell box. Includes unique plate glazed in the style of Majolica Pottery.

Explores how the design of Majolica pottery changed with the invention of the printing press. Istoriato, story painting, began when potters started to copy prints of masterworks.

Istoriato book
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By Mare Blocker
Jerome, Arizona: 1997. Edition of 135.

5.25 X 7.5" 20 pages. A multiple color linoleum block printed accordion book, case bound in black cloth. Signed and numbered by the artist.

This grimoire, drawn from the tradition of the Clavicle of King Solomon, explores the fundamentals of alchemy, faith and magic.

Clavicle book
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Blood on Blood
By Mare Blocker
Jerome, Arizona: M Kimberly Press, 1999. Edition of 100.

7.5 x 10"; 23 single sided pages. Twenty linoleum block illustrated short stories. Illustrations tipped on to black acid-free "memory book" pages with photo corners, album-style. Text printed with silver ink and Century Schoolbook type. Illustrations printed on Magnani Pescia paper. Reassembled spiral bound 'memory book' (purchased, disbound, printed and reassembled). Signed and numbered by the artist.

Mare Blocker, Colophon: "I have always loved to tell stories. This book celebrates twenty years of mining my loved ones for material for my work. Quite simply, thanks to my sixty-three first cousins, my bazillion other cousins, my friends, and of course my immediate family. "

We all have family stories and even maybe weird relatives. Blocker sets down twenty remembrances of family history illustrated with her whimsical art. Stories range from hunting frogs, planting watermelons and stinging bees to flying off the roof of the garage.


Blood on Blood book
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Proverbs of Hell

By William Blake
Jerome, Arizona: MKimberly Press, 2000. Edition of 17.

6 x 9"; 14 pages including pastedowns. Accordion. Linoleum blocks printed on Magnani Incisoni paper. Single leaves sewn to a red ribbon, prayer flag-style. Black cloth-covered boards with paper title tipped on front board.

Blake's text has been interpreted in many ways. Blocker's is a simple printing of some of his proverbs' over red and yellow flames of fire. She doesn't comment on the proverbs but does ask on the opening page "Hell's Proverbs or Words to Live By?" Then, after 12 pages of Blake's exhortations, she ends with "Enough! or Too much."


Proverbs of Hell book
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[Artists' Party Games]
By Mare Blocker
Jerome, Arizona: M Kimberly Press, 1995. Edition of 50.

7.75 x 7.375"; 6 illustrated pages. Accordion structure. Printed on Magnani Incisioni papers. Hand-colored linocuts with 4 printed on an accordion folded paper strip of 4 panels. Pasteborad covers mounted on back of first and last panels. Two remaining linocuts mounted on outside covers. Colophon printed on verso. Signed and numbered by the artist.

This Mare Blocker book is a collection of block-printed humorous party games satirizing artists. The six 'party games' are "Pin the Ear on Van Gogh", "Spin the Squeeze Bottle with Jackson", "Frida's Archery Set", "Dot to dot Seurat", and "Horseshoes a la der Blaue Reiter".

[Artists' Party Games] book
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One of a kind work by Mare Blocker  

Paradise Lost
By Mare Blocker
McCall, Idaho: M Kimberly Press, 2003. One-of-a-Kind.

5 x 8"; 6 pages. Accordion structure. 8 hand-colored illustrations, acrylic ink on paper. 4 illustrations on accordion fold, two as pastedowns and two on pasteboard covers. Laid in a lipped clamshell box. Signed and dated by the artist.

"Paradise Lost" was drawn during war talk of winter 2003.

Mare Blocker [2003]: "A book about what our President is trying to feed us. Birds are the characters in the book and instead of feeding them worms, Bush (a vulture like bird) is trying to feed the other birds thread."

Mare Blocker [2020]: "George W and yet, so appropriate even now … or maybe especially now."


Paradise Lost book
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Purgatory: The Soul Alone
By Mare Blocker
Arizona: MKimberly Press, 1999. One-of-a-Kind.

5 x 8"; 3 double-page illustrations. Two-layer spreads with cut out scenes. Acrylic ink on paper. Boards covered in the same background illustration. Title hand scripted on front board. Housed in a cloth-covered lipped clamshell box.

William Blake's influence can be seen in Blocker's work. Her editioned work includes Proverbs of Hell. This is a unique piece depicting three scenes of purgatory: love, hell, heartburn.

Purgatory: The Soul Alone book
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MKimberly Press Out of Print Title:

A Bird's Eye View
By Mare Blocker
McCall, Idaho: 2004. One-of-a-Kind.

4.375 x 5.875 x 1.5". 32 pages. Recycled papers, silk, thread, and ribbon.

Abstract, obsessive, and wonderful: stitchery, color, design, and the artist's peculiar angle of vision.

Mare Blocker: "Map and nest - a young bird's primer on how to be a big bird and find food."

A Bird's Eye View book
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Madame La Mare's Mystic Cards of Fortune
By Mare Blocker
1995. Edition of 200.

3.5 x 5" Signed and numbered. A Fortune telling oracle consisting of 25 cards and an instruction sheet. The cards are two color linoleum blocks, printed on the French Paper Mill's Packing Carton. Instructions are offset printed on red.

These cards of fortune were divined by Madame Mare Blocker with the assistance of her familiar 'El Maqdee,' the one whose true name should not be spoken. To use the cards the person whose fortune is being told, should shuffle the cards seven times and cut them with their left hand. The Fortune Teller should then lay the cards out in a diamond pattern (illustrated in the instruction sheet), starting from the top down and moving from left to right. The person who wishes to have their fortune told is represented by 24 for a woman, or 25 for a man. These cards are the starting point for the reading, as all the other cards revolve around and take their meaning from these, depending on their positions. Have fun!

Madame La Mare's Mystic Cards of Fortune book
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the 700 block sidewalk: boyer avenue
By Mare Blocker
McCall, Idaho: MKimberly Press, 2004. One-of-a-Kind.

7 x 10"; 6 pages including pastedowns. Accordion. Materials: silk, paper, cotton, digital photos. Collage. Stitching including embroidery. Cloth covered boards with embossing. Laid in paper covered clamshell box with cloth spine. Elements of collage on interior box papers.

Blocker started making books in 1979 when she was studying textile design. That textile foundation continues to be reflected in her book work.

She spent a large portion of her life in Seattle. This book with its combination of sewing and collage is a tribute to the streets of Seattle - in particular Boyer Avenue. Each page has a unique personality reflecting grids and cobblestones as well as delicate pinks and lavenders resembling blossoms falling on the path.
the 700 block sidewalk: boyer avenue book
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Page last update: 12.12.2022


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