Shawn Sheehy – Fresh Cut Xmas: A Well-Trimmed Survey of Holiday Plants


© 2017
edition of 50
dimensions in inches: 6.5 x 4.5 x 1.75

About this piece:
Fresh Cut Xmas: A Well-Trimmed Survey of Holiday Plants celebrates the flora that has played a role in winter holidays for centuries. In contrast with the excess of contemporary seasonal traditions, the style of this book is minimal; the palette is spare, the baubles are few, and the text on each page is composed using the haiku’s 17 stark syllables.

As with the first two books in this botanical series (A Pop-Up Field Guide to North American Wildflowers and A Pop-Up Culinary Herbal), Fresh Cut Xmas looks at ancient plant folklore through a contemporary lens with dual purpose: understanding and appreciating each plant more fully, and highlighting oddities of 21st century cultural practice.

Shawn Sheehy concepted, engineered, designed and assembled this book. Eileen Madden at ChiPress printed the text from polymer plates. The type was set digitally in Italian Electric.In developing the third book in my botanicals series, I was initially opposed to making a christmas book. In a season with so much glut, I didn’t really want to throw another material item on the pile. I also didn’t want to make something that had anything to do with Jesus or Santa. Thematically and historically, though, it made a lot of sense. So I made the book, but as a treatise AGAINST the glut of the holidays, and a call for folks to turn their attentions to loftier sights. So: stripped down text, stripped down palette.
commercial card stock, letterpress

About the artist:

Shawn Sheehy’s interest in paper engineering grew from experiences in sculpture, graphic design and book arts. His interest in the natural world—an underlying theme in his books—stems from his years living in rural Indiana and teaching environmental studies. Shawn editions pop-up artist books, creates mass-market pop-up books, serves occasionally as freelance graphic designer, and teaches paper engineering workshops.


Shawn Sheehy – Fresh Cut Xmas: A Well-Trimmed Survey of Holiday Plants