Fifteen Engravings by Barry Moser
A Heroic Crown of Sonnets by Paul Muldoon
Publication price: $5,700
Remaining Copies Lost to the October 9, 2017 Sonoma County Firestorm
Encheiresin Naturae is a creative collaboration between Barry Moser, the renowned American engraver, and Paul Muldoon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet. Moser's strikingly new abstract images, invented and engraved for this Nawakum Press edition, intimately consort with Muldoon's new and powerful, unpublished poems.
Fifteen abstract relief engravings were invented and engraved by Moser in his studio in Hatfield, Massachusetts in 2014. They were inspired by the phrase encheiresin naturae taken from his reading of Goethe's Faust, referencing an alchemist's many experiments in "manipulating nature." Muldoon was asked to respond to the images poetically, and he chose an advanced form of a crown of sonnets, known as a sonnet redoublé, or heroic crown of sonnets for his tour-de-force response.
In Encheiresin Naturae each of Muldoon's sonnets is paired opposite a Moser engraving, which has been printed directly from the block. These new non-representational images mark a major departure in the engraver's work. Moser was trained early on as an abstract painter in the halcyon days of the Abstract Expressionists, and these engravings are, in a manner, a return to beginnings. Poet John Ashbery has referred to Moser's work as "never less than dazzling." Jasper Johns refers to these images as "terrific and surprising."
The edition is published in one boxed state:
Encheiresin Naturae is seventy-six pages and measures 14" by 18-1/4". The paper is mouldmade Zerkall and Twinrocker handmade. The binding is half leather with marbled paper over boards. The drop spine box is covered with scarlet Japanese cloth and features a small, embedded, hand-hammered and annealed copper plate. Three prints from the book are housed in a Saint-Armand handmade paper chemise. Published in an edition of fifty copies, forty of which are numbered and for sale, and ten copies, lettered A to J, are hors de commerce.
Design Binding by Coleen Curry sold