Alyssa Yates began bookbinding in 2019 at the Craft Guild of Dallas. She has studied under Forrest Jackson, Laura Easterling, and Jim Croft, and continues to attend classes at the Craft Guild.
New York: Del Rey, 2020.
Full Harmatan goatskin in green with laced-in boards. Trade binding, disbound and resewn on tyvek tapes. Zigzag endsheets with leather hinges and purple mulberry paper with brocade printing. Hand sewn single-core silk endbands in green and yellow. Sunken frame doublures with yellow goatskin and dark green goatskin onlays. Blind and 18k gold free-hand tooling on covers and doublures.
Full goatskin triple board binding in three shades of brown. Each board will have a cutout of one of Kara Walker's silhouettes from the book with the rear outermost board portraying a variant of Walker's silhouette of Toni Morrison. The textblock will be disassembled and guarded, resewn on tyvek tapes with the addition of double folios of plain rag paper with zigzag endsheets made with marbled paper and a leather hinge. The block will not be trimmed. The book will be rounded but not backed to allow for the triple boards. Simple single-core silk endbands will be hand-sewn in sienna and dark brown. The boards will be made pasteboard approximately 0.7mm thick and shaped at the joint to facilitate the bevel. The edges of the boards and cutouts will be covered with a "turn-in" of leather paired hinge-thin, then the recto and verso of each board will be covered in the style of an edge-to-edge doublure. The "floating" pieces of the silhouettes will be covered similarly. The interior boards will be attached to the block via the tapes and endsheet hinges. The rear middle board will follow. The front middle board and the rear outermost board will be connected across the spine as a case and attached by the outer front board. The "floating" pieces will be attached in sync with their respective board and will be supported by other boards removing the need for bridges typically found in 3-D silhouette art. My proposal is inspired by the overlap of Toni Morrison's and Kara Walker's works, particularly their layered representations of blackness in America. While Five Poems represents a single instance of collaboration between the artists, both Morrison and Walker have addressed the obfuscation of black experience in American literature and art due to white scholarly optics. My design utilizes Walker's silhouettes to literally depict these optics by the overlapping and obscuring of the silhouettes. However this erasure of blackness and black experiences is overturned by the deliberate placement of the silhouettes so that each face is visible and identifiable.