|Artist / Creator
|Place of Publication
|San Jose, CA
|Box by Don Drake, Dreaming Mind Bindery, Castro Valley, California
|Structure / Binding
|Tte-bche drum leaf binding, paper-covered boards
|Medium / Materials
|Hand lettering, painting, pochoir, 23K gold, black Sumi ink, gouache, iridescent acrylic, broad-edge pen, ruling pen, folded pen, brush
|Arches Text Wove
|Number of Pages
|7.25 x 9.75 x .38 inches.
|Signed & Numbered
Spelling Words is the last of a series of three books to explore the meaning of the word "spell." My search for the sacred in Western calligraphy led me to ponder its appearance in words such as "gospel" ("god's spell"). I discovered that a thousand years ago, to spell meant to tell a story, rhyming to remember the correct order. Later, when stories were written down, spelling began to mean the proper ordering of letters. The magic of verbal charms became the writing of letters, making the letters themselves instruments of spirit for our English language ancestors. Bound tte-bche style ("head to tail"), each side begins with dictionary definitions of noun and verb. Alphabets, symbols, and rules for spelling make up magical and mundane texts that meet in the middle of the book. An encounter with this book rewards the reader with layers of meaning and secrets, creating an en-chant-ment. Read it aloud; singing the alphabet song is encouraged.
Artist BioCari Ferraro has been exploring the myriad books arts for most of her life. Drawing on her decades as a lettering artist, her books combine painting, hand writing, stitching and binding to create a journey. Long study of medieval book illumination informs the creation of contemporary devotional books to honor spiritual practices that spring from the natural world. Her work explores folklore, the origins of writing, sacred practice, the old ways, and line in its many magical forms. Structures build out from the narrative, very occasionally reproduced as limited editions using methods never dreamed of by her scribal forebears. Handmade books as bearers of enlightening, secret, and sometimes subversive knowledge have been and will continue to be a most intimate and complex form.