Bitter Chocolate. Julie Flying Fish Press. Chen.

Bitter Chocolate.

Berkeley, CA: Flying Fish Press, 2016. Artist's book, one of 50 copies, on a variety of papers, including Old Masters from Papeterie Saint-Armand, Zanders Elephant Hide, and Hahnemuhle Ingres, hand-numbered and signed by the artist / author, Julie Chen on the colophon. Page size: 3.5 x 14-3/4 x 1-7/8 inches closed; opening to full width of 25-3/4 inches, 52pp. in UNSWEETENED; 52pp. in UNTEMPERED. Bound by Julie Chen: Jacob's Ladder structure, brown cloth over boards with title in gold gilt on each end followed by UNSWEETENED and UNTEMPERED and an image in gold gilt stamping of the cocoa bean, housed in portfolio case with magnetic close. Portfolio is same brown cloth over boards, lined with celadon green paper on which the colophon, operating instructions for Jacob's Ladder structure, and Foreword are printed letterpress in brown ink, title in gold gilt on celadon green paper bordered by gilt rules on front panel of portfolio. Julie Chen has written texts with 2 themes: the first is her own narrative about the fictional goddess of chocolate and the second is a factual account of some of the history as well as contemporary events surrounding chocolate. The text is letterpress printed from photopolymer plates by Julie Chen. Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder has contributed handsome woodcuts of the cocoa tree and beans printed in brown, green, and orange, some against a background of green on blue map with longitude lines in brown. From the sides the book resembles a deluxe box of chocolates. The text, as the author notes in the Forward, is "at once lyrical and unsettling." The book is wonderful. The unusual structure not only shows this book artist's skill in design, but it is not just to display technical bravura; it is wholly integrated into the thoughtful and relevant text. Item #11174

Price: $1,750.00

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