365

365

What will be revealed in a year? What if the year was shaped like a book that had not been yet been written? And what if this book pushed the traditional book form and could be sculpted with the hills and valleys representing life’s joys and disappointments—mountains and curves of grief and celebrations—what shape would the year take? Would it have many small gentle bends or overlap weaving over itself forming and opening itself to what might come?

Coptic stitch structure with 365 signatures; assorted papers and watch parts.

 2.25 x 2.25 x 37 inches, 365 signatures (one of a kind)

©Debbi Commodore 2016

 

Photograph by Chris Tumbusch.

29 Nations

29 Nations

Washington state is home to 29 tribes. Indigenous people have experienced a culturally rich and tragic history. Their influence on this area is not just found in the history books it can be found in our place names, current conservation efforts, leadership, state culture and the arts.

Modified accordion, image from University of Washington Library Digital Collection; Texts from Shinn’s History of the American People (1893) and Washington Indian Tribes Today (Seattle Times 2016)

5.25 x 8 x 1.5 inches, (one of a kind)

©Debbi Commodore 2017

Photograph by Ross Maulhausen

Rain

Rain

The story of a place is told in part by its climate. The climate impacts how people dress, what/how vegetation will grow, how time is spent outside and the structure of homes. Western Washington, in particular the greater Tacoma area, experiences about 155 days of measurable rain per year. And while that may only represent on average 3 days a week it often seems to be a constant. This piece takes a whimsical look at the different types of rain fall in a structure often associated with a traditional children’s toy.

Reproduced tinted-papercuts, Jacob’s Ladder structure

3.25 x 4.5 1.75 (edition of 3)

©Debbi Commodore 2017

Photograph by Ross Malhausen

Visible

Visible

Make visible what

without you,

might

perhaps

never

have

been

seen.

 ~~Robert Bresson

 

Eight unique paper cuts accompany the quote from Robert Bresson in a unique accordion fold structure.

 

5 x 5 x 1 inch (12 inch diameter when formed into a circle); 9 pages; one of a kind

 

© Debbi Commodore 2016

 

Photograph by Chris Tumbusch.

Seductive Promises of Abundance

Seductive Promises of Abundance

This piece is inspired by the mark in time each winter—the cold, dark, dormant days when the seed catalogs arrive bringing promise this season will pass and a new one will soon begin filled with hope of abundance. Her dog-eared pages mark a place in time where we dream of what is possible and escape the realities of inexperience, uncertainty, failure and disappointment.

We move between remembering past harvests and dreaming. We make our lists, plans, and schedules; we begin to look forward—she teases us with what will be given, celebrating before there is a bounty. Drawn to her lush images, poetic descriptions, and yield promises we ready ourselves, counting the days, waiting. We become like the seed germinating in the soil. The neatly planted rows become overgrown; the simple seed catalog has given permission to dream and perhaps reflect beyond the harvest.

Materials: seed catalogs

Dragon-fold structure

12 books housed in a 8 x 10 x .75 box; books open to 20 inches (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2015

Neighborhood No. 1

Neighborhood No. 1

This piece is a part of an on-going series exploring the urban city. 

Working within the context of my own neighborhood, with all of our differences, I honored our connection.  I am inspired by how this little city neighborhood block of ours with our collection of varying sizes, shapes, colors, styles and beliefs fills such a basic need we all have and adds deep value to the quality of life. 

Linocut relief print

Flutter-style accordion structure

4.5 x 4.25 x .75 inches (opens to 12 inches), 3 pages (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2013

Neighborhood No. 3

Neighborhood No. 3

This piece is a part of a on-going series exploring the urban city. 

Working within the context of my own neighborhood, with all of our differences, I honored our connection.  I am inspired by how this little city neighborhood block of ours with our collection of varying sizes, shapes, colors, styles and beliefs fills such a basic need we all have and adds deep value to the quality of life. 

 

Linocut relief print

Flag book strucuture

4.5 x 4.5 x .75 inches (opens to 13 inches), 5 pages (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2014

 

Threads of Hope

Threads of Hope

The most solid and important things in our lives are ever-changing, either very slowly or quickly.  Hope explores the rhythm and pattern of everyday life with the ups and downs of complex uncertainties.  Intertwined in the hills and valleys of our journey is anticipation, faith, desire—hope.  With its fragility, power and promise hope has the ability to beckon us, moving us further along in our journey.

Accordion flutter book

4.25 x 2.5 x .75 inches (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2013

Paintbox-the place where light dances

Paintbox-the place where light dances

Mesmerized by the intensity of color, visiting the hardware paint department gives a dizzing sensory delight. Incredible colors coupled with their seductive names—Autumn Fire, Sonic Plum, Deep sea Diving and Snowy Dusk, to name a few.  Paintbox—the place where light dances was inspired by the delight in color and Victoria Finlay’s book Color.

Materials: paint chips

Stiff leaf binding book structure housed in a divided clam shell box

8.5 x 18 x 2 inches; 10 books (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2010

 

 

Ordinary Important

Ordinary Important

I explore shifting something perceived as ordinary and temporary to valued and important. By altering the format from catalog to a book structure housed in a wrapped-in case I want to challenge the common perception of disposable catalog to treasured book of catalog pages.

Materials: catalogs

Edge sewn binding

6.25 x 4.25 x 1.5 inches (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2008

 

Instruments of Measurement

Instruments of Measurement

The variable book edition was designed in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Puget Sound Book Artist Annual Member Exhibition. Variable copy no. 1 was presented as the PSBA Annual Exhibition award for the Curators’ Award to Gabby Cooksey for "Monsters and Beasts".   

The book contains the quote by William Fleming; Arts and Ideas; “To understand the spirit and inner life of a people—the joys, values, and drives that caused it to find life tolerable and meaningful—one must examine its art, literature, philosophy, dances, and music, because these are the instruments by which humankind takes its own measure.”

Materials: assortment of wood veneer panels

Accordion binding

5 x 5 inches; variable edition of 5

© Debbi Commodore 2015

Get More

Get More

In the winter of 2007 a mailbox filled with a wild collection of catalogs and credit card applications is a demonstration of the easy credit era before the market crashes. In Get More I break apart these bulging packages of the easy credit era in a series of 13 books housed in four boxes. Each boxed grouping of books is created from a different component of the credit card application.

Materials: credit card applications

Various bindings (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2008

 

 

Dahlia Inspired

Dahlia Inspired

The book, dahlia Inspired, contains 20 unique dahlia inspired flowers using 6 relief cuts. I am captivated by flowers—their geometry, color, names and the emotion and memories they can invoke. In this book each flower in in full bloom, with a showy lack of discretion, and have been selected for their color, size and durability. Dahlia Inspired continues the quest for the perfect flower.

Long-stitch binding with 30 linoleum relief cuts (see Relief Prints)

10 x 11.5 inches (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2011

 

 

Circles

Circles

Circles began as an expression to mirror the messy realities of life and evolved to an unforeseen experience of movement with the all-familiar, symbolic circle.  Holding tight to the tensions between the extensive symbolic meanings of the circle and intertwined with whimsy and inspiration-from-nature Circles winds through the dark corridors of time.

 Relief print

Accordion structure

2.25 x 3 inches; edition of 6; 4 books

© Debbi Commodore 2013

1948-Fall

1948-Fall

1948-Fall uniquely chronicles my grandparent’s lives for three months through their counter checks (bank checks and their bank statement).  Counter checks were a commonplace at the stores much the way the credit/debt processing machine is now found at the register.

This book gives pause for reflection to a simpler time without usernames and passwords as the viewer notices the absence of an account number on the check; the checks were processed on recognition of signature alone.

Counter checks with walnut covers

Signatures sewn on tapes

3.5 x 4.75 inches (one-of-a-kind)

© Debbi Commodore 2012