Roadkills: A Collection of Prose and Poetry - by John McPhee, Gillian Conoley, Gary Snyder, Madeline DeFrees, William Stafford and Richard Eberhart
With Etching and Wood Engravings by Alan James Robinson
Cheloniidæ Press, 1981
French-style fine binding with laced-in boards. Covered in hand-dyed goatskin with onlays in blue snakeskin, Hook Pottery pink paper, mulberry leather, dark blue eel, light blue carp, dark brown goatskin and purple ostrich skin. Horizon embroidered with bright blue embroidery floss. Coyote created with a series of tan to beige colored onlays and embroidered with a variety of cotton floss. A range of hand tools gilt in variegated leaf. Leather wrapped endbands in seafoam green buffalo skin. Hook Pottery pink paper edge-to-edge doublures embellished with embroidery and striped paste paper onlays. Light blue goatskin hinge extends from embroidery to joint. Flyleaves and endpapers are handmade papers from Hook Pottery: black and red wheatstraw.
Book is housed in a clamshell box covered in rose buffalo skin and raspberry bookcloth. The trays are covered in same bookcloth and lined with aubergine suede. Title is hand embroidered in bright blue thread over blue goatskin onlays. Handmade fishing flies housed in compartments covered in handmade orchid purple paper from Katie MacGregor.
30.2cm x 23.1cm x 1.6cm – Completed in 2019
- Exhibited in “Bound Together” Bookbinding Alumni Exhibit at North Bennet Street School, Boston, MA, 2019
- Exhibited in 2019 North Bennet Street School Student & Alumni Exhibit
- Exhibited in Helen Warren DeGolyer Competition for American Bookbinding at Southern Methodist University, Bridwell Library, Dallas, TX, 2022
The inspiration for this text came during fish trips Alan James Robinson took during college, in where he would often see roadkill on the side of the road. These animal deaths became the haunting wood engravings inside the text, which are paired with prose and poetry about roadkill.
I wanted to highlight one of the animals from the text on the cover of the binding. I chose the coyote because I was captured by the angle showcasing its long, lanky legs. The coyote is set against a hand-dyed background made to resemble gravel and the outline of a river in the area where Robinson attended college. The river is embroidered over a range of different animal leathers plus handmade paper.