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graphic design

Gathered Specimens Book

The Gathered Specimens book is a hand-bound art book combining mushroom identification with letterpressed type, gouache illustrations, and mushroom spore print cyanotypes.

In November 2010, I collected mushrooms in a Massachusetts forest and created spore prints from the caps. The spore prints were then scanned and a positive “negative” was created for each mushroom. The acetate negatives were then used to make cyanotypes which were run through a Vandercook press to letterpress the common names of the mushrooms over the cyanotypes.

I wanted to represent what each mushroom looked like alongside the spore print cyanotypes, so I created gouache illustrations of each mushroom on birch bark panels and tipped those into the reverse of each cyanotype mushroom spread.

Once the book signature was complete, the pages were handbound in bookcloth and bookpaper with a cutaway window to reveal the book’s title.

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