Alexandra McClay, “/ a f l o a t /”

/ a f l o a t / is a slipcase library that holds 6 books entitled Some Days, How to be Vulnerable, Erosion, Options, Tell Me, and On Happiness.

The inside of the cases for Tell Me, Some Days, and How to Vulnerable (from top to bottom).

The inside of the cases for On Happiness, Erosion, and Options (from top to bottom).

Erosion (top left) is an accordion book letterpress printed on vellum.  Tell Me (bottom left) is a miniature envelope that holds two notes. How to be Vulnerable (right) is a one-page book that is letterpress printed on French Paper.

Erosion readsIt’s funny how water washes everything away. It’s how caves are made and the little ridges on mountain sides and the Grand Canyon. The most beautiful things made by taking.”

Tell Me reads “Tell me again that I am brave. You know how I like to hear that.”

Excerpt from How to be Vulnerable:
I’ll draw a box & put you in that box so I don’t have to look at you or think about you because that is easier than dealing with you. What will happen when I open that box? Maybe something magical will happen & you will not be you & I will not be me.”

Options (top left) is a snake-fold book that is letterpress printed on French paper. On Happiness (bottom middle) is a game. It is letterpress printed on French paper. Some Days (top right) is a dose-doe book, letterpress printed on vellum.


/ a f l o a t /
letterpress printed artist’s books
Deluxe Edition of 3
Each book is 6″ x 13″ x .5″
6.5″ x 3.5″ x 6.5″

Alexandra McClay
Penland, North Carolina

Excerpt from Options:

“It could go one of two ways: love//hate, let go//hold on, gentle//hard, trust//fear, open//closed, solitude//loneliness”

Excerpt from On Happiness:


Excerpt from Some Days:

“Some days are harder than others. The days when I spend every.waking.moment. pretending not to care. I feel so un  com  fort  able

It creeps into my bones & oozes out of my skin. I’m sure you can smell it (the shame and stale cigarettes).”

Artist Statement

/ a f l o a t /  is a library of six letterpress printed artist’s books that explore the intricacies of human relationships. Each of these books gained life on the page of my notebook as I was working to acquire perspective after a difficult period of time in my life. The words would come during brief moments of clarity and writing them down ensured that I would remember those feelings of relief.  Months later, I returned to these words and realized that while I was writing them, I felt so isolated in my feelings of grief, but reading them later made me feel more connected to myself, as well as the multitude of people in the world suffering from the strange, beautiful, and unpredictable realities of human relationships.

This book presents opportunities for the reader to explore various realms of human connection. From the indecision that comes when you feel one way but know you should feel another, to the vulnerability one feels after rejection, to the nature of giving and taking, the reader participates in a deep investigation of human emotion. The creation of this library is an act of accepting the reality of the human experience in relation to others, and above all, a choice to stay / a f l o a  t /.