2017 · Palo Alto, CA
by Thurston, Jacqueline and Donald Glaister. Dickinson, Emily
Palo Alto, CA, 2017. Artist's book, one of six copies, all on Rives BFK paper and Cibachrome prints, each signed and numbered the artist, Jacqueline Thurston on the colophon. Page size, three differing page sizes as follows: 10 x 14-7/8, 11 x 14-7/8, and 3 gatefold pages (gatefold as verso folded over Cibachromes) 13 x 14-7/8 opening to 22 inches; 24pp; Bound by Donald Glaister, Foolsgold Studio: full ochre goatskin with rosewood veneers as well as copper, brass and aluminum onlays which have been sanded and painted to represent bracelets and the base of the rosewood veneer hands which are the principal decoration on the front panel. The "bracelets" are affixed in recessed sanded leather panels in relief so they are three dimensional. The sanded recessed background for the "hands" is textured as a screen was used in the sanding. The veneered "hands" on the recessed panels are flush with the ochre goatskin and are marked with acrylic rules in red fading to blind on all four seams. The metal "bracelets" have also been sanded and painted as well as molded into sculptural forms. The back cover is a "suggestion" of the hands of the front panel, with the barest outlines of fingers formed by raising the goatskin from the two recessed panels mimicking the front cover design, again bordered by red acrylic line fading to blind. The effect is as if the viewer were able to see through the front cover to the back - ingenious, haunting, and quite beautiful. The red ochre handprints found in the Pech Merle caves are immediately brought to mind. While Donald Glaister's design is completely contemporary, there is more than a nod to prehistoric art - as there is throughout the text and images in the book weaving the continuity of human experience. Doublures and flyleaves of painted cork, handwoven silk headbands in white with ochre bands, all pages mounted on cotton fabric guards to allow complete opening of each page spread. Signed and dated (2018) by the binder in blind with gold dot on the inside back cover at lower end of hinge; housed in custom-made tan cloth over boards clamshell box lined with black felt, title and artist on paper label printed in black and affixed to recess panel on spine.
The six copies in the edition of A HYMN TO HANDS each have three original Cibachrome photographs by Jacqueline Thurston (one of the six copies have a unique variation of the printed titled "The Blessing"). The book was designed in a collaborative effort by Donald Glaister, Suzanne Moore, Jacqueline Thurston, Greta Sibley and Jessica Spring. The final design and typesetting are by Greta Sibley. The book was printed letterpress by Art Larsen at Horton Tank in Requiem typeface from photopolymer plates. Cibachrome, now a rare photographic process, is a positive to positive photographic process, using exceedingly pure and stable color dyes, embedded in the paper's archival emulsion. The result are prints that are luminous, as if lit from within.
Jacqueline Thurston's text, which accompanies here Cibachrome prints, and her selection of two poems by Emily Dickinson, form a magical book. The reader / viewer is taken from pre-history to our own time all within a few pages. The two poems by Emily Dickinson, "I send Two Sunsets" and "Those - dying then" open and close this meditation on the human condition. A most beautiful book, elegantly composed and executed. (Inventory #: 11340)