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Spun into Gold: First 100+ Words

Spun into Gold: First 100+ Words, 2002 / 2 editions of 3 copies each / Archival inkjet printing on spun Dobbin Mill papers

Size: 16.25” x 7” x 2”

Using the traditional Japanese technique of shifu, where (washi) paper is made and then spun into thread to be used for woven cloth, I altered a sound poem I wrote consisting of my daughter’s first 100+ words by printing it on paper made from harvesting fiber from (Kozo) trees in my garden, binding it into a book, cutting the paper into thin strips, and then transforming it into the golden strands of a fairy tale. Not only does this book suggest the transformative act of language acquisition, but it also offers the reader new possibilities of the very act of reading.

 Additional Thoughts:


I don’t like to edition.  To sustain me through rote tasks, I often choose to vary elements that I feel are not essential to the meaning & content of the work, allowing me some creativity in the process of making the books. Thus, each copy of Spun into Gold has its own individual handmade paper designed for its covers. Only the last 3 copies have clamshell boxes. And although I ultimately made 6 books, 3 were an edition with yellow spun paper & one sound poem, while the other edition of 3 has gold papers within & a 2nd sound poem, both poems made from my daughter’s first 100 words. 

Spun into Gold was the most labor-intensive book I've done to date. Hours of spinning caused tendonitis in my wrists; and thus, I did the spinning intermittently over many years. With Covid I finally had the time to make the final piece, my artist proof. Edition complete (just before my daughter turned 21)!  

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