Ellen Ziegler~ Washington

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Ellen Ziegler: "I work with mirrored glass, tar paper, cyanotype, and drawings made with an electrode on a copper table. These arcane materials, with their sometimes unpredictable outcome, allow for accident and serendipity as well as ongoing refinement of technique. Chemistry is the emotion of matter."
Exercises to Free the Tongue
By Molly Tenenbaum (poems and text)
and Ellen Ziegler (everything else)
Seattle, Washington: Ellen Ziegler Studio, 2014. Deluxe edition of 20. Trade edition open..

Deluxe edition: 5.75 x 14 x 2" clamshell box containing 20 (5 x 13") double-sided cards and 1 (5 x 13") two-page hinged section. Box: cloth covered; 3.5 x 10.75" image inset on lid; cloth lift for pages; paper lined. Printed with Myriad Pro and Century Schoolbook typefaces. Printing and binding by Paper Hammer. Signed by poet and artist. Numbered.

Trade edition: 5 x 13"; 42 pages, one fold out page. Spiral bound.

"Exercises to Free the Tongue" is a collaboration of poet Molly Tenenbaum and artist Ellen Ziegler. Images and ephemera from Tenenbaum’s grandparents, who were ventriloquists on the vaudeville circuit in the early 1900s. The poems play with ventriloquial metaphors of voice and breath.

Molly Tenenbaum, Beloit Poetry Journal Poet's Forum: "When I was nine or ten, I took ventriloquist lessons from my grandfather …. He’d made his living on the vaudeville circuit from about 1913 to 1924, with breaks for the army and for getting married to Grandmother Minnie and teaching her the trade, after which they toured together. My first lesson was all about breathing from my diaphragm, which I couldn’t find. I never got over that first frustration, took only one or two more lessons, and never practiced. I wasn’t ready to explore ventriloquism again until I became a poet, and even then I had no idea how to approach it.

" … Along the way of working on these poems, and many other ventriloquism poems, I’ve tried to get at some of the mystery of making other voices from one’s own breath. And I’ve been reminded that ventriloquism is a human craft with a long history, that it comes from the human body, all its parts practicing and working together, and is a creation of individual genius and the broader culture."

Molly Tenenbaum is a poet and musician based in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of three collections of poetry and her work has appeared in many journals including Black Warrior Review, Nimrod, Southeast Review, and Poetry Northwest.
$300 Deluxe
$40 Trade


(Deluxe edition)
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(Trade edition)
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El Torero y La Bailarina
By Ellen Ziegler
Seattle, Washington: 2012, Ellen Ziegler. Edition of 20.

8.5 x 11.5"; 20 leaves. Typed in 10 point Courier on vintage onionskin paper, each translucent page overlays a photograph underneath. Text in Spanish and English. The English translation appears next to the photograph. 10 pages are typed on onionskin, and each typed page overlays the reproduction of a photograph or a document, hand-mounted next to the English translation. Photographs inkjet-printed on archival paper. Bound in illustrated paper over boards with half cloth. Handsewn binding. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Ellen Ziegler: "El Torero y La Bailarina is a hand-typed, hand-built, hand-bound love story. It's an artist’s book about the romance between my ballerina mother and the Mexican actor, bullfighter, and comedian Cantinflas in Mexico City, 1941.

"My mother, Miriam Golden, was a ballerina with American Ballet Theatre. The company was in residence in Mexico City in 1941; there she met the actor Mario Moreno, known as Cantinflas. Miriam was 21, on her own for the first time, and full of adventure. Mexican culture and language appealed to her deeply; this charming story tells of a vital young woman who had a whirlwind love affair in Mexico with one of its most colorful characters. Their romance lasted a year, and their friendship for the rest of their lives. "




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Ellen Ziegler Out of Print Title:  

By Ellen Ziegler
Poems by Patti Smith
Seattle, Washington: 2013, Ellen Ziegler. Edition of 3.

19 x 23.5"; 16 pages. Altered cyanotypes, hand-lettered with bleaching chemicals. Boards covered in gray cloth, attached by three screw post fasteners. Title blind embossed on top board.

Imbue contains 4 poems by Patti Smith, each hand-written by Ellen Ziegler on altered cyanotypes. These poems are from Smith's Auguries of Innocence (HarperCollins, 2005) used by permission of the poet.

Ellen Ziegler: "This book is made of giant cyanotypes with text inscribed with a solution of tri-sodium phosphate (TSP – the active ingredient in Spic 'n' Span!). …The poems … are about losing husbands to unexpected deaths. …

"She [Patti Smith] wrote a book of poetry about her husband Fred after he passed away prematurely of a heart attack. I happened to be reading her book when the same thing happened to my boyfriend Ian Rodihan in 2010. I wrote to her asking for her permission to use her work in a book, NEVER expecting to hear back. But her assistant contacted me and gave me the go-ahead. ....

"The book is sumptuous: large, very blue, tactile, makes a beautiful sound when the pages are turned."

www.biography.com: "Patti Smith [1946 -] is a singer, writer, and artist who became a highly influential figure in the New York City punk rock scene. After working on a factory assembly line, she began performing spoken word and later formed the Patti Smith Group (1974-1979). Her most famous album is Horses. In 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe....One of the pioneers of punk rock music, a trailblazer who redefined the role of female rock stars, a poet who unleashed her lyrical talent over powerful guitars, Patti Smith stands out as one of the greatest figures in the history of rock 'n' roll. After four decades, Smith finds her continued motivation to write and make music in the unfairly shortened lives of her loved ones and the needs of her children."






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Page last update: 07.8.15


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