Michelle Ray is a traditionally trained book and letterpress artist featured in collections internationally including Yale University, New York Public Library, Boston Athenaeum, and the Bank Street Arts' International Artist's Book Collection (UK). Ray's pieces have been showcased in a variety of publications, including Lark Books' 500 Handmade Books Volume 2 (2013). She has taught workshops and university courses, and her work is represented by Vamp & Tramp Booksellers and Abecedarian Gallery. Ray is the Adult Services Coordinator at Leon County Public Library.
God Created the Sea and Painted it Blue so We'd Feel Good on it
While residing in the Deep South, I undertook a most wondrous adventure wherein I built a boat made entirely of cardboard and set about on an imaginary journey in the linoleum headwaters of my apartment. It started as cathartic play, it became this edition. I first learned to use a map while sailing. Finding myself in a space with no landmarks, I had to trust my life to those unwieldy sheets of paper with their complex representations of the ever-changing seascape. In reference to the sea, this edition's text states: There are no markers in this/ monochromatic/ parking lot. In the absence of these markers, we become painfully aware of their significance. This work is about experience, perception, memory, and the space in between composed of symbol, sound, and object. This is the space of mediation, the space where significant things happen; it is the ocean on which my imaginary crew and I sailed, the place for which there are no maps. Written, designed, and printed by Michelle Ray at The Small Craft Advisory Press, Florida State University as an MFA creative project for The University of Alabama's Book Arts Department. A heartfelt thank-you is extended to the College Book Art Association for providing financial assistance with this project.
Handmade cotton/abaca, French Construction, and Neenah Environment papers; Linen and basswood enclosure.
7 x 5.5 x 4.25 inches; 18 x 14 x 10.5 centimeters. Created 2013.