Husk is a chapbook I created in collaboration with Lia Pas, and published by JackPine Press in 2008.

Here are a few images: the front cover and three pages from the inside. You can click on a thumbnail image for an enlarged view. Now that the edition is sold out, at some point I will probably upload the rest of the images. If you want to accelerate this process, write a comment below, or send me an message through my contact form.

The book started out with the working title Cryptic Species in a proposal for a chapbook collaboration with Lia that we had sent to JackPine Press. That proposal was accepted, and we got to work. We delivered the finished product to JackPine in May 2008.

After a punctuated evolution, the final title became Husk, and we think it’s a beautiful object. Unfortunately for those looking to purchase a copy, the edition is sold out.

Here’s the marketing blurb from the publisher:

Husk is a being, a voice, a page that turns, a seed, a transformation. In Husk, Ed and Lia Pas have collaboratively created the tale of an uncanny being. Lia’s sound-influenced text and Ed’s surreal drawings recount—with a touch of dark humour—an evocative tale of visceral, organic metamorphosis.

An exquisite object, this book includes eighteen colour images with integrated text, printed on cotton rag paper and bound in a Japanese style with waxed linen thread.

The piece changed quite a bit since we proposed it, having become a narrative poem rather than individual vignettes. It is also a story more generally about transformation than specifically about macabre anatomical things.

Edition Size and Availability
As a handmade chapbook the edition is limited to 75 copies plus 10 artist proofs. The artist proofs will not be for sale. Lia and will be using them for our own nefarious purposes. Of the regular edition, a number of copies were reserved for subscribers, archives, and funding agencies.

How to Buy
The books were $30.00 each, but the edition is now sold out. If you want a copy, please contact JackPine Press, and ask if they can help you find one. At this writing their site isn’t set up for ecommerce, which means that you have to phone or write them an email.

Technical details

The book is 16cm x 21cm, 20 pages plus the front and back covers.

The covers are Folio Brite White, with the deckle edge folded inside. The the text pages are Somerset Book White, a heavy book-weight stock with a very slight warm tone and a subtle surface texture.

I printed the covers on my Epson 4800 printer, and the text pages on my Lexmark colour laser printer. The covers are printed on one side. The text pages are printed single-sided except the final page, which has an image on the front and the colophon on the back.

Lia and I hand-bound all of the books with a 4-ply warm white Irish waxed linen. The binding is a traditional Japanese 4-hole binding with the thread exposed.

In April 2009 we found out that Husk had tied for second place in the Limited Editions category of the Alcuin Society 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada (books published in 2008). The book has been exhibited at the Design Exchange in Toronto, and is slated for exhibition in Japan, Germany, and a number of venues across Canada.

My blog post describing our original project plans is here. If there’s sufficient interest, I’ll write something about the collaborative process.