In Vellicate, I used the advantages of Hedi Kyle’s flag book structure for content that relies on neither text nor image, but is instead a tactile and visual encounter with a particular material. As the accordion spine expands and contracts, the flags change direction and soft tips of hair brush over the viewer’s wrists. My goal was to capture a physical sensation and its accompanying emotion: a touch so light as to be at the very edge of perception. The book’s title encapsulates the way it feels and the way it moves; “vellicate” means to touch lightly to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness or laughter, to tickle, to titillate, or to twitch. By animating the hair and inviting manipulation, Hedi’s playful structure communicates this concept quite literally. The book and clamshell box were made with human hair, acrylic, and handmade paper. I used overbeaten abaca and flax fiber for its translucency and skin-like quality, to offer visual hints and heighten the focus on touch.
Please note: This edition of six books in varying hair colors, with paper to match. All of the blond copies have been sold. One black copy (as shown in photos) and one platinum copy remain.
Winner: Library Choice Award. Congratulations, Karen!
|Artist's Nationality||United States|
|Place of Publication||Asheville, North Carolina|
|Printing/ Reproduction Process||Letterpress printing|
|Book Structure/ Binding Method||Flag book with clamshell box|
|Medium/ Materials||Human hair, acrylic|
|Paper Stock||Abaca and flax, handmade by the artist|
|Number of Pages||8 pages|
|Dimensions (WxH) or (WxHxD)||11.5 x 6 x 1 inches. Extends out to 16.5 inches|
|Edition Size||Series of 6|