Crane Designs~ Arizona
(Marian Crane)

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Artist statement: "I like to tell people that I am not an artist. I do not make ‘Big Art for Big Houses.’ I am, instead, an artisan. I make artifacts – real tangible things that live on a wall or bloom in the hand. Intimate, unique art for quiet or triumphant settings, to be shared not with boardrooms and vast parties, but with small gatherings of the people who matter most in life. More...
   
Interview with Marian Crane  
Artist Statement  
Miniature artist's books by Marian Crane  
   

Breathe
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2017. One-of-a-Kind.

3 x 3.5 x 1.5"; 24 pages. Modified sewn binding with 12 fabric-and-shell panels. Woodburned and painted covers with white and blue porcelain beads, and 7" ornamental glass beaded tassel anchors along spine. Waxed thread tie closure.

Marian Crane: "Twelve rectangular fabric pages consist of padded cotton 'windows' inlaid with handpainted rectangular white shell beads. Single word per page. Collection of linked Latin mottos I thought were good choices for our times: Dum Spiro Spero. Dum Spero Amo. Dum Amo Vivo. Dum Vivo Prosum. While I breathe, I hope. While I hope, I love. While I love, I live. While I live, I do good."
$450


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Night Flight
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2015. One-of-a-Kind.

9.5 x 4.25 x 2" closed. Construction: combination accordion-fold with five pages, and one fold-out stylized cityscape. Semi-soft fabric covers anchored by leather and fabric loops with handmade beaded buttons. Machine and hand-stitched fabric applique using commercial cotton batik, silk, linen, opalized leather, and polyester fabrics. Hidden stiffening support structures of stainless steel wire, plastic canvas, and heavy polyester interfacing. Accented with glass beads and polyester cord tassels. Materials include cotton, linen, silk, polyester, plastic canvas, Beacon Fabri-Tac glue, glass beads, buttons, acrylic paint. Signed and dated by the artist.

Crane's inspiration for Night Flight was the night-time views of cities where she has lived and traveled, places like Denver and Phoenix.

Text: ‘Earth rolls east from sunset. Below this hill, the city embarks nightward, trailing jewels and fire.’
$2,500

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Steampunk Fan
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2014. One-of-a-Kind.

Folding fan: 7" x 13" open. Materials: carved and painted leather, brass fittings, poly cord, glass beads and mirrors, and bronze foil gilding.

Marian Crane: "Steampunk Fan is not quite a readable book. It is a working folding fan. ... It was a proof-of-concept piece finished in Oct. 2012. I made it because I'd created fabric and wood couture costume fans before (1987-1990), and wanted to know how this design would work.

"While the basic theme is definitely Steampunk, it has a strong fantasy vibe as well. A friend used it in 2013 in a Steampunk/Marvel female Loki outfit at a local media convention. The green and bronze colorway worked well with her existing costume."

$160

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Guiding Angels
By Marian Crane
Phoenix, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

6.75 x 5 x 2.25" recycled black fabric photo box containing ten unbound 4 x 6" cards. Title card inserted into picture frame lid. Lid fabric stamped with red acrylic designs. Cards embellished with acrylic washes and monoprints, stamp and handmade paper collage, and bronze leaf. Interleaved with spun polyester webbing between each card with wrapper of spun polyester. Materials include cotton rag paper, acrylic paint, stamps, handmade paper, bronze leaf, ribbon, commercial repurposed photo box, shell, glass. Signed on the colophon by the artist.

Marian Crane: "Ten double-sided collaged loose panels based on torn-up art etchings given to me by Phoenix Art Group a long time ago. Paper collage and sewn beadwork add to the handpainted details, as well as an original humanist poem, 'Prayer of the Agnostic,' handwritten on the etched side.

"The base imagery on the front comes from the recycled print etchings on heavy cotton rag paper, which are then inked, painted, collaged, and stitched/beaded with glass and shell beads. Additional pages were built from blank cotton rag paper, then embellished to match. The backs of the cards continue the indigo and scarlet themes in abstracted paintings. Collaged postage stamps with science, technology, and humanist/socialist themes underscore the message of the text."

I have no guardian angels
my guiding angels are not
domestic spirits
or jealous seraphim
they are weak forces, strong forces
gravity
the foundations of broken symmetry
and the longing of the universe to know itself

$500


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Road Trip 2
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

5.5" x 6" x 1.25" double-sided accordion-fold book. Materials: white nylon organdy, recycled silkscreen fabric, and recycled rip-stop nylon. Hand-cut nylon panels shadow-appliquéd into sheer nylon pages, which are overlaid with machine stitching and edged polyester thread. Covers of carved and painted leather, white-washed oak, opaline glass, and waxed polyester thread. Inner covers lined with scans of an 1881 Arizona map, and black monoprint designs. Oak pin and loop closure at each vertical side. Signed and dated by the artist.

This is a larger version of the first Road Trip book created in 2010. Six shadow applique cut-outs follow a Southwestern road trip from a house in a tree-filled suburb, through industrial areas, desert plains, and into mountains.
$500


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Blue Glass
By Marian Crane
Scottsdale, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2008. One-of-a-Kind.

5 x 4"; 12 pages. Materials: linen, cotton, leather, glass, polyester, acrylic, paint, bronze foil. Cloth pages accented with bead and thread tassels. Painted leather covers with wooden spine accented with beads and tassels.

Marian Crane: "A meditation that began with the sight of Rose Windows in cathedrals, and expanded to contrast our reactions to natural and manmade beauty."
$500

 


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Jade Lands
By Marian Crane
Scottsdale, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2008. One-of-a-Kind.

5.25 x 2"; 56 pages. Paper: Somerset Rag. Materials: nylon, glass, bone, poplar wood, Daniel Smith watercolor. Bound in poplar boards with exposed thread spine binding.

Marian Crane: "Most of my books have been fabric, but I recently played with the Jadeite watercolor from Daniel Smith. The idea of gemstones ground into paint was intriguing, and led to a few dozen doodles on 2" x 10" strips of rag paper: landscapes, textile patterns, leaves, flowers, abstracted city maps. The best of these I bound with a modified Coptic binding and poplar boards."
$375


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Crane Designs Out of Print Titles:  
   
Arachne
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2014. One-of-a-kind.

5" x 4" x 1.75"; 24 pages. Embroidered and appliqued linen and cotton pages. Illustrative processes and materials include commercial and digitally-printed cotton, cotton machine-made lace, hand embroidered spider webs, and glass beads. Bound into a repurposed commercial masonite/poplar photo book with pages anchored into rotating wood spine. Covers layered with acrylic paint and ink, and finished with satin varnish. Signed and dated by the artist.

Marian Crane: "The text is an original poem by the artist with the theme of the dangers of relying on/challenging gods."
(SOLD)

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Dryland Codex
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2015. One-of-a-Kind.

4.5 x 5.5 x 3" closed, extends to 51.5"; 12 panels. Double-sided accordion structure. Materials: cotton batik, ink jet print on cotton, linen, silk, acrylic paint, porcelain, glass beads, waxed polyester. Bound in covers of same materials with reinforced edges and embellishments. Strap and tie closure.

Marian Crane: "Dryland Codex is an accordion book with original landscape paintings on one side, and map/fabric collages on the other. This is another in my Southwestern Wanderlust loose series. This one combines scanned maps from 1930s Arizona and New Mexico with digitally printed versions of my original acrylic landscape paintings of the same areas. A sprawling high-desert landscape in autumn colors is painted on the reverse, and both sides are accented by glass beads and constructed-fabric applique strips."
(SOLD)

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Grey Primer
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2011. Edition of 3.

4.25 x 4.25"; 8 pages. Modified accordion structure. Fabric painted linen. Cotton batik appliqué. Softcovers of batik accented with cotton embroidery thread and glass beads.

Marian Crane: "Each book showcases four different greys (green-grey, brown-grey, blue-grey, and purple-grey) mixed from complementary colors along with botanical vignettes painted in each grey."
$175 (SOLD)

 

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Road Trip:
a winter journey through southern Colorado
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

4 x 5 x 2" closed, 4 x 44" open; 12 pages. Double-sided accordion structure. Hand-cut nylon panels shadow-appliquéd into sheer nylon pages, which are overlaid with machine stitching and edged with glass beads and polyester thread. Cover is carved and painted leather, porcelain beads, polyester thread, and oak pins.

Images depict a house amid trees, a road winding from an urban setting through rural desert and up into pine-covered mountains.

Marian Crane: "It's inspired by Japanese stencils, a frequent road trip of my youth along southern Colorado roads, and some other pierced-page artists' books I've seen."
(SOLD)

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Shangri La
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

5 x 5 x 1.25" (closed) map fold book. Painted, embroidered, and beaded linen. Backed with pieced cotton batik. Needlepoint and fabric appliqué covers. Adornments of beaded poly cord fringe.

Marian Crane: "Depicts a lush mountain valley in the fall, with golden trees against a backdrop of blue and white peaks."

With the map fold structure, Shangri La bursts forth with surprising beauty, and disappears with surprising ease.
(
SOLD)

 


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Spice Book
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2014. One-of-a- kind.

3.5" x 4" x 3.5"; 24 pages. 12 pages/24 views worked in commercial cotton fabric applique, beading, embroidery, and hand-inked text and sketches. Bound in fabric covers of tan and dark blue/grey/green, framing title, and signature. Bound using a double needle Coptic with tan waxed polyester thread, accented with long tassels of twine and pale green, pale blue, iridescent gray, and striped metallic glass beads.

Marian Crane: "Theme worked around six Trena Hegdahl 'Herb & Spice' porcelain buttons circa 1996: Basil, Chives, Cloves, Mustard, Sage, and Thyme. Each page group showcases an original sketch of the plant, its Latin name, the corresponding button, and attributes from ancient cultures and Victorian floral dictionaries."
(SOLD)

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Star Map
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2004. Edition of 3.

3.2 x 3.2 x 1" using lindenwood, cream linen cloth, black and pale green linen thread, glass beads, luminescent paint and thread. The boards are shielded behind three coats of Delta Ceramcoat and a UV-protectant film. The black text has swirls of glow paint and glow thread. The glow-in-the-dark thread is rated as washer and dryer safe, and sold primarily for decoration on kid's clothes. Because these are handmade each one in the edition is slightly different.

The Latin phrase "Per Aspera Ad Astra" is usually translated as "by rough road, to the stars" - through hardship, toward success and renown. Marian Crane decided it could be a message of hope and endurance to mark the start of a new year.

Under normal light, the linen pages appear in different shades of pale green, cream, and black. When moved from strong light into darkness it becomes "a swirling map of stars, magnetic currents, geometric designs, and plantforms." In this light the book becomes a fantasy view of unknown space.
(SOLD)


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Turquoise Scroll
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2004. One-of-a-Kind.

4 x 3.5" closed, 4 x 17" extended. Materials: red Oak; turquoise; sandalwood; rock crystal beads; blue-green linen; agate. Artist signature wood burned.

Marian Crane: "A book/scroll when opened 4" x 17" and when wrapped and closed 4" x 3.5". Shaped and drilled red oak twigs inlaid with turquoise, joined with sandalwood and rock-crystal beads strung on blue-green linen. Closure is of agate and turquoise.

"The chemical properties, geographic locations, and multi-cultural legends associated with this semiprecious gem wind across both sides of the oak sticks, in wood burned text and abstract designs. The wood is smoothed but unvarnished, allowing the natural fragrances of oak and sandalwood to add a dimension of scent."

(SOLD)

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Wait
By Marian Crane
Scottsdale, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2004. One-of-a-Kind.

3" high, 5.5" wide, 2" deep; 8 pages. Wenge wood, walnut, leather, dyed linen fabric, printed cotton fabric, cotton embroidery thread, brown linen thread, glass and porcelain beads, rock crystal, acrylic paint. Wooden covers inlaid with rock crystal gems over hand-painted vignettes illustrating the text. Anchored by two tassels of brown, blue, and white handblown glass beads and Chinese porcelain beads. Primary colors: dark brown, blue, white.

Marian Crane: "Four embroidered and appliqué pages hold an 8-line poem about companionship and aging."
(SOLD)

 


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Western Windows
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2009. Edition of 3 Variants.

6.25 x 2.25 x 2"; 12 fabric pages. Leather covers, glass and stone accents. Fabric appliqué with hand-drawn topographic maps, fabric accents, and fragments of commercial map-printed cotton.

The Western Windows series by Marian Crane consists of three sensual journals, each with the same basic format but each unique. They record imaginary travel by someone steeped in the colors and textures of a large swathe of the US Southwest.

Marian Crane: "[This series] chronicles imaginary road trips based on U.S. atlases and Route 66 travel postcards."

Western Windows 1: Sedona to Santa Fe (SOLD)
Western Windows 2: Tahoe to Taos
(SOLD)
Western Windows 3: Durango to Dallas
(SOLD)


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Whisper
By Marian Crane
Tempe, Arizona: Crane Designs, 2015. One-of-a-Kind.

1″ x 1.75″ x 1.25″; 24 pages. Twelve double pages with hand-inked text and applique rectangles on reverse. Materials: glass rectangle blanks, glass beads, commercially-printed cotton, sheer nylon repurposed from tea bags, rust linen, green polyester grosgrain ribbon, waxed polyester cord, polyester sewing thread, acrylic ink. Carved and etched glass covers. Coptic bound with brown polyester cord and clear/frosted glass bead accents, finished with fore-edge tassels, ties, and necklace cord. Signed by the artist.

Inked text by Marian Crane: "Leave the loud world for a moment, learn to think again."
(SOLD)

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Page last update: 05.26.16

 

   
  
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