Copy Artist

When we finished printing The WunderCabinet last July, we kept a complete copy made up from waste sheets, with the vague intent of sewing them up in some simple case one day, to at least have a bare-bones copy of the book kicking around the studio. Clearing up loose ends before descending into Oddballs, we decided to sew the sheets up, and offered to do the same for Barbara, if she had a waste copy made up from her own rejects among the colored sheets. So she dropped them off last weekend. Even though the sheets were rejects, her copy still looked much more lovely than our plain sheets. So, since it's a waste copy anyway, we decided to do our best at copying in our copy, the pages and parts she'd spent so many months watercoloring. This was no small undertaking for the dedicated monochromaticists at HM. Using what colored pencils were lying around, we got to work. And it became an experience with a book unlike any we've ever had. It's one thing to look at the pages of The WunderCabinet and think, That must have been a lot of work. But it's a much deeper and more sustained experience when one is attempting to copy the original, getting the hues and tones as close as possible. It made us wonder what it would be like to publish a book like The WunderCabinet, and issue it with an uncolored copy, for the readers to fill in. Knowing book collectors, no one would ever actually try it - more's the pity. Shown above and below are a couple of the pages, with Barbara's watercolors on the right, and HM's attempts on the left (the butterflies haven't been tipped on to our page yet).

By the way, institutions that we know of where copies can be seen include The New York Public Library, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Alberta. In all cases copies are held in special collections, and so appropriate arrangements must be made to see the books. There are, or will soon be more in the United States, and we'll communicate those if/when we hear.