Desert Dirt and Stone

Handmade abaca paper, wood, thread, dirt, seeds.
2015

Desert Dirt and Desert Stone artist books were created by leaving handmade abaca sheets in the New Mexico desert for a year. Rye grass seeds were embedded into the paper, some of them grew, some were eaten by bugs. Eventually, affected by the weather, precipitation, wind, sun and soil organisms, the paper changed shape and color to closely match the rigidity of the desert soil.

The pages are contact prints of the soil they were in contact with over the course of the year. Plants grew into the pages, bugs burrowed holes in it, birds poked holes trying to get to the seeds. The pages protected the soil underneath them from wind erosion, helped soak water from an occasional rain and provided shelter for insects. These book is a record of the extreme conditions under which desert soils form and exist.