Curly Head Press ~ Alabama
(Sonja Greentree Rossow)

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Sonja Greentree Rossow: "Over the years my family have been working printers or binders. The skills and love of this craft has come full circle with me. As an artist, I am dedicated to the creation of handcrafted, limited editions artist's books and prints. Because I am married to a military man, my work is influenced by my transient lifestyle and also inspired by my surroundings. Whether it be the natural beauty of Alaska or the concrete landscape of our nation's capitol. Each work is an exploration of my love of handmade paper. I may use fiber bought from a company and use pigments, go thrift store shopping to find a texture or color I want to use, or purchase paper from a paper maker that I admire. Text, images, and paper are then bound in a cohesive form that engages the reader."

Collaborations between De Long and Rossow
Broadsides by Curly Head Press


Slaying Dragons
By Sonja Greentree Rossow
Alexandra, Virginia: Curly Head Press, 2015. Edition of 15.

7 x 5.75 x 2" box containing a pamphlet book and glass vial in indented compartments lined with red velvet. 6.25 x 5.25" red velvet cloth laid over items for protection. Box covered in red cloth with paper-covered sides. Thin sheet of mica 1.25 x 1.75" tipped on front board.

Book: 2.5 x 4" closed; one-sheet book bound into pamphlet. Extends from spine to form 8 page pamphlet. Slit at middle of single sheet allows text on the interior forming another 8 pages. Printed in Bookman Old Style. Printed by the artist at Penland School of Crafts, Spring of 2015. Signed and numbered by the artist on the colophon.

Sonja Rossow: "How do you slay your dragons? That was the premise for this book. The question was addressed through a poem about moving forward, having heart and courage to face the things that are obstacles.

"The handmade paper, one-page book is sewn into a parchment cover with a letterpress printed image of St. George and the Dragon. The text and dragon image are photo polymer. The dragon is handpainted and the fire is a mono print. At the bottom of the book is a quote from Edward Topsell on dragons. When the book is opened completely up, what is revealed are thoughts on how to conquer dragons.

"The glass amulet for half the edition is a hand-blown flask with a small piece of handmade paper with the words Courage and Heart printed on either side. This is meant to represent an amulet that can be carried in our pocket as a talisman.

"Encased in a box with a piece of mica centered. The mica represents the beauty of life and ability of humans to peel back the layers to find what matters."

Among all the kinds of serpents, there is none comparable to the Dragon. — Edward Topsell, 1658


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Holding Down the Fort
the joys and heartaches of being a military spouse

By Sonja Greentree Rossow
Gordo, Alabama: Studio 150, 2011. Edition of 50.

4.75 x 8"; 76 pages. Text paper is made from cotton, abaca, and the printer/artist's husband's old Desert Camouflage Uniforms. Letterpress printed with polymer plates. Font is Bembo. Cover and endsheets are made from cotton linens, abaca, and purple clothing from the Maxwell AFB (Montgomery, Alabama) Thrift Shop. Line drawings by Rossow throughout with inspiration from photographs courtesy of Air Force, Navy, Army, Maxwell AFB Officer Spouses Club, and Texas Institute of Culture. Signed and numbered.

This book is a collection of comments from US military spouses from 1842-2011.

Sonja Greentree Rossow: "This book is dedicated to all military spouses throughout the ages. This life we choose to embrace is not easy. There is an old adage, 'if the military had wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued one to you.' We all chuckle and roll our eyes. But sometimes we feel it is truer than not. There are challenges along the way, some unimaginable, but this life also allows us to have rich lives full of new places and people that we cherish and remain friends with the rest of our days. The women and men who have contributed to this project have written from the heart. The raw emotion in these passages made me laugh and cry equally. It is my hope that through this book, you will gain an understanding of what it is to be a military spouse."

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By Sonja Greentree Rossow
Gordo, Alabama: Curly Head Press, 2010. Edition of 15.

10 x 6"; 14 pages. Printed letterpress with photopolymer press. Text font is Adobe Garamond Pro. Printed on pulp painted paper made by the artist at Picante Paper Studio. Cloth covered boards with Japanese stab binding.

This combination of Rossow's poem and her pulp paintings pay homage to the birch tree.


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By Sonja Greentree Rossow
Gordo, Alabama: Curly Head Press, 2010. Edition of 39.

2.75 x 5"; 8 pages. Accordion structure.Text letterpress printed in 10 pt LTC Deepdene. Printed on paper handmade by Katie Macgregor. Boards covered with handmade paper. Laid in letterfold wrapper of handmade paper with slot closure. Cover paper and wrapper paper handmade by artist.

Sonja Greentree Rossow, introduction: "Milagros or Miracles, found in many areas of Latin America, are used by people to petition saints for help or protection. Each Milagros is especially made for a unique purpose. They serve to remind the saint of the person's prayers or to thank the saint for prayers that have been answered. The tradition dates back for hundreds of years."

$85 Two colors available: salmon and beige.

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Sonja Rossow met Jesse Delong through the collaboration developed between the Book Arts Program and the Creative Writing program at the University of Alabama.

The Opportunist
Poem by Jesse DeLong
Book design by Sonja Rossow
Alexandra, Virginia: Curly Head Press, 2018. Edition of 10.

9 x 5 x 1.5" box consists of 8 puzzle pieces, varying in size (6 wooden, 2 plexi). Designed in Illustrator and cut and etched on a laser cutting machine. Cut and etched on Baltic birch ply and plexi. Enclosure is consistent but varies in book cloth color. Numbered. Includes folded instruction sheet. Housed in four-sided custom cloth-covered portfolio with velcro closure.

Curly Head Press: "This artist book is the 5th collaboration between Jesse DeLong and Sonja Rossow. Two years ago the next collaboration was started. This time, Jesse suggested that she send him pictures to respond to. Sonja sent two photos to Jesse for him to respond to with poetry. These photos were of two houses from the neighborhood she lives in that has over 200 mid-century moderns. The two poems he sent back have been kicking around in her head for the last two years. She wanted to break out of the traditional codex, so the poems stayed locked away. This holiday season, Sonja took a laser cutting class and it sparked the idea quickly."

Directions for display: "Take wooden box apart. Flip pieces over and put together lilke a puzzle. Put acrylic pieces together and place on the angle of the house drawing … with poem #2 – "The Opportunist Awaits" facing the body on the wood."

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By Jesse DeLong
Prattville, Alabama: Curly Head Press, 2014. Edition of 15.

6 x 9.4"; 20 pages. French fold pages. Letterpress printed with handset metal type. Printed on Arches Text Wove paper. Images courtesy of Jessica Peterson. Drum leaf binding, cloth spine, paper over boards. Numbered.

Sonja Rossow: "There are nine poems in this latest collaboration between poet Jesse DeLong and Curly Head Press. The poems are a selection of work from Delong's MFA Creative Writing Thesis entitled Screel. "

Colophon: "Jesse DeLong teaches at Southern University. His chapbook, Tearings, and Other Poems, and Mallard was released by Curly Head Press. Other work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Best New Poets 2011, Colorado Review, Mid-American Review, American Letters and Commentary, Indiana Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and elsewhere."


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By Jesse De Long
Gordo, Alabama: Curly Head Press, 2012. Edition of 22.

4 x 6"; 8 shaped leaves. Printed on handmade cotton and abaca paper treated with a watercolor and salt technique. Letterpress printed with photopolymer plates. Bound with thread and wood. Slipped in envelope cloth wrapper.

This is the third collaboration with between Sonja Rossow and poet Jesse De Long.

Sonja Rossow: "It is a simple binding using a Japanese hole punch and a branch to secure the content. The wrapper is cloth that has been dyed to reflect the content and feel of the book."

not parting the water, no, but moving its shape aside
the way I would a lover, so that, ...




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When in Winter
By Jesse DeLong
Gordo, Alabama: Curly Head Press, 2011. Edition of 64.

2.375 x 3.25"; 8 pages. One sheet book. Text is Bembo. Printed on handmade paper from Picante Paper Studio. Designed and printed by Sonja Greentree Rossow.

Colophon: "Jesse DeLong is an MFA candidate at The University of Alabama. In collaboration with the artist, his chapbook 'Tearings, and other poems' was released by the press."

When a spine of geese, struck
in a V above the canopy, double
on air and water, sky and lake.

When the sheet is laid flat the geese illustration becomes a V of geese flying through the skies.

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Tearings, and Other Poems
By Jesse DeLong
Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Curly Head Press, 2010. Edition of 30.

4 x 7"; 20 pages. Letterpress printed on Somerset Book Woven and French papers. Text and title are set in LTC Deepdene. The image with the title poem is a monoprint. Endsheets are Hahnemuhle Bugra. Sewn binding with Fabriano ElleErre paper wrapper.

Rossow and Delong met at The University of Alabama when he was pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Rossow was in the MFA Book Arts program.

DeLong's work can be found in The Offending Adam, Copper Nickel, Word Riot, Illya's Honey, and 751 Magazine.


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Page last update: 06.06.18


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