Jes Lee


I have been working on this little book for quite some time….

And while I still have some work to do in the edition, this little book is making its way out into the world. Currently it is on display at Minnesota Center for Book Arts in the ‘Parts of a Whole’ exhibition, and will be included in the ‘Fine Wine Fine Books’ night coming up in October.

I just learned yesterday that one copy of this little book is heading to Chicago! It will be part of the ‘Words|Matter’ book arts library, where anyone can go and have a chance to see, and touch, and read a collection of artists books! I love this idea – this was a topic that comes up quite often among the book artists I know…many of us want our books to be touched, and looked at, and read. Books are made to be held. I’m so excited that this little book is traveling out of the city and will be included in this show!

And, because a few friends have asked nicely for more photos, here are a few that are a bit nicer than the cell phone photos I usually take when I am working on it…


Open – view of the front cover, back cover, and the spine. The front and back covers are instant film photos – created with Impossible Project film and their Instant Lab.



Inside page spread – this book is a collection of the photos I took of the Mississippi river during my time as an intern in the preservation department at the Hennepin County Library in downtown Minneapolis. Each image is paired with a hashtag, the date and time the photo was taken, the temperature and general weather of the day, and the exact latitude and longitude of where the photo was taken.


As the photos continue through the book, another hashtag is added to the ones from before. As I was taking these photos, I would post them on Instagram. The more hashtags you use on a photo in Instagram, the more ways it can be searched for and found by others. (You can also be very creative, or very obnoxious with hashtags, but that is a topic for a different post.)



Towards the end of the book, the pages fill with hashtags. Each tag was letterpress printed using photo polymer plates, and the Universal III Vandercook in the basement of Minnesota Center for Book Arts.


The pages with the images and hashtags open up to reveal part of the binding, and a map of where the photos were taken. All of the photos were taken from the Hennepin Avenue bridge, walking towards downtown. The binding was invented by Claire VanVliet for her book titled ‘Bone Songs’. It is a woven binding, meaning each page of the book is bound to one another with a strip of paper, woven through the page and itself.


Closed it measures 4 1/4″ tall, 3 1/2″ wide, and 2 3/4″ deep at the thickest part of the spine.


Because the binding is so flexible, it can be displayed completely open…something I really like a lot about this book.

It has definitely been a labor of love! And of course has taken me quite a bit longer than I originally anticipated, but I have learned so much, and I’m not sick of it yet!

There is still a bit of work to be done on the edition, but I am getting close. When everything is finished, it will be an edition of 25. This little book can be purchased for $75, should someone be interested (though #23 is already spoken for, and a couple other numbers from the beginning of the edition are currently out for show at MCBA, and one on its way to Chicago).

Thank you for all of the kind words on Facebook when I announced my books acceptance to the show in Chicago! It makes me so happy!

Little updates

It has been a little quiet around my blog since I finished the last major run of printing on my book. It has been nice to have just a short break.

Of course I have been working on other little things after the printing was complete on my book. I am in a great workshop at MCBA, learning about photopolymer photograveur from Paulette Meyers Rich – an amazing artist and person. The class is full of great, creative people, and I am so excited to learn more about this medium and technique. I would really like to create more of my work in this way. And considering that my new job will allow me some extra funds to pay for the supplies needed for this medium, I’m certain I will continue with it in some form.

Yes, I said that. I have a new job. I start in just under 1 week as one of the studio managers at Anoka Ramsey Community College. It will be great!

Of course this means a lot of changes in my life in the upcoming years…as if there haven’t been many changes already. I think the hardest so far is having to step back from all the free-lance jobs I usually take on without really thinking. Time will be much more precious now.

And of course I will still be trying to finish this little book! I spent a lot of time at MCBA yesterday, and managed to get the pages organized, sorted, and the edges trimmed.

2014-08-12 11.21.14 2014-08-12 16.12.43 2014-08-12 16.12.48 2014-08-12 20.39.04

I still plan on working on this book as often as I can. Though my progress on it will slow down considerably. The work I completed yesterday was amazing to finish. Those steps were the last that needed to be completed at MCBA, and represent one more massive step complete in this book’s process. The rest I can complete on my own, wherever I need to be.

Today is the first Wednesday this summer that I haven’t been volunteering at the library. First up today is working on pottery with my dad. There is also a photo job scheduled later today, other little errands, and some work on weekend plans. But the sun is out, and I think today will be a good day.

Prints 16 & 17

On Friday I printed the map.

The map shows up on every page of this little book.

I somehow managed to mix the perfect shade of light grey ink.



Today I printed the title page and colophon. That took four runs, and four shades of blue ink. Somehow I only managed to photograph three, but you get the idea.






This little book is far from done. Next comes binding and making covers. But I am so excited to be this far, to do my last press run today.

Prints 15

Today was a massive day of printing. I finished 6 runs…and the end of the hashtag words in the book. Still to come is the map, title page, and colophon, but this, today, was a huge accomplishment.












I also started a new class at MCBA tonight, that is so amazing, it deserves way more than just a little mention here. Much more to come on that.

Tomorrow begins the month of August, typically true summer weather, and a new journal challenge I decided to try participating in. I am trying to squeeze every creative moment I can out of this summer. It some how never feels like enough though….. I am still working that out.