Sandy Tilcock – Opening the Mouth of the Dead


© 2017
edition of 59
dimensions in inches: 11.75 x 6.5 x 1.5

about this piece

About this piece:
Opening the Mouth of the Dead is a story in poems, an investigation of coping, by Catherine Woodard. The central character is a third-grade girl growing up in 1960s North Carolina who uses the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead to navigate her complicated relationship with her father. Alive, he sometimes seems as dead as a mummy. Like the narrator, the artist Thompson reimagines ancient symbols and text into contemporary myth. Thompson’s drawings with watercolor wash and Blitz’s “eye”, originally a mezzotint, were scanned and the files we used to produce photopolymer photogravure plates and subsequently printed intaglio. Spots of color were added by hand. Tilcock utilized the back of the accordion for a glossary that extends the story in subtle, surprising ways. The text is printed letterpress from photopolymer plates on a Vandercook 219 proof press. The background on the text pages are digitally printed on an Epson 4880 using images created by scanning multiple sheets of papyrus.

Catherine Woodard, poet; New York City, New York.

Margot Voorhies Thompson: visual artist; Portland, Oregon

Perri Blitz, visual artist: New York City, New York


paper, ink, watercolors

About the artist:

For nearly 30 years, the mission of Sandy Tilcock and lone goose press is to collaborate with contemporary visual artists and authors to produce limited-edition books and broadsides where image, text and binding structure are intricately balanced to speak to issues of our time.

The means is traditional: letterpress printing using lead and photopolymer type, a hand-cranked cylinder proofing press, and an intaglio press. These “hands-on” technologies explore the book and broadside as vessels for ideas at a time of seismic shifts in the role of image and word in communication across society.

About Alicia Bailey


Sandy Tilcock – Opening the Mouth of the Dead