Priscilla A. Spitler
Priscilla Spitler studied printmaking at the California College of Arts and Crafts, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1975, and bookbinding at the London College of Printing, 1980–81. She was Edition Binder at the Palace Press, Museum of New Mexico, moving to Texas in 1987 for a master class with James Brockman at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas. For eight years Spitler worked at BookLab, Inc. in Austin, until she established her own Hands On Bookbinding in Smithville, Texas.
In the Garden.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Akimbo Arts, 2005.
Special set of sheets presented by author to Spitler for design binding. Full gold Chieftain goatskin, leather onlays, blind and gold tooling, pochoir acrylics. Ancient fruit, fig and pomegranate represent the Garden of Eden as a snake crosses the spine. On the back cover is an apple with one bite taken, the goddess Eve as a statue. Four rivers run in opposite directions. Pastepaper ends.
Mirrors and towers recur in Borges’ Ficciones, and provide the inspiration for this design. A profile of a phrenology head (mapping the mind) is seen in a mirror that also reflects a burning tower from the back board. Dark blue leather sets off the charted universe (Borges’ planet Tlon) and southern hemisphere constellations. The tower (Babel/languages), modeled after a Tarot card, dramatically burns at night as a man on a horse nears a fork in the road. The volumes represent Borges’ unearthed books and labyrinths of literature. All leather onlays, gold and blind tooling, some in painted acrylics.