Summer Memories

The main project for the week was completing my submission for the September #areyoubookenough_weathered challenge. I cut it pretty close, but did get Summer Memories finished by the end of the month.

The raw materials —dried yarrow stalks, sun-bleached corn husk, coarse flax paper from Papeterie St. Armand, picture framer’s board— didn’t get modified much.

The trickiest part was rehydrating the corn husk enough to make it malleable without making it too wet to work with. I dipped the ends in water and let them rest for a couple of minutes, then blotted off the surfaces. I did not wet out the whole husk as I wanted to preserve the shapes that had been created by rain and wind.

The individual ‘pages’ of corn husk were glued to the yarrow stems. It’s not a particularly elegant job as the ‘book’ is meant to be viewed from the front only and the husks were surprisingly resistant to the gluing process.

Here’s a look at Summer Memories from the back, sitting on the workbench.

Making the holes for the yarrow stems was a bit problematic as they are different diameters. I solved the problem by making cross-shaped openings that self-adjust to the different stems.

Here’s a clearer view from below showing the cuts in the interior brace. (The brace fulfills two functions: it holds the stand at a fixed width, and provides a second, stabilizing point of support to hold the yarrow stems upright.)

The ‘title’ of the piece is a bit of corn silk. It is attached to the front left end of the stand with PVA. The corn silk was tricky to handle, as it is extremely brittle. I did not want to risk wetting it, and worked with it in its dry state.

Here is where Summer Memories is living now, on top of the bookshelf in my studio.

In other book arts news:

As part of an ongoing series of online classes, the Jaffe Center for Book Arts is offering virtual workshops with pop-up artist Shawn Sheehy.

Register for the November class here.

Register for the December class here.


This looks interesting! You can find more information on this Letterform Archive page.


We are having a lovely long autumn. There is still a bit of green in the landscape.

The crabapples at Coyote Corner* have lost their leaves, revealing a supply of fruit for both birds and mammals this winter. (The apples are tiny, barely an inch across.)

*Coyote Corner: a curve on our driveway lined on one side with crabapple trees. It was named after a coyote with an injured foot spent a good part of one winter subsisting on crabapples he found there. We used to shake down a fresh supply for him every day, then watch him through the dining room window.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, moveable books, typography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Summer Memories

  1. dinahmow says:

    I like your husk-y pennants on their flagstaffs’
    And that’s a sweet coyote story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Byopia Press says:

      Glad you like my ‘book’.
      There is a little more to the coyote story: after a few days of watching him from the dining room window, I went out to check his footprints in the snow as he was limping consistently. I squatted down to check his prints, which didn’t really offer much information. When I looked up, the coyote was eye-to-eye with me about two feet away.
      We both froze momentarily.
      Then we each backed away very slowly while I talked quietly in the most soothing voice I could muster.
      I have been even closer to coyote pups, but I knew this large adult male was injured, which did make me a bit anxious.
      He was back eating apples in a matter of a few minutes, so I hadn’t frightened him unduly.
      I was a bit more cautious at Coyote Corner after that!
      ; ]

      Liked by 3 people

      • dinahmow says:

        Wow! I only ever saw one, on the highway, in BC.
        And there was an animal rumoured to be a dingo, running with local dogs where we used to live. I suspect it was simply a wild dog, possibly part dingo, but I didn’t know of any pure-breds locally.Rather a lot of guns though…


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