Roberta Lavadour, Mission Creek Press

Pendleton, Oregon

Fat Chance

Found diet pamphlets sewn all along on handmade leather belts that run through the center of the boards, with painted text block edges and French double headbands. Covered in three-quarter leather (goat) with Fabriano Roma fore edge covers and found measuring tape. Belt closures have standard holes, as well as extra holes hand punched to accommodate the added girth of the book. Everything about the book is purposely overscaled. The resulting book speaks to the futility of the quick fix while allowing us to relate to the person who bought so many of these pamphlets, each one of which initially held great hope. 16.5 x 15.3 x 10 centimeters. Created 2006.

Roberta Lavadour lives and works at the foothills of the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon. She made her first book in 1982 but it wasn’t until 1997 that two landmark events occurred: she got a studio of her own, and was introduced to Julie Chen, Kathy Kuehn and Barb Tetenbaum at the Whitman College Summer Book Arts program. Learning that the art pieces she had been experimenting with were actually part of a recognized medium called “book arts” was like putting fire to dry grass. Her work is fueled by her rampant curiosity and explores everything from found objects and thrift store finds to personal family history to current events. She has been recognized with awards at several exhibit venues and received an Oregon Arts Commission/National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship in 2001. Her work resides in many public and private collections around the world. She publishes her artist’s books under the Mission Creek Press imprint. Website at