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Catherine Michaelis

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Lost in Japan: A Souvenir Scrapbook

This memory book of Japan in the 1950s and 1960s features Japanese dyed and stenciled papers, a kirigami crane pop-up, maps and letterpress text. The gingko leaf and coin images are collographs, which are similar to brass rubbings. The cover of each book in the edition is made from store wrap, which makes each cover unique. The variations, wrinkles and vintage look of the piece suggest a scrapbook.

Artist Catherine Michaelis said: “Lost in Japan is a story about a passion for Japanese paper and Japan, a love I shared with a woman named Alice. Alice Turnbull was an elderly woman dying of heart disease whom I met and took care of in her last months. When she died her family gave me her cherished rolls of paper.”

Press: May Day Press
Date: 1999
Number and Edition: 77 of 86
Size: 5” x 3.5”


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The Science and Spirit of Leaves

Catherine Michaelis juxtaposes science and religion in The Science and Spirit of Leaves by looking at various kinds of leaves, including familiar leaves and some rare oddities. “Science” is represented by the classification and identification of leaves while “Spirit” is represented by the healing properties of medicinal plants used by the Cherokee. The scientific elements are viewed page by page, while the “Spirit” is viewed by fanning the pages around in a circle to produce a medicine wheel. The letterpress and linoleum block book was printed on acrylic stained veneer, and the book is bound on a waxed linen cord and wrapped in bamboo, silk and nylon.

Michaelis has been making letterpress books since 1989, when she trained at Laughing Dog Press. She began publishing under the imprint of May Day Press in 1992. Since then, she has published 27 other edition books, several one-of-a-kind books and various broadsides and prints.

Press: May Day Press
Date: 2000
Number and Edition: 10 of 10
Size: 9.5” x 3”

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