Crab Quill Press—Artist Books > The Augury of a Cranefly

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The Augury of a Cranefly

collected composed & calligraphed by Ian Boyden
Walla Walla, Washington: Crab Quill Press, 2002

produced on commission

price on request



A perfect companion piece for A Mischievity of Craneflies, this book explores the calligraphic metamorphoses of the cranefly. This is the first volume of a series concerning invertebrate scripts, which derives its inspiration from the Chinese Qin and Han dynasty writing style known as niao chong wen, or "bird and invertebrate script." The book consists of twenty-two pages of hand-painted craneflies. Falling vertically across the page, the craneflies invoke Chinese calligraphy; geometrically massed in roundels on the end pages, they recall shamsas found in albums of Moghul miniature paintings. The title page, dedication, and colophon are set in Centaur and letterpress printed; the body of the book is painted/calligraphed by hand. Thus, while the book has an edition of seven, each book is unique. Printed on Hahnemühle German Ingres; endpapers are Japanese taiten paper. Each book is signed by the artist, features wooden covers (lacewood, black limba, and Alaskan yellow cedar) and presented in a silk-lined Solander Box. Dimensions: 12.75 x 8.5 x 1.5 inches. 32 pages.