Book artist from Orcas Island, Washington, U.S.
The clam shell book was conceived during a walk on an ocean shore in March, 2011. The view: A roughly pebbled beach laced with whiplike bull kelp, a scattering of pearl-esque clam shells and the soft curling of stormy blue waves. In my mind: the tragedy of the Japanese tsunami and the dreaded spread of the toxic waters across the Pacific. How to negotiate the seemingly healthy waters on my side of the ocean with the nuclear tragedy in Japan was strongly riding the waves of my thoughts (and still is). To me, the ocean and the life within is a giantess mother — so nurturing, powerful, healing and deeply moving. I hope to give something in return. My response is the clam shell book — an offering for all the ocean provides.
The act of sewing the broken halves of the clam shell into a book embodies a return to wholeness and relationship: two shells connected by a moving body of paper; two lands connected by the waves of the sea. I believe those who reside on the other side of the Pacific are not so distant or different from myself. We really are one breathing, thinking, loving body of people who depend on the health of our waters for sustenance.