About this piece:
Since 1994, when I discovered the Center for Book Arts in NYC, I have been fascinated with creating and printing words and images. As a graphic designer, I have made a career of design. With a press, I am in complete control of the process from concept to binding. Shel Silverstein, E.B. White, Edgar Allen Poe, Dr. Seuss and many others have all been dancing around in my head for the past twenty some years. Haiku Alphabet Zoo gets those influences onto the page through my own filter. This book is created in three editions of 26 each- Black & White, Watercolored, & Deluxe Color w/ Geli-Print.
Haiku Alphabet Zoo was conceived in the artist’s sketchbook in 1995. There it stayed until proposals were requested for Maine Media Book Artist in Residence Program. All the imagery was created by Richard Reitz Smith using pen & ink and many layers of tracing paper to achieve the right balance of line quality and image expression. The haiku are alliterative and within each illustration is a corresponding hidden letter of the alphabet.
One of three editions: black & white, hand-tinted watercolor, or deluxe color with gelatin printmaking and hand-coloring. Each is an edition of 26 and lettered A-Z. Covers are Fabriano Tiziano paper over binder’s board with letterpress printing and hand-polished with beeswax. The jute binding is a modified Coptic stitch. Each book has a sleeve cover that is letterpress printed on Mohawk Via Smooth Flax which matches the interior stock. This version of the edition focuses on brighter color and textures achievable in the gelatin printmaking process.
paper, jute, book board, ink, watercolor, colored pencil
About the artist:
resides in Camden, Maine, United States
Richard Reitz Smith is an award-winning artist/designer who studied painting and illustration at Carnegie Mellon University. After designing for Crayola and Liquitex brands, he earned a Masters degree in Graphic Design from Tyler School of Art, then spent five years as a professor which took him to New York City where he freelanced for many companies and then took positions with Clicquot, Inc. and Estee Lauder’s Clinique. In 2002, he moved to Maine and continued exploring book arts. Last summer, he was Book Art in Residence at Maine Media Workshops. These entries are the result.