Notes from Codex 2015 – Part 1

With almost 200 exhibitors, I knew I wasn’t going to see everything at Codex, which is a bit of a shame, since there is so much amazing work on display it’s hard to not feel like you’re missing out. On the other hand, everything I did get to see was so wonderful I didn’t feel like I was missing anything, if that makes any sense. Although the show was set up in rows, I actually (I know, hard to believe about this Virgo) was not very systematic about going up and down them in order.

At one point Judi and I had a bit of a discussion about what grabbed our attention or drew us to stop and look at a table. I’d not really thought about it previously, so that was a different experience to be thinking about why I was drawn to particular things as it was happening.

Here’s a selection of some of the cool things I saw and why:

COLOR! Maybe it’s simple, but I enjoy bright colors. Alice Austin had some great colorful pieces. Also neat shapes. The piece on the left on the pedestal is a Box of Happiness. Who could resist that?

Alice Austin

Alice Austin

Suzanne Moore, Zero: Cypher of Infinity

Pie in the Sky, which Rebecca explained was from “well, you know what pied type is?” and a song lyric. Her latest work is botanically inspired, which I really enjoyed, and learned that there’s several different kinds of Yerba Santa, AND the main one that grows around where she lives in Southern California has a purple flower. Who knew?

Rebecca Chamlee

Rebecca Chamlee

The other super awesome thing was she had a copy of Azusa: a Sequel, which I had seen in an exhibit where it was under a glass case, open to one spread. At the time I really wanted to be able to look through the rest of it, and now I got the chance. Really inspiring graphical use of letters in combination with text blocks.

Barbara Tetenbaum

Barbara Tetenbaum

Triangular was another great name, and Barbara Tetenbaum was very generous in her time discussing her ongoing projects that have come out of her fascination with Willa Cather’s My Antonia. Barbara also had the Artist’s Book Ideation Cards.

Purgatory Pie, which I didn’t get the story of the name, but I’ve had Esther K. Smith’s book How to Make Books for a while now, so it was fun to see their table.

Littoral Press, which segues into another of the things that grabs me – HUMOR! or SENSE OF WHIMSY, QUIRKINESS or PLAYFULNESS. Not taking oneself too seriously. Having a zest and enjoyment for what it is they are doing.

Book Arts Jargonator from Dan Mayer and Ed Lebow


Although what first caught my eye was the Daredevil Furniture, Jessica Spring had a lot of fun printed stuff at her table as well. The thing I really appreciated about the furniture in particular was that she’d figured out a cool thing, and was excited to share it with others.

Jessica Spring

Jessica Spring

Sue Sommers’  pieces had some new twists on notebooks which were a neat jolt to complacency about everyday objects. Her interactive book Reap was a nod to books of yore.

Part 2 >

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