I have been sewing, collaging covers and gluing transparency papers onto covers this weekend as the first of what will be 200 chapbooks entitled TRACERY for my Dusie's Kollectiv #5 get underway!
100 are for the Kollectiv, and some others will be for sale--for example at my reading in Paris on the 10th of May, 2011 at 19h15 at Carr's Pub & Restaurant, 1 rue Mont-Thabor, M° Tuileries see Poets-Live for more on that event: http://poets-live.com/). In TRACERY, the texts--more shards perhaps than poems--are the first I have written about my new home in Mulhouse--in the Alsace region of France. Here, we have a lot of old industry, but the town was built on wild patterns and bright colors--like the buildings which are themselves a sort of basket of Easter eggs (see here 2 photos from the not-too-far-away village of Riquewihr in Les Vosges moutains that Lisa & I visited together)!
Printing fabric (as seen at the Musée de l'impression sur Etoffes, Mulhouse: http://www.musee-impression.com/gb/musee/default.html) dominated commerce here, as did the fashion of wallpapering.
In fact, one of the nearby villages (Rixheim) still houses one of the most famous, elaborate wallpaper makers in the world--Zuber & Cie. Recently, Lisa Pasold (Canadian author, of novel Rats of Las Vegas, & the poetry collections A Bad Year for Journalists and Weave (both from Frontenac Press, Canada)) visited & we went over to Rixheim and the old Zuber & Cie grounds to see the Musée du Papier Peint: http://www.museepapierpeint.org/. The wallpaper museum is an environment that still feels linked to attentive artisan's work--the museum is human-sized and comfortable to move through, like a private showcasing of the papers. It is hard to believe, in fact, that some of the papers on the walls cost upwards of $30,000 to print, using hundreds of hand-made wood blocks. See the website for some images of this, or the site Articles & Texticles below which features some of the larger mural paper images.
Thus, seeing this work, and helping some friends rip down old paper in their new house in Brunstatt (paper that even coated the ceiling in massive floral designs--quite dizzying! See my use of it on the collaged covers of my chapbooks here--and imagine yourself inside a room of it!) I decided to use that paper as my recycled material in the making of my Dusie Chap. Here, some of the photos show me and my apartment cluttered with papers and materials as I am in the process of the making of the book (note the progression in the corner of my apartment! Good think I have all this Mulhousien space and am no longer crammed in a Paris closet, eh?:)).
And there are a few images also of collage-like poems and the covers of N° 1 and 2. Each of the books will have an individually-made cover collage. Some of the collages will hang out over the 15x15cm book's edges, and others will be cropped to match the regular book size. The cover of the book is a papier calque (a sort of dense tracing paper) on which I printed not only my title and name, but also an image once used to stamp on the back of Wallpaper from the UK sent over to the colonies in the US, at a point in time when the British were trying to levy a paper tax. I found this image on http://www.historicnewengland.org/collections-archives-exhibitions/online-exhibitions/wallpaper/history/1750.htm/?searchterm=wallpaper%20stamp which is Historic New England's fabulously extensive database of wallpaper history and of shards of used and bits of unused wallpaper from homes on the East coast of the United States of America. What's amusing (or at least it is to me) is that I have been teaching a US Civ course where we discussed the stamping and taxing of papers, and then I ended up writing this chapbook.
Places, histories, times, interests collide! Anyway, here are a few sample pages for your delight, with hopes that you might decide to order your own copy (by emailing me) or come and purchase on at the Poets-Live reading, May 10th 2011 in Paris!
Also, for anyone interested--Here are links to some of the cool Wallpaper sites out there in cyberspace (some I discovered during and some that I am only just discovering post-writing this chapbook). For example:
**The UK site for the Wallpaper History Society: http://wallpaperhistorysociety.org.uk/
**Zuber & Cie's fabulous site with many examples of their current, gorgeous "products" such as the image of the rose paper seen on the above sample page from the chapbook: http://www.zuber.fr/ Zuber's site of course names all the major metropolitain areas in the world where they have their showrooms, but its home base, Rixheim, is in small letters at the top of the site's pages! The image on their home page is one of the many "factories" that populated this area, so many of this style at the height of the fabric and paper industrial age.
**Wallpaper at Historic New England: http://www.historicnewengland.org/collections-archives-exhibitions/online-exhibitions/wallpaper
**Roland Piquepaille’s story “Wall to Wall Wallpaper” on his site: Articles & Texticles comparing Wallpaper and Animation techniques: http://www.articlesandtexticles.co.uk/2009/01/10/wall-to-wall-wallpaper/
And, certainly, no blog post about this area would be complete without a little photo of vinyards--so, voilà, from Lisa and my drive down Les Vosges from Riquewihr then over via Kaysersburg to Katzenthal where my current favorite place to purchase wine is--Michèle et Jean-Luc Stoeklé where the daugher of the family now works and is also very nice. But GOOOOD wine, and great prices, too! Worth stopping by!