Cave Paper East ~ Minnesota
(Amanda Degener)

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A Deep Blue Amen
By Stuart Kestenbaum
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Amanda Degener, 2013. Edition of 50.

9.75 x 13"; 24 pages. Original calligraphy by Jan Owen made into polymer plates. Printed by Amanda Degener. Indigo-dyed Belgium flax text paper made and colored by Degener. Cover sheets formed by James Kleiner and colored with Indigo and Walnut dye by Degener at Cave Paper. Hand-sewn binding. Housed in a clamshell box covered with Cave Paper's Granite, Layered Indigo Night, and a unique Alphabet paper. Signed by Kestenbaum on the colophon.

A Deep Blue Amen is a collaboration between poet Stuart Kestenbaum, papermaker Amanda Degener, and calligrapher Jan Owen.

Colophon: "The inspiration for this book came from Stuart Kestenbaum's poems. A Deep Blue Amen was designed and crafted by Amanda Degener but lives because of conversations with Jan Owen."

Poet Stuart Kestenbaum has been the director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, since 1988. He is the author of three collections of poems and a collection of essays.

Jan Owen: "Hand lettering is the craft of gestural, abstract line becoming letter. The letters combine to make words and a visual conversation begins between writer and reader. ... I write on handmade papers, colorful paste decorated paper and on translucent Hollytex. My tools are metal pens and fine brushes dipped in sumi and acrylic links."

Amanda Degener: "Handmade paper is my life's work. ... As an artist the versatility of working with handmade paper is very motivating. Fibers can cast tightly around armatures; they take color and hold light beautifully. "

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Sold titles by Cave Paper:  

By Amanda Degener and Barbara Schubring
Deer Isle, Maine: Cave Paper East. Edition of 80.

6.75 x 12.5"; 9 leaves. Accordion structure. Handmade paper. Collage. In clamshell box covered in matching handmade paper. Title on front of box

Amanda Degener: "My work explores the dynamic inter-relationship between environment and inhabitant. I draw attention to unique aspects of local ecosystems and hope to evoke feelings towards the natural world that we more typically reserve for other humans: empathy, compassion, care. Most of my work incorporates text, both as pattern and content; I am interested in the ways we use language to separate us from the natural world, as if we were born into instead of out of nature."

Here the subject is earth becoming property and land becoming landscaped. An accordion of simple images and text on pages of thick, handmade paper. Each succeeding panel of the accordion is slightly larger, and the top edges are torn to resemble rolling hills, then the peaked roofs of individual homes, and finally the flat tops of high rises.


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By Amanda Degener and Alison Knowles
Minneapolis: Cave Paper, Inc, 2002. Edition of 20.

8.5 x 10.5 x 1.5" closed in box; 28" diameter open. Folds into twelve sections that can be hand held as a book. Screenprinted. Handmade walnut brown and indigo flax paper. Housed in a clamshell box made by Wilber Schilling (Indulgence Press). Signed and numbered by the collaborators. Text is from George Quasha and Chie Higasawa's book Ainu Drams, William Romain's book Mysteries of the Hopewell, and 'o' words from the American Heritage Dictionary.

Cave Paper: "Tamashi is a collaborative artist's book by Amanda Degener and Alison Knowles. The title and text is inspired by the native Japanese word for spirit Tamashi which is contrasted by D.T. Suzuki [prolific author and translator, responsible for spreading interest in Eastern thought in the West] with the Chinese word for spirit Jing Shen. The Chinese word sets the material against the spiritual and therefore projects duality. By contrast the Japanese word suggests a sense of spirit that is finally non-separable from the material."

The artists: "We find that roundness, as opposed to square or triangular is the proper shape to express this concept of the inseparable nature of idea and material. We make no distinction between the idea, and the expressive quality of the work materials, they become one. This book explores the inter-relationship between environment and both the material and spiritual world. It draws attention to our ecosystem and it evokes feelings towards the natural world that we more typically reserve for other humans: empathy, compassion, and care. The cyclical nature of breathing is essentially round, to inhale to exhale and then inhale again over and over. The book contains words that start with the letter "o" and a kallitype of the Hopewell Serpentine Mound* [is] included. Nature also is cyclical with passing repeating seasons: earth, seed, spirit, plant and back to earth again are the words that circle the sphere. This book is a wheel, a turning wheel that transforms to fit in the hand. The imagery includes round objects like sewn-in fabric of a round game ball and a playable CD. The CD will be a collage of sounds related to the collaborative performance by the artists at Phipps Center for the Arts [on] Dec 15th, 2002."

* Hopewell Serpentine Mound is located in southern Ohio. It is a large earthen spiral structure in the shape of a partially coiled serpent. Hopewell refers to the common aspects of early Native American culture thatflourished in that area.



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Page last update: 05.17.17


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