The Chico Poems

These are six of the fifteen cases I’m making for Lisa Nebenzahl‘s McKnight project, “The Chico Poems”.

Each case holds 8 cyanotypes, printed by Lisa, with a letterpress printed poem overlaid in silver ink. The clamshell cases are covered in a Japanese blue and silver book cloth with an inlaid photo of Chico Nebenzahl.

The Chico Poems is a suite of eight poems contained in a custom designed case. This project was inspired by my late mother Chico Nebenzahl (1916-2000), who penned the poems in the early 1940’s. With the support of a McKnight Fellowship for Book Artists, the project took a year to produce as I employed the light of the sun to create the cyanotype prints in the spring, summer and fall of 2021. Letterpress and cyanotype printing come together to share these short, sometimes acerbic poems. A posthumous collaboration with my mother, who wrote poetry and fiction in her in twenties in Chicago but never shared them widely, gave me a chance to bring these poems out of their long rest and into the light.

— Lisa Nebenzahl

More information about the project and photographs can be found here.

Hand-Crafted Notebooks

In 2011 I was fortunate to have been chosen as one of six Jerome Foundation mentees at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. For a year we were immersed in the book arts, learning about bindings, case making, letterpress printing, paper making and much more. I came away loving the ability to make cases and books as needed. Then, I was lucky enough to go and study with a friend and mentor, Enrico Giannini in Florence, Italy, a fifth generation bookbinder. In the ten years since, I’ve continued to make books and cases but now’s the time to start offering them on my website.

I’m going to be offering a small line of notebooks, journals and cases. These will all be ready-mades, so no personalisation or customisation will be possible and the sizes are whatever’s available at the time. I’m still going to be making custom, handmade cases (and soon, books) to order, and more information on those can be found here.

There’s already a selection of both notebooks and clamshell cases in the shop and more will be added soon. Papers include Fabriano, Mohawk Superfine, and both ruled and plain options, while the covers include leather, book cloth and Italian hand-marbled paper. All the materials used are of the finest quality and made by me, one at a time, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

More details on all the notebooks and cases can be found on my website here. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to email me!