Rebecca Chamlee, “Dreams of Flight, the nesting season”

Rebecca Chamlee
Simi Valley, CA

Dreams of Flight, the nesting season
hardbound, letterpress printed artist’s book
10 x 6 x .75″

Artist Statement

During the long months of isolation in 2020 and 2021, I began documenting the many birds that came to my backyard feeders and noted their unique behaviors. With a telephoto lens, I was able to record detailed and intimate images of my avian visitors. As often happens, the passion I felt for the birds grew into the idea for an artist’s book.

Dreams of Flight, the nesting season is an interconnected story of three different species of birds that nested in my suburban yard during the spring nesting seasons of 2020–21.

The book was created entirely at home. Printed in the colors of the birds on the Vandercook Universal III power press in the living room studio using Deepdene and 20th Century type with assorted wood type from the Pie in the Sky Press collection. The original images were captured through the window over the press with a Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6 lens mounted on a Nikon D850 camera and printed with photo polymer plates made by Boxcar Press.

The binding is a flutter book structure, a type of accordion where the fore-edges of the pages are pasted together but the spine is not. A magnetic spine supports the backbone of the book and can be removed for reading and display.

Cotton cloud paper was handmade to order by Tom Balbo. The endsheets are Hahnemuhle Bugra. The text paper is Wa-Mix Kozo and Clairefontaine Simili Japon with sewn-in wings of cloud paper and colored Bugra to match the birds.

The book is housed in a bookcloth-covered clamshell box and includes a suite of prints printed in four colors on 320gsm Izumi paper, enclosed in a handmade St. Armand paper folder.

24 pages, 6 x 10 x .75″
Prints, 8 x 10″
Box, 8.75 x 10.75 x 1.5″