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SharptheWindLlym Awel: Sharp as the Wind, an artist’s book by Shirley Jones, consists of translations of selected verses from seventh to thirteenth century Welsh poetry, set and printed by her alongside the early Welsh, in 18pt Perpetua italic. The columns of verse printed in two colors, on Barcham Green handmade paper, face her six mezzotints and a relief etching of Welsh landscapes. One double-page mezzotint is overprinted with the poetry. This copy is from a limited edition of 40, and is currently on exhibit in the Harris Lobby through mid-August. The Scribner Library currently owns 13 additional works by Jones, which can be viewed in Special Collections.

Shirley Jones of Red Hen Press is a writer, artist and printer. After teaching English in London for seven years, she took courses in lithography, etching and sculpture before attending Croydon College of Art and Design, where she published her first two artist’s books.

She set up her own studio and continued to publish her etchings and mezzotints to complement her poems, prose pieces and translations from Old English and Old Welsh. In 1983 she named her press Red Hen Press. She set and printed her letterpress in editions limited to 40.

Each of her books is a total concept, with the choice of paper and typeface, the unity of text and images, and harmony of the binding as carefully considered as the visual and literary creativity involved.

She officially retired from book making in 2012 and lives in Wales.

 

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