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We believe that beauty is a form of solace, whether found in a haiku poem, a book, a fine art print or a notecard!

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The Binding of Yitzhak – a New Artist Book

In the works is our next major artist book, The Binding of Yitzhak.

It tells the haunting Biblical story of Avraham being commanded to offer up his only son, Yitzhak, as an offering to God. This artist book tries to capture the breakdown of language when people are faced with traumatic events. It also reflects the multiple perspectives of the characters of the story, both their voices and silences. As this artist book unfolds, the letters and words become more fragmented and disjointed. The book functions on multiple levels: the text itself, spare mountains painted in a Japanese ink style, old and new commentary from Jewish and non-Jewish sources, and large, imposing Hebrew letters used primarily graphically to indicate the weight of words and language.

Right now, I am making the digital prints for this 36-page accordion book. It will be an edition of 8 copies. Once these prints are done, I will take the spreads to Pyramid Atlantic Art Center where I will letterpress additional words or blind emboss some of the lettering—and then the job will be to cut each sheet individually as well as to add more layers of papers, commentary and thread. In particular, I want to riff on the idea of “binding,” so I’ll be doing a lot with thread interwoven in the spreads.

If all goes according to plan — and that’s a big if given health considerations, the pandemic, etc. — the work should be ready in early 2023. Everything else here at TLP has come to a standstill while we try to realize this work. We will try to post samples soon.

The Amichai Windows

An homage to one of the greatest Hebrew-language poets, The Amichai Windows is an exquisite bilingual artist book of Yehuda Amichai poems that sheds light on love, war, and being Jewish today. A limited edition of 18 copies has been made for libraries and collectors.

Amichai, who was nominated for the Nobel Prize and has been translated into more than 40 languages, writes primarily about love and war — or, if you like, love amid war — and what it means to be a Jew in the 20th century.

In the works for the past 10 years, the book features 18 letterpressed Yehuda Amichai poems, an introduction by the eminent Hebrew literary translator and critic Professor Robert Alter of the University of California at Berkeley, more than 100 images from archives around the world, replicas of Amichai’s handwritten poems, a window simulacrum enclosure with lace curtains, original papercuts by Debra Band, handmade paper with deckled edges, gold leaf, a 28-page guide and a variety of tip-ons and botanicals.

Here is a short video that we made about the project:

Feature stories about this work have run in the Israeli daily Haaretz and on Israel radio’s Reshet Bet. The American Jewish Libraries News Review, called  The Amichai Windows “a major contribution to American arts and letters.”

An article by Rick Black ran in Tikkun magazine, a journal of Jewish contemporary arts and culture, early in the process of making this book. You can read more about upcoming exhibitions and the creation of this artist book at our blog.

Talks and Workshops

TLP founder Rick Black is glad to give a talk or workshop to your group. You can check out his topics and testimonials at our speakers page.

Photo of State Theatre in Falls Church, VaExplore the World Of poetry and artistic photos!

At Turtle Light Press, it is our mission to help you regain a sense of calm and peacefulness through art. It might be a beautifully handmade book of poetry, artistic photos or a special note card. For us, it is about the love of the craft — combining words and images to create artwork and books that will resonate for you in a deep way. To see our work, please view our store gallery!

New Arlington, Virginia Paintings

The Lee Highway Alliance recently commissioned us to make a few artistic paintings of businesses and landmarks in the area. We had fun creating new works of art of Virginia Hospital Center, MOM’s Organic Market, Cowboy Cafe, Little Ambassadors’ Academy and Fresh Impact Farms. You can take at these and some of our other most recent work in our store. Here is one we did of Virginia Hospital Center to honor their workers. Plus, we can’t resist posting a new shot of Ayers Variety & Hardware in the Westover part of Arlington.

Have any questions? Please call us at 908-227-7951.

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