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.  And although I ultimately made 6 books, 3 for an edition with yellow paper for the book block & with one sound poem, while the other edition of 3 has gold papers within & another 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; I had to start & stop the process many times and to date have yet to make one last copy to complete the 2 editions. At this time, my artist proof is the final sixth, and only the last 3 have clamshell boxes.