Water Paper Stone
“I love the rhythm of these long days. I am completely immersed in the sound and feel of water everywhere. On the bridge, the sound of the river, rushing over the rocks below, rises like an audible mirage against the roar of the three waterfalls in the background.”
Artist Judy OShea contacted me about designing this memoir of the ten years she and her husband Mike spent renovating an old stone water mill in a very rural section of France. It would be a place to retreat and enjoy their individual artistic pursuits each summer. Judy works with paper making and installations, and Mike is a watercolorist. They planned to invite professional artists they admired to stay with them and enjoy the atmosphere of creativity and conviviality. The mill, uninhabitable when then purchased it, became its own sculptural work of water, stone, and garden. When I received the manuscript it was an enormous 170,000 words of journal entries and letters. The design job was one of creating a sense of continuity from this wonderful personal record and giving the reader a way to easily navigate through this decade of their life. Dividing the book into chapters by years was easy, but I then suggested subsections in each chapter to encompass each story as Judy presented it. Judy’s descriptions are vivid and fascinating, as I read the manuscript, I would make notes about objects that she described which I would love to see. Judy had a huge archive of photos, but we did not want to create a coffee table photo book. Finally we decided to use simple line drawings created by Judy to illustrate the book. These would print easily in the black and white text. For several of the more complicated art installations and some of the site shots we added black and white photography. The text was set in Adobe Minion Pro with Copperplate chapter and section heads. The display face on the cover is a font known simply as Engravers MT.
Water Paper Stone: Letters from a Mill in France
Mossy Press, 2014
Soft cover, 7×10 inches