Esther Kibby received her M.F.A. in photography from Texas Woman’s University where she also began her studies in the book arts. Her work continues to evolve as a bookbinder and artist through classes taught by Sally Key, David Lawrence, Jeanne Bennett, and Jim Croft.
The Grapes of Wrath.
Garden City, New York: International Collectors Library, 1967.
Parchment goatskin with thin, leather onlays, manipulated and mapped over subtle, paper-clay modeling of the book boards to heighten the effects of land erosion. Hand embroidered silk headbands, edge decoration with pastel pigment blended with veining from the teal green to dusty gold, marbled paper by Catherine Levine, gold leather doublures. This is a story of an Oklahoma farming family in the Great Depression struggling to survive the environmental disaster of the 1930s Dust Bowl. Billowing dust storms invade the dry landscape. It is a time of great political upheaval, as corporations take over foreclosures and farmers abandon their known way of life. The design reflects the eroding fertility of the land transitioning to dust driving a desperate migratory force into the unknown. It is the clash of fear, anger, greed, power, and hope.
Full white leather with subtle dimensional paper-clay modeling of the book board in arch shapes with gold leather line inset at the crests of the arches. Inspiration for this design comes from arches in church architecture that frame historical or legendary instructional parables depicted in stained glass windows. Other arch shapes to be formed with dark grey leather lines inlaid and deep red leather onlays. Within the arch shapes, an abstract menorah indicating the Jewish biblical influence in grey and natural color leather and a circular rose window form composed of thin blue-purple leather onlays manipulated into wrinkles and sprinkled with 24k gold flakes in the center. Hand embroidered silk headbands in blue and gold. A disk frame of eggshell lacquer surrounds the blue leather center. Marbled endsheets and doublures by Catherine Levine of steel blue, light tan, and white. To be housed in a linen clamshell box with padded cloth interior.