Smell of Winter

Smell of Winter, 2014 / Varying edition of 10 / Dobbin Mill papers with silk, perfume vial, archival inkjet printed text by artist / Perfume by MCMC Fragrances

Size: 14.2” x 13.5 x 1”

From the Pratt Institute Libraries Special Collections

Color, texture, and layering, along with scent & sound, are all utilized to evoke the feel of the smell of winter: 

The 1st & last signatures, made from translucent papers with embedded silk pieces of deep purples & whites, express the abstraction of cold through its color tonalities and the crisp rustle of the turning pages. Nestled on these translucent pages are tiny slats of paper with the names of the chemical used in the perfume.  When read consecutively, these words transform to an absurdist sound poem; simultaneously, the abstract imagery becomes suggestive of enlargements of microscopy as much as shadows on the snow.

 

A smaller central signature, also of translucent papers, displays photographs of shadows made on the snow & ice on a visit to Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Salt Lake, Utah, along with an overlay printing of the handwritten recipe for the perfume.

A narrow paper strip is tipped on to the final page, with a whimsical text I wrote, I mentioned the North Pole.  

 

A spray vial of Snow perfume, is included in the clamshell, designed & produced with MCMC Fragrances, in a limited edition of 12 spray vials especially for this artist book.

Additional thoughts:

Smell of Winter was one of those editions that slowly evolved over time, from a book originally about all 5 senses to focusing on the one most elusive for me, smell.  Its solution only came after I had designed my contribution to a collaborative set of books produced with Clifton Meador, Daniel Mellis, April Sheridan, Philip Zimmerman, Karen Zimmerman and myself.  We had together visited the Spiral Jetty, a land art installation, in January 2014.

“I mentioned the North Pole”:

She smiled and told me that she’d been there. To the place where all the ice falls into the sea.  And she went there by herself.  On a tour, she corrected herself, she never traveled entirely alone, but that she had gone to many interesting places on tours, including to the ice place. 

And, then she told me something even more curious: 

Whenever she goes to a special place, she makes sure to visit the most interesting location: the local library. People get rid of books they don’t want anymore she informed me. And she always buys them up.  

She gestured to the phantom bookcases behind her and mentioned how much she loves their smell.  

Both. The books & the snow.