The Road to Canton Mine



    © 2021
  • Dimensions (in inches): 8.6 x 6 x 1
  • Materials:wood, ink, paper, varnish, oil, book cloth, dyed, collaged and otherwise manipulated suede, thread, book board
  • Collection of:University of Denver Libraries, Special Collections


Whenever I return to what is surely Colorado's most magnificent mountain range, the San Juan Mountains in the southwestern part of the state, I'm struck by how much change takes place year to year in terms of demographics, land use, politics and development. Yet much more remains the same. This book presents both visual and written observations of some of the changes on one particular stretch of road in San Miguel County. Original paintings and hand-written text are mounted on tabbed pleats on the fore-edge of the cover. The fly leaves are pamphlet stitched into a limp binding of heavily worked over suede with suede doublures. The back side of the image pages and text panels are relief printed from a wood block. Housed in a custom drop-spine box with the relief printing block forming the tray base.
The road to the long abandoned Canton Mine begins in a narrow valley - now protected from development by a conservation trust. The trust does little to protect the area from overuse by hikers, bikers & dog walkers leaving bagged poop along the side of the trail. The rustling sounds of birds & small animals moving through the forest is often drowned out by the yammerings of trail users who won't stop talking. As the road ascends & narrows, the noisiest of hikers head back to town. Now the whispering of aspen leaves trembling in the breeze is audible, along with the burble of the creek tumbling down the valley. The jagged peaks of the San Juan range tower over the valley, a seemingly changeless silhouette against a brilliant blue sky.