Design for the People

Bookmaking: Pillowbook

bookcover, binding and jacket

A new girlfriend of mine took a six-week vacation in Europe. While there, she had access to email, and we really got a chance to get to know each other through our electronic letters before she returned home. I was inspired to collect these love letters into a Japanese-style pillowbook.

Japanese pillowbooks are small books of erotic text and block-print illustrations. Often given by mothers in ancient Japan to their daughters on the wedding night, they offered discreet, private exposure to the birds and bees; the books were small, precious and beautifully explicit.

inner spread

A Few Love Notes
62 pages plus jacket
5.5" x 4.25"
Hand-sewn Japanese binding
Imagery of art by Auguste Rodin (top), Mario Tauzin, Miháley Zichy (bottom), Betty Dodson, Utagawa Kunisada, Uemura Shoen, Leonor Fini

I collected all of our text into a chronological dialogue and interspersed the text with erotic images by various artists, intensifying the imagery with our increasingly intense text.

The girlfriend loved the gift presented to her on her return. It sits on an honored shelf at home.

Oh, and now we're husband and wife.