Gules

By Mardy Sears
Chicago: Crickets, Crows, and Retropects Press, 2005. Edition of 10.

9 x 12"; 48 leaves, Dos-à-dos structure. Linoleum cuts. Printed on handmade paper of cotton rag and flax. Handset in various styles and sizes of Bodoni type and Gothic wood type. Printed on a Vandercook Universal 1 press. Double-hinged gatefold Ethiopian binding. Built from quarter sawn oak covers with crimson leather lining. Laid in red cloth box. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Mardy Sears: "Gules, meaning reddish, begins with a quote from Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, 'On a field sable, the letter 'A' gules.' I was motivated by the novel and by life events to create an artist book with the theme of adultery. The concept of this limited edition artist book marries text, taken from the answers to a questionnaire I drafted about thoughts regarding adultery, with photos of subjects wearing an embroidered scarlet letter. In order to capture precise expressions I used a photo transfer process to print the image onto linoleum blocks for carving. Both block-printed images and letterpress text are bound into separate books and hinged together in a dos-à-dos binding with oak covers."

Guild of Book Workers: "Gules … explores a topic that continues to be taboo in the jaded West, adultery. Mardy’s journalistic approach to gathering content delivers a broad range of freshly spoken perspectives on the 'rightness' or 'wrongness' of the act. Images of each subject, wearing the scarlet letter, have been carved into linoleum and printed on handmade flax paper, side by side with handset letterpress text. "
$1,000