Creativity can be a lonely calling, especially when studios are corners, carved from bedrooms and basements. Some days I never leave my home, hold one-sided colloquies with the podcasts on my player, and wish for co-workers whose mindless banter could break long monotonies. Creative communities can temper hermetic bents, offer encouragement and constructive insights. We all need others, and collaborations can hone passions, and augment our vision in ways which push us beyond our own boundaries. Both creativity and collaboration, like a fickle muse, are paradoxical and require simultaneously the structure of sacred space, and utter freedom within those constraints. Sometimes intentional, sometimes intuitive, this collaboration developed organically.
“Mortling” began in May as a favor among friends. Matthew a poet and articulate weaver of words, purchased one of my hand-made, tiny blank books. Enamored, he asked Margaret, our enviably artistic friend, who is conversant across mediums, to illustrate a poem he had written. She agreed, but the idea lay dormant months until September, when Margaret came to me to brainstorm. The two of us freshly conceived “Mortling” as a whole, and began with a blank canvas. The result was a small 1 inch square volume, drawn and inked in actual size. Yarn from Matthew’s travels to the Faroe Islands, which ties in to the theme of the poem, and was used to print texture onto the book cloth and end papers. And, the very first edition of “Mortling” came into being.
The overwhelming encouragement from our social and online communities was unanticipated, and the idea to create “Mortling” on a wider scale was born. Reproductions of the original artwork are now available, hand bound onto printed covers and end papers. Now this nascent triad, freshly inspired, looks forward to the prospect of producing more tiny prosodic works, their small measures illuminated and hand bound.