Experimentum: the mundane meets Mundus Subterrananeus
By a coincidence reminiscent of The Bow Tie Story, Experimentum is for sale in my homeland. When I was visiting Minneapolis last year, I stopped in at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) to see what bookish people in my hometown were doing. I struck up a conversation with Annie Schiferl, the Retail & Visitor Services Manager. I asked after the Mill City Museum, which preserves the history and impact of “the largest and most technologically advanced flour mill in the world when it was completed in 1880.” My great- great- great-grandfather had been employed as a cooper in those days. Annie told me that there’s an underground tunnel from the site of MCBA to the mill. The barrels had been manufactured—by hand—in that very building and rolled to the mill. My ancestor and his brother had made a living where I was hoping to sell handmade books.
When the mills started shipping flour down river in sacks rather than barrels, the Gill brothers turned to making coffins, and the family business was born. That’s another story. Last weekend, the MCBA held their biennial exhibition of new artists’ prints and publications and one of my bookworks* made it to the Sneak Peek images! You could buy Experimentum from me here, but buy it from MCBA to support their good work!