Dawn Peterson, “I dwell in Possibility- by Emily Dickinson”

Cover made with laser cut poplar wood and leather bound

Inside page showing laser cut closed iris mechanism on cherry wood.

Inside page showing laser cut iris mechanism on cherry wood opening

Iris mechanism completely opened revealing poem by Emily Dickinson

Dawn Peterson
Tybee Island, Georgia

I dwell in Possibility- by Emily Dickinson
Cherry and poplar wood, laser cut, leather/tack binding
Display copy
One page
12 x 23 x 1 1/8″
12 x 11 x 1 1/8″

After researching moveable books and mechanics I decided on the iris mechanism for this book. With the movement of the lever layers are exposed and the final layer illustrates a poem by Emily Dickinson. “I dwell in Possibility –”. She is a poet with boundless potentials not confined by the structure of a house.  In the poem the doors and windows can open; the house opens to nature revealing the sky with infinite possibilities.

The reader/visitor can open and close the iris revealing Emily’s poem. This book is a metaphor about the freedom of movement; moving in and out of the windows and doors into the garden and the sky.  The reader can also discover their own interpretation and potential creativity in her poem; the influence of imagination. Creative freedom and breaking from life’s routines can simply be achieved by moving a lever and reading a poem.

I love books! Especially making them. Working with various materials and textures interests me whether the books are unique or altered. I especially like to combine traditional techniques/structures/materials with technology such as laser cutting and 3d printing.

My work has been published in 500 Handmade Books and various magazines. My projects can be found in various public and private collections such a college and university libraries as well as companies and individuals.

I am a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design where I teach design elements and principles to students using book formats and structures.  I am a member of the College Book Arts Association.