Michele Vaughan – Casa Colibri – Where My Heart Resides

FOBA 2021 Challenge Book

Technique and materials used:

I used this challenge book project to explore all things related to creating an artist book: structure, paper to print photos on, paper to use for the structure, adhesive, and using text. I chose a simple accordion fold to keep it simple while I was learning. The structure is folded from mi teintes paper. The photos in this book are all original photos (mostly by my husband, Stephen Vaughan) taken around our house. The covers are magnified portions of photos Steve took – the front cover is a portion of a sunset photo taken from our backyard and the back cover is a magnification of a photo Stephen took of a diamondback rattlesnake in the road near our house. The covers are printed by a local printer, using a process called soft touch laminate. I found I really liked Sumi-e rice paper to print the photos on. I printed the text on regular printer paper. I really learned a lot! I printed a lot of photos, wrote pages and pages of words to fit the photos and made many accordion structure mock-ups! I look forward to my next stage, which is experimenting with ways to print text directly on the book structure so it is more integrated with the book!

About the work:

I grew up in Tucson Arizona, in the heart of the Sonoran Desert and left after I graduated from the University in Tucson. I lived away from Tucson for 26 years and returned with my husband to live in 2016 and I have a whole new love of the desert! The Sonoran Desert is unique and vibrant. I wanted to create a book that highlighted the juxtaposition of the desert – the beauty of the desert and its rich colors, vibrant flora and fauna contrasted with the harshness of the desert and its venomous reptiles, prickly cactus and dry, parched environment. My husband is a nature and bird photographer and when we moved to Tucson, he started capturing beautiful images showcasing the Sonoran desert. We embrace living in the desert because of the diversity and beauty. It is terribly uncomfortable in the summer heat, but we adapt and this is truly where my heart resides – in the Sonoran Desert!