In 2014, I was invited by the poet, artist and curator Agnes Marton to participate in a collaboration to be exhibited in Luxembourg. Ms. Marton invited twenty or so colleagues to create artist's books in any design of their choosing, taking the book form of the leporello (accordion folded book) as their cue. I created the trapezoidal/gated flower form as a response to the leporello. To the best of my knowledge, I invented this particular form and so I chose to name it the Luxembook. I created the first one in 2015, the second in 2016 as a private commission, and the third one most recently in 2017. The first and second ones now belong in private collections in Texas and Luxembourg, and the third belongs to the Artist's Book Teaching Collection at Telavi State University in the Republic of Georgia.
Luxembook I was a true collaboration in that the design of the book and the calligraphy, drawings and collages are all my original work, but these were inspired by Agnes Marton's poem "Wakewalker, Naked," which is the text of the Luxembook. The poem tells of an encounter between a white tiger and a person, and my illustrations imagine the connection between the two.
Luxembook II was commissioned to hold the poem by ee cummings, "i thank you god for most this amazing day". The patron is in Texas, where I grew up, and so I chose images for the illustrations specific to West Texas: yucca, buffalo, coyote, jackrabbit, striped gopher, Indian paintbrush, and the plains beneath a thunderhead.
Luxembook III was the result of an invitation to contribute to a collection at Telavi State University under the direction of Fulbright Fellow Miriam Schaer. I had no restrictions on what the subject could be, so I designed a third Luxembook with original collages and my original poem "The River School."
These are highly labor intensive books that require many hours of work and over 130 pieces of paper, cardboard, ribbon and wax to complete. The deceptively small original package opens out into a large, faceted flower close to three feet in diameter. Some of the ephemera in Luxembook III come from French, English, German and Swiss photographs, charts, maps and guidebooks that are anywhere from 50 to 200 years old, and so Luxembook III is probably the most irreplaceable of the collection. In the spirit of pondering ephemeral things, the ink used in Luxembook III is not waterproof and so is susceptible to fading, as are all things in time.