Animal Mineral Vegetable 15


    © 2023
  • Dimensions (in inches): Box - 6.75 x 6.75 x 1.5
  • Materials:Book: mica, natural specimens, linen thread, dyed linen cord, moriki paper, hand-made case paper Box: book cloth, leather, hair-on cowhide, glass, Moriki paper, linen thread, natural specimens, hot foil.
  • Collection of: artists collection (available)


Nine hanging panels of laminated mica and natural specimens (feathers, butterfly wings, snake skins, pressed plant matter) bound to a linen cord along the top edges. Housed in a custom drop spine box that holds natural specimens (beaver pelt, plant specimens, bird feathers) in sealed glass tubes.


The Animal Mineral Vegetable series is part of my Lovely and Amazing Project, which I began in 2006. The project is an ongoing one that celebrates both the life of Ruth Wheeler and her many gifts to me through my early years. Ruth was a beloved biology teacher, naturalist, youth advocate and feminist who lived and worked in north Denver for 70 years. She was legal guardian of my orphaned father so her role in my life was similar to that of a grandparent. Ruth found the natural world a place of endless delight and shared her enthusiasm with many, including myself, her great-niece. She left behind a collection of biological specimens, notes and photographs which I have incorporated into a series of three-dimensional collages, boxes and book works. Her less tangible gifts to me were a great curiosity about the world we live in, a love of solitude in wild places and her role modeling as a fearless and adventuresome woman navigating solo through the world. She and I also share the impulse to collect and preserve natural specimens. This series works both to to keep my memories of Ruth's spirit from fading and to preserve and present modestly scaled specimens. The common elements in the Animal, Mineral, Vegetable are primarily material based. The pages are made from thin sheets of mica which limits the size and shape of the books in the series. As the specimens must flatten between the mica sheets, the animal elements are mostly feathers, bits of snake skin, butterfly and moth wings. It is far easier to flatten plant material elements so there is a bigger variety in the vegetable category.