Fire Extinguisher Family Reunion by Sarah Smith

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This book was conceived of and written by Sarah M. Smith, during a prolonged sulk between the years of 1994 and 2009. It was printed and bound under duress by the author in the guise of Olfactory Press at the facilities of Imposition Press, Beverly, Massachusetts. The typefaces used are Stymie Black, Copperplate Gothic and News Gothic, in various sizes. In some cases the text was printed with hand set type and in others, with polymer plates. Arguments will surely ensue. The paper is French's Construction and Somerset Wove, from St. Cuthbert's Mill. Any typos, grammatical errors, foolish design choices or printing mishaps are most likely the fault of anyone but the author, designer, printer and binder.

Artist Bio

Sarah Smith teaches letterpress printing and bookbinding at Montserrat College of Art, where she helped create a letterpress printing studio and BFA concentration in Book Arts. She is a founding member of Imposition Press, which is also at Montserrat. While teaching, Sarah has been working for the past 15 years as a rare book conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center, in Andover MA and before that at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, PA. Previous to teaching at Montserrat, Sarah taught book arts at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work can be found in collections such as The Banff Centre in Canada; J. Willard Marriott Library at University of Utah; Boston Public Library; The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University; The Bancroft Library at U.C., Berkeley; Clapp Library, Wellesley College; Fine Arts Library at Indiana University and others. Education: B.A., Studio Art, Art History, Latin Language and Literature, University of MA; M.F.A. Book Arts/Printmaking, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA.   ARTIST STATEMENT Always fighting the urge to be irreverent, I find it difficult to write an artist statement, or any serious description of myself for that matter. It just doesn’t seem wise to appear earnest. Someone might actually think I believe something (which of course would be followed by that someone telling me I’m wrong). My artwork operates on the supposition that I DON’T believe anything. At least that’s what I think (or want to think)(or believe). I’m interested in how and why, and by what means we believe, trust or have faith. And how is it that no matter how, and how often we’re shown we’re wrong, we just keep coming back again, leaning on our imaginary pillars? I want to express, visually the state of mind we are in when we are doubting and wavering, just before re-convincing ourselves of our “truths”. It seems like it’s possible for a person to go either way, stampeding toward whatever conviction they’ve decided on or sliding into despair. In such indecision and turmoil, absurdity and incongruity thrives. After all how much do ANY of our philosophies really matter to our survival as animals? (I find myself actually believing (or again wanting to) that it really doesn’t matter at all). This incongruity and absurdity naturally generates humor. And really all I want to do is laugh.