pictured: Brece Honeycutt's ecodyed covers prepare to be hand-bound and stamped for Tobacco Hour. Photo: BH
Please join us for a celebration and reading of the book on Sunday, April 19, 4-6 pm, at Luhring Augustine Bushwick, 25 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.
Tobacco Hour is the product of a three-year collaboration between Dara Mandle and Brece Honeycutt. Published by Norte Maar in an edition of 75, featuring twenty new poems by Dara Mandle, each numbered copy of Tobacco Hour has been hand made by Brece Honeycutt.
Working together, artist and poet have designed Tobacco Hour to be an experimental cross between book printing and art making. Based in an 18th-century colonial farmhouse in Sheffield, Massachusetts, drawing on her impressions of Mandle's poems of devotion and desire, Honeycutt has used flora and found objects to dye and texture the covers of each book individually.
The chapbook is the size of a small prayer book, linking it to the many prayer poems in the text, which Brece has hand-stitched without glue in a special binding. For the covers, barberry, goldenrod, mugwort, rhododendron, and mint, along with metal washers, were interleaved in between white sheets of paper, put between two sheets of copper, and immersed in a dye bath. This process, called eco-dyeing, uses materials from the land that are then returned to the land.
Norte Maar, the Bushwick-based nonprofit dedicated to collaboration in the arts, is publishing the edition as part of its series of artist-writer collaborations, which will also include A Modicum of Mankind, short stories by John Talbird with art by Leslie Kerby.
Brece and Dara look over prototype pages in production in the Sheffield studio. Brece's stand-alone paper sculptures hang on the back wall. Photo: JP
Brece uses found objects as resists as she presses pages together to set overnight. When she opens them up, she discovers how foliage and other elements have left their marks on the paper. Photo: JP
On one wall Brece has pinned prototype pages for the book. Here Brece has written out one of Dara's poems on hand-made paper (above) and hand-stitched the binding of some pages (below). Dara and Brece experimented with different page formats and worked through ideas of how best to translate Brece's handmade book art to multiple production. Photo: JP
Folded covers for Tobacco Hour awaiting barberry bath. Photo: BH
Goldenrod, drying in the attic, used for book's ecodyes. Photo: JP
Ecodyed covers prepared for goldenrod bath. Photo: BH
Cover paper in Brece's press. Photo: BH
Hand-bound copies of Tobacco Hour ready for release. Photo: BH
A finished copy of Tobacco Hour. Photo: BH
Tobacco Hour. Photo by Sharon Butler.