Pardon the Intrusion

Intrusion by Ellen Knudson

Intrusion by Ellen Knudson

Ellen Knudson, in my opinion, is one of the best letterpress book artists working today. Her books always delve deep into timely issues, are superbly designed and printed and are often subtle works of subversion. Her new book, Intrusion, is a stunner, both visually and topically.

Ellen tells us, “Intrusion is a modern bestiary that illustrates the conjured effects of human encroachment on nature and wildlife. These contemporary beasts are the amalgamation of animal bodies and environmental abuses — the illustrated outcomes of the human excesses of plastic bottles and bags, the unrestrained consumption of goods and the inordinate amount of garbage it creates, the imprudent disposal of decor and furniture, the overuse of water and the naive assumption that water is forever guaranteed, and the evolution of disease that is the consequence of carelessness.”

See more photos of Ellen’s work and order your copy of Intrusion here.

23 Sandy Thank You Book #3 – Go to Your Studio and Make Something!

Thank You Book #3 is meandering around. When flat is reads “Go to Your Studio and Make Something!” If you follow the instructions it will fold into a miniature “meander” book, a fun accordion structure that snakes back and forth.

This thank you book was created as a keepsake for the 2018 Paper and Book Intensive (PBI) at Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Michigan. Every year nearly 100 book and paper artists gather in the back woods of Michigan for nearly two weeks of intensive book binding, paper making and print making workshops. PBI is a phenomenal, sometimes life changing event that I highly recommend for anyone interested in the book arts. Learn more at the PBI web site here.

Thank You Books are a series of books celebrating the first 10 years of 23 Sandy and the plan is to create 10 over the next year or so. All will be free, open-edition books, perhaps one-sheet wonders, perhaps not. But, all aimed at thanking the oh so many friends, artists, librarians, visitors and supporters of the gallery.

You can download a free PDF of the PBI Thank You Book by clicking here or on the thumbnail above right. For best results, print on 11 x 17 inch paper then follow the step-by-stop instructions to cut out and fold into the cube book shown below. I printed mine at Staples on 67# card stock for about a buck and they look great. You could also reduce to fit on letter-size paper for an even smaller miniature book. But for smaller sizes I’d recommend text weight paper instead of card stock.

For anyone interested in collecting all of the books in this series, you can find Book #1, Tacoma here. and Book #2, Little Free Libraries here. Plus, watch this blog for future releases.

Happy folding,


Fresh Copies of a Powerful #MeToo Artist Book

The Fortune Teller by Malini Gupta

The Fortune Teller by Malini Gupta

One of the things I miss about having a physical gallery space is watching folks interact with artist books. I used to sit at my desk in the gallery and spy on people. Not for nefarious reasons, of course. It was all in the name of art.

You see, it’s fascinating to watch how viewers enter into a book. How they follow the sequence and flow of a book. How they interact with the content. Did the artist achieve what they were hoping to with the combination of structure and materials and did they achieve their intention for leading the viewer through the book?

Then there is that light bulb moment when a viewer “gets it.” They connect with the book and their face lights up. That decisive moment was especially interesting in a retail gallery space where so many people were unfamiliar with the power of artist books.

The Fortune Teller, a limited edition artist book by Malini Gupta, was one of the best books ever for watching that light bulb moment. Most people picked up this book and said, “Oh! A cootie catcher. I used to make days when I was young.” But then, they read the text and their faces fall and sometimes tears fall as well. With this book Malini uses a playful structure to draw you into her very serious content. She uses this trick as a powerful way to tell difficult story.

For Malini, who grew up in India, “The fortune teller is designed in beautiful patterns to entice the viewer to interact with it but also to camouflage the darkness it holds – the darkness of a child being sexually abused and a family choosing to ignore it.” Malini made this book before the #MeToo movement, which makes it even more poignant today.

Click here to read more of Malini’s story and see more photos of this deeply affecting artist book.

And now for the good news: Malini recently found last three copies of this edition that we thought was sold out. You can order your copy today at the link above.

Take care,


23 Sandy Gallery Blog