|Title||I Ching #3: 'Difficulty'|
|Artist / Creator||Josh Hockensmith|
|Press Name||Blue Bluer Books|
|Artist's Nationality||United States|
|Place of Publication||Pittsboro, NC|
|Process / Technique||Inkjet|
|Structure / Binding||Accordion fold|
|Medium / Materials||Covers burned with a soldering iron and smoked with matches|
|Paper Stock||Moab Somerset paper|
|Number of Pages||4 pages|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||5.25 x 6.5 x .5 inches. Extends out to 20.5 inches|
|Edition Size||Open edition|
|Signed & Numbered||No|
I Ching #3: Difficulty is the second in a series of books responding to entries in the ancient Taoist Book of Change. For this expressionistic take on entry #3, Difficulty, I created a chaotic sumi-e painting using liquid washes, highlights drawn directly with a wet black ink stick, and a glowing red circle drawn with the ink usually reserved for a signature stamp. Each entry of the I Ching is a hexagram, a six-line symbol created by combining two trigrams. The two trigrams that make up entry #3 are the symbols for Water and Lightning. In my book, Water is represented by the wet medium of sumi ink; Lightning is in the electricity that powers the soldering iron used to burn designs into the covers, as well as in the fire used to smoke each copy's cover. The I Ching and Taoism in general is compelling precisely because of the way that it merges the sacred and profane, eliminating any distinction between the two. The mystical is purely practical, and vice versa.
Artist BioJosh Hockensmith is a book and word artist living in Pittsboro, North Carolina. After graduating from the University of Richmond with a BA in English and Medieval studies, he became interested in bookbinding and the emerging possibilities of desktop publishing. He committed several technical atrocities against the book form before landing a job repairing library books at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he learned sounder fundamentals of binding. In 2007 he moved to his current job as library assistant at UNC's Sloane Art Library. His duties include working with the library's collection of over 800 artists' books. In 2011 he cofounded Triangle Book Arts, a network of artists in the Triangle area of North Carolina who meet for monthly workshops and show their work together in local galleries. He produces artists' books and other handmade books as Blue Bluer Books.