Briony’s Books & Art

Text printing for The Dunwich Horror was completed in a couple of weeks ago, and Briony’s working on the aquatint plates. This month’s post is a quick tour through some of her adventures in printmaking. 
The February post featured Buzz II, the print that made me think of recruiting Briony for Dunwich. Going through my Briony box for this post, I found a couple more prints with coincidental associations. Doesn’t the guy above look a little like Lovecraft? And the guy below looks like a Buzz’s cousin!

I met Briony through David Clifford (Black Stone Press), when he was teaching a book arts class at Emily Carr. He told me about one student whose work really stood out from the crowd, and that he was printing text sheets for her book of etchings of weird creatures. It was part of a larger graduate project/installation. Once I saw the book, titled The Cat Skinner Press Catalogue of Quixotic Chimera, I had to have a copy. The book consists of 12 etchings printed on kitakata (the same paper she’s using for Dunwich), each accompanied by a brief taxonomic description printed by David on Mohawk. Briony’s non-adhesive binding features Japanese cloth over boards, each folio sheet sewn with a running stitch. There were only 8 in the edition, and I can’t remember what I said or offered to get one. Fun & hilarious fact: Briony bound one copy, for the grad project, and then lost the text sheets before she got around to binding the rest! David had to reprint them. So I guess all but the one copy are second printings.

In 2009 Briony was commissioned to create illustrations for a book titled Wicked Plants, by Amy Stewart. The illustrations in the book are reproductions of 40 etchings Briony created. At the time I thought it was unfortunate the original prints wouldn’t get wider exposure, and suggested she issue them as a suite. Amy wrote a brief introduction, Briony printed an edition of 40, and Claudia Cohen made the box and chemise that held each suite. 

Briony often adds vibrant, rich watercolors to her prints. I suggested she paint one complete set of the botanical prints, and put one of the colored prints in each of the 40 sets. So each set has its own unique colored print.

For a few years in the mid-’00s Briony issued an annual suite of botanical prints, in editions of 20. For a bit extra you could have your prints colored. I weaseled into the act by offering to print the title and colophon sheets. 

I once saw, but do not own a copy of, a chapbook with a couple of drawings & taxonomic descriptions of quixotic creatures that were attributed to Briony. It was a tiny edition, and I’m not sure it was ever actually issued; I’ll have to ask her about it...