I think Wicked Plants just went off to the printer, and in about six weeks I should have a copy. That'll be cool, but what's even cooler is the spin-off project that has come out of this: the artist, Briony Morrow-Cribbs, who created original copper etchings of 40 wicked plants for the book,is doing a limited edition set of the etchings to sell to art collectors.
Check out the set here. It includes an introduction I wrote and one by Briony, each
set in letterpress type, and the set is numbered and signed and comes in a fancy box, etc. etc.
It wasn't until this project was nearly over that I really stopped to think about how unusual it is to have a book illustrated with original copper etchings. It's a very old technique that was used to illustrate botanical books in centuries past, but who does that anymore?
If the complete set is out of your price range–they start at $2500–she's also selling individual prints through her website, and we're working on printing a set of Wicked Plant notecards. (Coming soon: Wicked Plant action figures!)
But seriously, the idea behind all of this is to give her work some broader exposure. Her prints will be on display at Brooklyn Botanic Garden starting May 30 and continuing through the summer — more on that later — and we're going to have an exhibit of it in our bookstore in May.
Briony will also teach a class on drypoint etching at BBG this summer. I'll post details on that soon, too.
And as long as I'm bragging about Briony, please check out her annual suite of botanical prints. I'm not sure if there are any left from 2008, but they are very dramatic and richly detailed. Click to enlarge.