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Sanctuary of Devotion, Book #6
©1997, Elen Freelander
All rights reserved.

This is a one-of-a-kind accordion tunnel book with concertina top, bottom, and sides, very like a camera bellows. The book is constructed of Ultra II Translucent Printing Paper, acetate, Canford Raven and Indonesian handmade papers. The cover image was done in oil stick, the lettering with metallic gold marker. The photographs of stalactites and stalagmites were taken by Phil Cromer in some wild caves near Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New Mexico in 1973, during the best spring break adventure of my life; lighting assistance for them was provided by Rob Farr and myself. The cover image is not actually a picture of the entrance to the caves we explored, which was in fact a low overhang that did not lend itself to the kind of visual representation I was looking for in this project. Rather, the cover image is loosely taken from photo of a completely different cave in an engineering book of some sort that I found in the Science and Engineering Library of UNM.

Technically, this was the most challenging book I have yet made. I consulted a friend of mine who designed airplanes in his spare time about how to keep the heavy inner pages of cave formations from causing the bottom bellows to sag dangerously. His brilliant suggestion was to make free-floating supports out of thin strips of the sturdy black Canford Raven paper, running through eyelets of the same paper anchored to the top and bottom bellows. Each thin strip was capped top and bottom with a hemispheric shaped piece of paper wider than the eyelet opening, these prevent the strips from pulling out of the eyelets. The net result of this design feature is the flexibility to allow for the changing distance between the top and bottom accordion-folded paper caused by expanding and compressing the bellows. Unfortunately, these features proved to be quite difficult to photograph; you can almost make them out in the side view of the book. The ideal way to view the book is to lift the cover and rest it on the top of your head. This blocks out some of the ambient light, making it easier to see into the book. Then expand the bellows between your thumbs and index fingers, and peer into the tunnel thus formed. Aiming the back of the book toward a light source, such as a window, lamp, or overhead light, will allow you to see into the cave, with each page’s translucent image providing more detail.

Dimensions: 8 ¼” x 10 7\/8” x 3\/8” closed, expands to approx. 4 ½” deep.

Shipping: This exquisite book will be shipped Priority Mail, Registered Mail (fully insured), and Return Receipt Requested (recipient’s signature required upon delivery). It will be trackable on line every step of the way. Your book will be securely packaged in a Priority Flat Rate Box, and should arrive in 2 to 3 days. If you are purchasing any other items from my shop at the same time as this book, you will be charged no additional fees; in other words, $30.00 will cover the entire order.


$2,500.00 USD
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  • Materials: ultra ii translucent printing paper, acetate, canford raven paper, indonesian handmade paper, oil stick painting, photographs
  • Feedback: 34 reviews
  • Only ships to United States from New Mexico, United States.