Gathered Specimens

In 2010, I took an Artist’s Books class and embarked on my most ambitious project to date.

I decided to create an artist’s book celebrating my hobby: mushroom collecting and ID. The plan was to collect mushrooms in New England in October, spore print them, make acetate negatives out of the spore prints, make cyanotypes out of the sport print negatives, letterpress the names of the mushrooms on top of the cyanotypes, bind them together in a hand-bound book, and then create illustrations of the mushrooms on birch bark with gouache paint, and tip those into the spreads with the cyanotype spore prints.

The result was 2 bound copies of Gathered Specimens (one for me, one for the teacher of the class). The name of the book is a play on type specimen (a poster featuring typeface design), and the scientific process of gathering biological specimens for research. It was a perfect merge of my interests: the organic and the obsessive.