Photographs: Rob McDonald
Publisher: Horse & Buggy Press
Comments: limited edition of 135 signed and numbered copies
Birdhouses is a new fine press, limited-edition book by Horse & Buggy Press in Durham, NC. Drawn from Virginia photographer Rob McDonald's ongoing Southern Places series, the book's 22 photographs depict handmade birdhouses that McDonald has discovered on his travels across the Southeast.
Birdhouses opens with an illuminating essay by the photographer about this body of work, and all text throughout the book is painstakingly letterpress-printed by hand. The images are Indigo print reproductions of McDonald's hand-printed and hand-toned photographs, and each book includes an actual gelatin silver darkroom print ('Nestled') presented in a clear vellum envelope adhered to the inside back cover. Inside paper is Mohawk's luxurious Superfine 100lb eggshell, and the entire 60-page book is hand-sewn with linen thread.
Eight different handmade papers and three different colored endsheets were used throughout the edition to emphasize the individuality of each copy of the book. Each of the edition's 135 copies is signed and numbered by the photographer. Numbers 1-25 are presented in a clamshell box with a letterpress printed spine label, and also feature a second larger darkroom print unique to this publication (and not found in the book).
Horse & Buggy Press is an active service branch of The Aesthetic Police, an emergency relief agency designed to prevent the ongoing destruction of worldwide aesthetic standards by reminding citizens across the globe of the tactile pleasures of handmade artifacts and the importance of beauty in our lives.