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Erin K. Schmidt's Project

As a book artist I use the quiet space of the book as a means to convey the often very unquiet emotional wells in our minds. In my work I construct narratives that explore private thoughts and feelings, both fragile and frantic, which bind us as humans. They draw on the relationship between brief moments of time, memories, and the emotions tied to them.

Sound design written and recorded by Los Angeles based creative director and composer Ryan Ward, @the.mission.room

Erin K. Schmidt

Book Art

How Do You Flash Your Lights?

In these three artists’ books there is a longing and a shared experience that is heard and hushed, created by the lure of temptation, the simultaneous sense of hopefulness and helplessness, and through pain and loss. The gasp, the hum, the buzz, the song, the howling cry, and the silence.  

Accordion book is opened slightly and arranged to highlight the poison ivy leaflets affixed to the back side of the handmade poison ivy paper.


This accordion book is made primarily of poison ivy, which has become more and more of an invasive species with the changes to global climate. The handmade paper structure is made with increasing amounts of poison ivy pulp and luscious green poison ivy leaves are laminated onto the back side.  While the shape of the leaves of three, and the pungent scent of poison ivy typically act as a warning, here as a book they become an intriguing and tempting invitation.

The End of the Wasp Season

This altered book is formed to resemble a wasp nest with tiny books residing inside the brood cells, tucked away like larvae.  Initially each of the miniature books incites an immediate visceral response to a wasp encounter.  They then reveal the problematic issue of pesticide use and overuse with specific consideration given to prenatal exposure to the common household pesticide synergist piperonyl butoxide.



Arguably the most powerful backup vocals in rock and roll history belong to Merry Clayton, who was pregnant at the time, on “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones. The box, made to resemble a 1960’s era Triumph amplifier and speaker, opens to reveal four small scroll books wrapped around pink curlers which have been secured in place with a silk scarf, similar to what Merry Clayton was wearing during the late night recording session. The text in each book is taken from interviews given by both Mick Jagger and Merry Clayton about that night with a final quote placed in which Clayton describes her healing journey after the miscarriage she suffered shortly after.


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