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Pictorial Webster's: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities
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More About the Author
My first artist's book was a watercolor book of trees literally sewn with dental floss onto an old set of shoelaces. I took a printmaking class taught by Sam Walker with whom I would later team up to make Putrefatti (which now resides in the Smithsonian Library). One of my classmates, Anna Hepler, printed a book as part of our class and I helped her to bind it. A fire started burning in me to print my own books. I had always planned to be a writer and to make artwork and becoming a book artist was a natural progression. After my graduation I co-taught the first Book Arts class at Oberlin with Sam Walker and Anna Hepler. I then did an internship at the Silver Buckle Press at the University of Wisconsin where I was able to letterpress print my first artist book under the press name "Quercus Press."
My first book on Amazon is Pictorial Webster's. It is a trade edition of a hand printed book printed from the original printing blocks used to make Merriam-Webster's Dictionaries of the 19th century. I spent three years in the basement of the Sterling Library at Yale University (just down the hall from the custodian break-room)organizing and staging the engravings for printing. On my quercuspress website I give a thorough history of the project and an 8 minute video of the making of the book.
I hope that Amazon readers will read the endmatter of the book that I title the "Pancreas." There is much discussion of the history of dictionary illustration, and an exploration of the source for creativity in our minds and how this book might be used to enhance one's creativity. There is also a glossary of terms pertaining to a yet-to-be-completed novel based upon the adventures of the little army man, Adam, who appears throughout Pictorial Webster's.
Top Customer Reviews
When I hold this book in my hand, I feel like it's a miracle child of commitment, hard work, luck, providence and love. It is a special, special collection of pages.
When I was 6, I received my first dictionary. I was disappointed because it was a child's dictionary. Over-sized, red covers, big printing and simple words however with nice illustrations. At 8 (after much begging), I received Webster's Concise Dictionary. A proper research tool filled with words I had never heard of in my short life! Finally, an adventure to discover new words!! And thus began my romance with Websters.
This new addition in Pictorial Form is really a gem! A fine emerald green and copper gilt cover entices me to open the book and seek out this new "narrative" that was sneaked in between the illustrations. I choose a page...... in G.
In the letter "G" I find a challenge. A Guard (En Guard!) swordsman is challenging a Grizzly Bear protected only by a Groined Arch. (Which is where I would want protection!). In "M" I find a family of Mammoths grazing on Mandrake being watched by Man (Java Man, Neanderthal, and Cro-Magnon). In "C" a rousing game of Chess is being played by a Cheetah and a Cheiroptera (Bat). My odds are on the bat....
Elsewhere in "S" a marsupial called a Sarigue is counting the Sails on a ship, and in "K" two Knights are outranked by a Kingfisher, a King Penguin, and a King Spider Crab. And in case you need to tie some knots, well just go to page 200 for a chart of 59 knots!!
In "&" (yes, that's ampersand...) I find plans for war!Read more ›
The illustrations in this book came from the original engravings that had been given to Yale University by the Merriam-Webster Company. Mr. Carrera has cleaned and restored the more than 1500 engravings and now presents them in the form of a bound book.
The result is a fascinating book that presents something that can be viewed as a historical link to our past, or simply as art in its own right. It's a book that you pick up and flip through the pages until you realize that you've spent an hour or two just looking, with perhaps just a bit of learning.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice book, great resource!! It was in excellent condition. Very pleased!Published 6 months ago by K.Campbell
If you like the variety of pictures in Webster's dictionaries. I got it for the novelty of having all the pictures in one place & thinking it would be a good example for sketching... Read morePublished 19 months ago by J. Jenkins
I didn't actually get this book, so I am not sure why I am rating it, but I would absolutely love to have this book and thought all the wonderful pictures in it were fabulous!Published 20 months ago by artquiltgirl