Stillwater, ME: 2016. Artist's book, 1 of 10 copies, all on Katie MacGregor blue Sherman handmade paper, each copy hand-lettered and decorated with hand-cut paper snowflakes by Nancy Ruth Leavitt who has signed and dated the colophon. Page size: 6-1/2 inches square; 16pp. including covers, 8 paper pages, 5 of which hand-lettered; 8 pages of fabric in which are embedded with hand-stitching 9 hand-cut paper snowflakes, each (of course) different, in addition, 1 paper snowflake stitched in with ice blue iridescent thread between 2 paper pages. Bound by Joelle Webber, Mermaid Bindery, iridescent woven polyester, organza and glitter tulle fabric, hand-sewn with 3 small crystal beads on the spine, housed in custom-made blue cloth over boards clamshell box with snowflake pillow bottom.
First published in BIRDS OF PASSAGE, 1863 (Flight the Second), Longfellow's "Snow-flakes" is one of his best-known short poems and, according to many sources, reflects the author's profound sadness over the death of his wife, Frances.
The somber note sounded by Longfellow in this verse is re-imagined by Ms. Leavitt as part of nature's grand design and inexplicable beauty. The grey porous paper and the glittery casings for the intricately designed snowflakes are echoed in the delicate and lacy white gouache lettering of the text. This is a beautiful book, soft and delicate and poignant. Item #11137