Turning sticks and stones into art books
By Public Affairs, UC Berkeley
6 April 2018
Lauri Twitchell is the former manager of Blake Gardens, a 10.5 acre garden in Kensington which has become a landscape laboratory for the Landscape Architecture department at the College of Environmental Design. In addition to managing the garden, Twitchell creates nontraditional books which she assembles from the garden’s rocks, redwood bark, and other natural materials.
“I find a lot of debris in the garden,” said Twitchell. “Instead of sending it to a landfill, I see if I can make something out of it.”
Some of Twitchell’s books, such as “On Stone” (2015) and “Sticks and Stones” (2016), which she made in collaboration with fellow artist Peter Suchecki, can be seen in the College of Environmental Design Library’s special collection which features the unconventional books of over 300 artists. Twitchell estimates that she has collectively created close to 100 books.
“I don’t make them as a commercial thing,” Twitchell said of her books. “I make them because I make them. I’m an artist.”
A few of Twitchell’s books were among the 26 artists’ books that were on display in January at a CED Library special event. The books were purchased with a special endowment.
The Environmental Design Library’s rare book collection contains more than 4,500 volumes and is housed in the Sigrid L. Rupp Rare Book Vault. The collection is composed of “out-of-print, limited and first editions, fine press, and pre-1800 imprints in several languages and covering architecture, decorative arts, city planning, landscape architecture and gardening.”
Furthermore, along with books and journals, the collection is also composed of “related ephemera, such as architectural and planning games, recordings, architectural construction kits and ViewMaster slides.”