Conversant Sea by Priscilla Spitler and Paula Hocks
Unique Exhibition Binding by Priscilla Spitler
Illustrated by Paula Hocks
Binding Details: Conversant Sea is a unique fine binding designed and executed by Priscilla Spitler in 2005. The binding was selected for the Guild of Book Workers’ Centennial Exhibition which opened at the Grolier Club in New York City in September, 2006 and traveled to various U.S. exhibitions. Included with the book is the catalogue for the exhibition that includes “Conversant Sea”.
The binding is a laced-on boards style binding covered in green Hewit’s Chieftain goatskin leather with a variety of both traditional and modern decorative techniques applied to the surface leather including goatskin onlays, inlaid leather lines, gold and colored tooling, and stenciled acrylic paint. The title was tooled on the spine. The book is housed in a custom made cloth covered clamshell box with a leather label containing the title and binder’s name in gilt. The book measures 12.5” x 7.75”.
Included with the book is a signed letter of authenticity that contains information about the book and binding.
Book Details: The cover design for “Conversant Sea” reflects the underwater theme generated by the text contents, poetry by the late book artist Paula Hocks selected from her two chapbooks, “Hotel by the Sea” and Poems from the Lost Ark”. The text was redesigned by Priscilla Spitler over pastepaper pages painted by the binder. Some of Hocks’ collage imagery and type text was also incorporated into the text.
About the Artists: Priscilla Spitler is recognized as one of the finest bookbinders in the world. In addition to editioned bindings for such notable fine press publishers as Vincent Fitzgerald & Co., she has won numerous awards and juried exhibitions for her spectacular bindings. In 2009, she was awarded the Helen Warren DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding. Priscilla established Hands on Bookbinding Studio in 1995. In addition to creating spectacular bindings, she somehow finds the time to be an educator, mentor, and inspiration to the next generation of book binders.
Paula Hocks (1916-2003) was an American photographer and book artist who founded the publishing company “the running women press”. A prolific artist, she is best known for her book works. She felt that book works were sculptural, three-dimensional forms to be handled and held and could convey her unique and perceptive views in dialogue with the written word. In the name of collage she practiced great license to borrow and bring together image and written word from the minds and visions of others to exist in relationship with her own. Hocks’ photomontage images are a melding of her personal insights, with and visual harmonies to establish an art unique to the field of photography. Her works are part of many permanent collections including Oxford University, The Getty Museum, the Smithsonian, Harvard University, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum.
Condition Report: The book and clamshell case are in FINE condition.
Photographs of the binding and images from the book appear in the photo section of the listing.