The Top Secret Book of Secrets at Mount Saint Mary’s University

Gallery Card

I have been teaching Introduction to Book Making at Mount Saint Mary’s University here in Los Angeles for the Spring Semester. I was invited to participate in the faculty show at their Chalon Campus.

For the show, I bound a copy of Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes and Processes, which is available free of charge on-line courtesy of archive.org.

The title of the piece is “The Top Secret Book of Secrets”. Here is it in the gallery space:

The Top Secret Book of SecretsThe Top Secret Book of Secrets

The podium was customized with brass hardware. I hand shaped the clips for the brass rail.

The Top Secret Book of Secrets

The book is bound in a matte black cattle hide, with gold foil free-handed on the cover and spine. I wanted to preserve the aged look, so the tooling is rough.

The Top Secret Book of SecretsThe Top Secret Book of SecretsThe Top Secret Book of Secrets

 

The text is obscured on the pages with both pen and adhesive scratch-off stickers

The Top Secret Book of SecretsThe Top Secret Book of Secrets

 

Sadly, I printed the pages long grain, so after folding they’re not laying as flat as I’d like. It was a heart wrenching discovery after three days of printing, I decided to bind the block anyway.

There are poems hidden under the end pages, both front and back.

The Top Secret Book of Secrets

 

 

There is also a hidden compartment in the spine. A slip of paper is rises out if you pull the place holder ribbon up.

The Top Secret Book of SecretsThe Top Secret Book of Secrets

 

The text hidden in the spine is:

The Top Secret Book of Secrets

 

There are other quips hidden under the scratch-off stickers. The installation includes a nickel, in case anyone decides to try scratching some of the silver off.

The Top Secret Book of Secrets

 

 

 

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