Diane Jacobs, “Nourish, All Our Relations”

Letterpress printed title page (polymer and relief reduction) and wool felt with cast cotton paper pulp spoon.


Letterpress printed 5-color reduction linoleum cut of Mt. Hood.


Letterpress printed 5-color reduction linoleum cut of Pangaea and photo polymer of silver knot.


Letterpress rainbow roll of woodcut spider web.



Artist: Diane Jacobs (Portland, OR)

Title: Nourish, All Our Relations (2012)

Medium/technique(s): Letterpress reduction relief, pressure printing, polymer, hand-set type

Edition size: 21 and two artist proofs

Number of pages: 43

Dimensions, open: 18″ x 16″ x 1″

Dimensions, closed: 8″ x 8″ x 1.75″


Artist Statement:

Nourish, All Our Relations is an unbound artist book composed of eight twice-folded folios printed on both sides and housed in a handcrafted collapsible bamboo box. These pages have endured over 100 runs through the Vandercook letterpress. In this project I explored new artistic territory – investigating color by mapping out fifteen different multi-color reduction relief prints, and experimenting with layered images on transparent paper.  While working on Nourish, I discovered that transparent paper introduces an element of artistic chance. As light shines through a page, layers of color and image become more than the sum of their parts; they reveal new meanings. Thus, this pictorial journey emerged.

Personal experiences brought Nourish to fruition: visiting Opal Creek’s pristine ancient forest, witnessing a breathtaking starling murmuration, listening to musical compositions that transcend cultural boundaries, and sleeping under the expansive starry night sky. Nourish comes from gratitude and a desire to celebrate the wonders of our natural and created world. However, it also acknowledges that beneath this beauty is the underpinning of environmental catastrophe, dying bee colonies, lack of safe drinking water, increasing oceanic garbage, loss of habitat for species whose diversity is dwindling, and our changing climate. Time is ticking, we must find our way through the labyrinth, unlock the doors of perception, and embody the notion “to be with higher self.”  We must become the spider that protects and weaves creative solutions.

In my artist books I want to connect thought and action. I ask questions, uncover truths, collect responses, and challenge the status quo. I use text and image, found objects, ceramic, cast paper, human hair, and reflective materials to create written and visual metaphors. The act of creation helps me understand and convey the complexities, contradictions and injustices of our culture and the larger world.