Transformer Press ~ Canada
(Lise Melhorn-Boe)

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Duke University: "Melhorn-Boe’s work focuses on the experience of a diverse range of women whose stories she represents in unique interpretations of the book arts."
   

Environment and health bookworks
Fairy Tales with a Modern Day Twist
Family Relationships
Good Girls / Bad Girls
Looking at Women

 
   
Look Don't Touch
A pop-up adaptation of Heliodorus' Aithiopika:
Lust, Devious Plots, Intrigue and much more

By Lise Melhorn-Boe
Kingston, Ontario: Transformer Press, 2016. Edition of 10.

10.75 x 8.5"; 28 pages. 13 double page pop-ups. Color photocopied on 100 lb. acid-free card stock. Text printed in Optima, with titles in Delphian. Bound in cloth boards with paper title label on cover. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Look, Don't Touch was inspired by The Aithiopika, a novel written by a Greek named Heliodorus, in 400 BCE The story takes place about 800 years earlier, in Kush (now northern Sudan/southern Egypt,) Egypt, and Greece. It's amazingly modern, with toy boys, and lots of lust, but there are storms at sea, pirates, bandits, and wars as well. I created the book as a commission for an exhibition, entitled Just One Look, at the University of Washington. The exhibition was curated to augment a conference on Classicism and Feminism. I really enjoyed the research - I learned a lot - and re-discovered the heart-stopping beauty of the drawings on Greek vases. Because the story has Greek, Kushite, Egyptian, and Persian characters, I culled my cast of characters from the pages of art history. It was a challenge to distill an entire novel into 13 pop-up pages - telling the story with added commentary – it could easily be a TV mini-series – Sex in the Classical City, maybe, or a 'western' set in the desert, with pirates, elephants and giraffes."

Just Look, Exhibition Catalog: "If An Ethiopian Story can be compared to a cinematic epic, then Lise Melhorn-Boe, in Look, don’t touch, has matched its sen­sational and byzantine plot with dash and drama. The novel, with its subterfuge, ro­mance and intrigue and its capacious cast of characters – Greeks, Persians, Egyptians and so-called Ethiopians (actually, as the artist learned, Kushites – inspired Melhorn-Boe to create a pop-up version of the tale using photocopies of actual artwork gleaned from those ancient civilizations combined with her original drawings and paintings.

"With ingenious paper engineering, Melhorn-Boe captures the multi-layered narrative with an assemblage of overlapping images. In thirteen visually captivating pop-up scenes, … the artist delivers a veritable ensemble of cultural and artistic diversity. Melhorn-Boe deconstructs and reassembles Heliodorus’ timeline, thus providing the modern reader a clear path through this novel.

"The deft combination of figures and objects sets up a shallow spatial progression that intensifies the relationship of one individual figure to another. Melhorn-Boe accompa­nies each scene with an insouciant interpretation of the labyrinthine tale and, like a rogue member of a Greek chorus, paren­thetically adds wry commentary such as,
I think we know where this is going.”
$700


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Choose Happy
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
Kingston, Ontario: Transformer Press, 2015. Edition of 10.

8 x 10.75"; 10 pages. Accordion structure. Pop-ups. Paper wraps with ribbon closure. Signed, numbered, and dated by the artist.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Creating CHOOSE HAPPY was an intriguing diversion. I was asked to create a book using the Artist's Book Ideation Cards developed by Barbara Tetenbaum and Julie Chen. One chooses one of each of the category cards, plus five adjectives, and then creates a work of art that fits the criteria. One can ignore two of the adjectives, and change one of the other cards, if desired. The cards I drew were Found TEXT, Muted or pastel COLOURS, LAYOUT across the folds, Self-generated IMAGE, Multiple colours of PAPER, TECHNIQUE of my choice, Accordion STRUCTURE. The five adjective cards were Elegant or harmonious, Textured, Scientific or research-based, Opposing or contrasting, and Loud.

"Just the day before I drew the cards, I had seen, in Toronto, two billboards for Koodo Mobile. They spelled (in balloons) CHOOSE HAPPY. I searched for more found text in a variety of magazines. I then tried typing CHOOSE HAPPY in the search box of the public library's catalogue, and came up with How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People-Their Secrets, Their Stories by Rick Foster and Greg Hicks. Searching for that on the shelves led me to HAPPY AT LAST: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy by Richard O'Connor, M.S.W., Ph.D and reading that led me to 14,000 things to be happy about by Barbara Kipfer. I have used text from all of these in 'CHOOSE HAPPY'.

"
HAPPY AT LAST was the most interesting to me. O'Connor references recent research on brain plasticity (a topic I have explored as I have a son who has had a brain injury) and posits that, just as the brain of stroke victims and people with brain injuries can be reprogrammed and create new neural connections, so too can anyone reprogram his or her own brain to be happier. O'Connor's text became the linchpin upon which the rest of the random texts could hang.

"Since I had to make an accordion, and work across the folds, I decided to make a pop-up book. (Also because pop-ups make people happy.) I decided to make the text blocks become the pops and these sculptural pop-ups themselves became the 'self-generated images'."

$600


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Pain
By Diane Dawber
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2007. Edition of 10.

7 x 10"; 12 pages. Bound in stiff covers of marbled paper (by Luci Lapierre). Accordion structure with pop-ups. Printed on an Epson Stylus Photo RX 600 printer on Eco-Source Eco-21 cardstock (hemp, flax and cotton). Pop-ups mounted on St. Armand cotton rag paper. Font: Garage Shock. Laid in suede wrap with pins and needles sticking out. Ribbon closure attached to suede with pins.

The subject is pain. Excerpts from Diane Dawber's Lifting the Bull: Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, and Environmental Illness offer first-person accounts of extreme pain. The pop-ups – jagged white on black – offer a visual metaphor. The pins/needles in the wraparound offer reader participation.

Painful.
$750 (Last three copies)


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Library Book
By Wendy Cain
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2004. Edition of 30.

8.5 x 5.5" with 4 pages. Bound in colorful striped cloth. Includes three double page pop-ups and one pull tab pop-up.

Wendy Cain tells an amusing story about how she came to read all of Andrew Lang's Colour Fairy Books. Her Mother had died and the family moved into the city near a library. When she visited the library the librarian asked her what kind of books she liked. The librarian led her to the section of fairy tales. Cain visited this section for several weeks before an observant librarian introduced her to other book shelves in the library. Thus, began Cain's life of books.
$160


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Lise Melhorn-Boe is continually exploring relationships, especially family interactions - mother / daughter, father / daughter, sibling. In this explorations, she sometimes carries us beyond today, generally backwards in time to discover perhaps influences on our families from those past, hidden lives.
   

History Repeats Itself
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2003. Edition of 100.

5.5 x 3", 8 pages, a magic wallet book, photocopied on Ecosource Prf-21 55lb. hemp-flax-cotton Cover, with pink handmade paper inserts. "Magic Wallets" have a hidden text behind the visible one.

Sarah relates a couple of stories about being embarrassed by her parents and then realizes that she and her husband aren't perfect either.
$30


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The Boy Who Liked to Eat
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2002. Edition of 10.

10 x 7.5" with eight spreads. Accordion book with handmade paper pages and hard covers. The text is rubber-stamped and the images colour-copied. There are five very simple pop-ups.

Tall tales and (possibly) true stories told to Lise Melhorn-Boe as a child are combined to create a fairy-tale version of her father's immigration to Canada, presented as a quest for food. The pages get more colourful and dimensional as the story progresses.

Lise Melhorn Boe: "My father grew up during World War I in Germany, the third youngest of nine. So he remembered not having enough to eat. He was a good storyteller, so I've just put together a number of his tales. The photos are all really of him and his family. It was very hand that my grandfather actually was a poor shoemaker with many children, considering that I was trying to make it like a fairy tale.

When I was away from home at university My father would always ask "Are you getting enough to eat?" (I was in a residence with an all-you-can-eat mean plan!) After my mother died, I would phone him and ask "Are you getting enough to eat?"
$750 (Last Copy)


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The Tale of the Teabags
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2001. Edition of 12.

5.5 x 8"; 10 pages. Double-sided accordion. Text rubber stamped onto handmade cotton paper. Accordion openings restricted by a thread, representing a clothesline from which hang "tea bags" simulated by color Xerox transfers. Laid in paper wrapper with ribbon closure.

This is one father's theory of thrift and frugality. Or is it stinginess and tightfistedness? We can at least be thankful that the subject is teabags and not toilet paper.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "This is a funny tale about the philosophy of the cost of teabags relative to the price of cold beer and hard work according to the father of the writer, Lori Gilbert. The handmade paper pages are rubber-stamped with photo-transfer teabags on a 'clothesline,' and are shaped at the top to represent elements of the story."

Text excerpt: "He points out that teabags are quite durable. They have substance; a lot of tea can be squeezed out of one little bag. He suggests that instead of two teabags per pot, from now on it will be two pots per teabag. And tea-drinking will occur only after a certain amount of housework has been accomplished. ..."
$250 (Last Copy)

   
   
The Family that Liked to Eat
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Ontario: Transformer Press, 1998. Edition of 3.

8 x 11.25" closed; 8 pages. Carousel structure. Pop ups. Constructed from Ecohemp 89 lb cover from Ecosource Paper. Painted with watercolors. Photo images and text color-copied on Tree Free Eco-21 Paper (40% hemp, 40% flax, 20% cotton). Typeset: New Century Schoolbook. Illustrated boards. Tie closures.

Caroline Langill, Home/bodies: "Thoughts on Disclosure in the Recent Work of Lise Melhorn-Boe (Written in 1999 for the exhibition entitled Ghost Costumes at the White Water Gallery): "With this recent body of work, using the legacies left to her by her parents, Melhorn-Boe reveals the hidden lives of parents and children. So much of what happens in a family, as it struggles to maintain some semblance of normality, is invisible to the world. Pauline Melhorn produced a number of journals which expose a life fraught with tensions about missed opportunities, at a time when the notion of the nuclear family had reached its peak.

"... The Family That Liked to Eat looks at the whole family and takes us back to a childhood full of middle class values. The adopted style mimics children’s literature. The pop-up format exploits infantile aesthetics in order to emphasize the irony of their ‘happy’ lives. By utilizing this form Melhorn-Boe locates us within the environment of her childhood. This canny strategy, to subvert our adult rationality through form, opens us up to the lives of this family from the point of view of the child/adult.

"The colour xerox on the cover of The Family That Liked to Eat shows her [Pauline Melhorn] cheerily displaying a plate of mussels. It is not hard to imagine what drove her to involve herself in this subject to this extent, since we know full well that the body is a site of struggle for power within the family, but it is difficult to determine what drove her to write about it so, especially since it is clear through other writings, that she had other desires and needs outside of this realm of food. For this writer, this is how Pauline Melhorn has maintained her secrets—although the journals are now the property of her children, she has still managed to shield herself from them, to maintain her privacy, through a very cryptic text."

$850 (Last Copy)


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A Good Wife Wouldn't
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1997. Edition of 10.

8.5 x 10.25" with 6 pages.

Lise Melhorn-Boe on the origin of this book: "This story about a woman who wants a dishwasher, but whose husband won't let her buy one, even with a prescription from her doctor, and money from his parents, was told to me by Danielle Hart. It's a tunnel book made of pink handmade paper hands with colour-copied images of dirty dishes, washed dishes in a drainer and a dishwasher at the end of the tunnel."
$500


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Penelope's Apron
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1994. Edition of 60.

7 x 5" with four spreads. Made of sickly yellow handmade flax-linen paper with red rubber-stamped text and flowers augmenting the four simple pop-up aprons. Laid- in same paper wrapper with red ribbon tie.

A poignant story of thwarted creativity and conforming to parental expectations of how a good little girl should behave. It begins with the making of an apron from a yellow tea towel and red ribbon but as families and relationships go the apron becomes an item of irritation. The mother's anger becomes part of the "fabric" of the apron. So that finally Penelope puts it away - "I don't think I ever picked it up again."

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Penelope Stewart is an artist who lives in Toronto. ... she graciously shared this story, having answered my questionnaire. I have always been touched and honored by the stories women share with me."
$85


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Family Album
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1994. Edition of 100.

8.5 x 5.5" 12 pages. Text and family photos are photocopied on Hemp/cereal straw paper with pink Kuratani end papers and pink handmade cotton paper covers with plastic comb binding.

Photos of three generations of good little girls from the artist's family are paired with other women's stories about being good or their parents' expectations of goodness.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "I had decided to explore the socialization of little girls and so wrote a questionnaire asking about being a good girl, or not, and sent it out to the women on my list - this wasn't the first questionnaire. So the stories come from a number of women but I chose to use photos of girls in my own family. I remembered how we used to get black and white photos in little booklets with the plastic "coils" so that's why I bound it that way."
$30


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Three Sisters
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1999. Edition of 10.

10 x 8.5" three faces. Tri-hexaflexagon made of Arches cotton print paper with colour photocopies on Tree-free Eco-21 paper.

Flex the flexagon to reveal three views of the same set of parents. Drawings by the artist and her two sisters (Margaret Melhorn and Marie Cooper).

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Years ago, during some "Reach for your inner-child-type workshop, I did a drawing of my parents. My husband was interested to note that I had drawn my father without ears. He actually had huge ears but was partially deaf. He had his back to my very worried-looking mother and was typing.

My youngest sister happened to come to Toronto to visit me, and, without showing her my drawing, I gave her paper and coloured pencils and asked her to draw them. Hers was completely different except that my father was wearing the same blue sweatshirt! "Her" parents were standing side-by side and looked very happy. ...

I wrote to my middle sister, ... and asked her to draw our parents in pencil crayons. The same blue sweatshirt appears again! It was perfect. It fit in between the other two drawings perfectly, making a progression from alienation to harmony. Three sisters with three different views."
$80


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Light and Flaky
Portrait of the Artist's Mother: A Cookbook
by Lise Melhorn
with story by Pauline Melhorn
Wayne State University: Transformer Press, 1982. Edition of 190.

6.5 x 9"; 32 pages. Printed on Rising Parchment 100% rag paper. Pamphlet bound with cover paper handmade from linen and cotton tea towels, tablecloths, aprons, and dish cloths.

Exhibition catalog, Women Writing and Reading, Bruce Peel Special Collections Library from May-August, 2007: "Melhorn-Boe's bookworks deal in various ways with women's issues, often with humour and a strong sense of irony. Melhorn-Boe's mother, Pauline Melhorn, was a painter who encouraged her daughter's early interest in creative arts. By her own account, Melhorn-Boe 'bullied her mother into writing' Light and Flaky. This memoir/recipe book begins with Pauline Melhorn's childhood, tracing her development as a cook through marriage and motherhood. It is interspersed with recipes and family photographs and maintains a humorous tone throughout."

Although Light and Flaky may be personal history, it will hit strike a chord with anyone who has cooked - the rollercoaster of finding one's own way in the kitchen. The main course is the spirit of fun, exploration, and practical reality that wafts throughout. The recipes are simply gravy.
$40 (Last Copy)

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Lise Melhorn-Boe explores the roles society has placed upon women and the tension in those expectations. Rules of these roles can be manifested in everyday choices of clothes and make-up.
   

does anyone have an idea what's going on?
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Ontario, Canada: Transformer Press, 2001. Open Edition.

4 x 5.25"; 16 pages. Accordion fold. Collage created using text and images from popular magazines. Collage colour-copied on hemp-cotton-flax cardstock.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Statements and questions lead to answers which lead to more questions about women's sexual relationships as presented in women's fashion magazines."
$30


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Sex Rules: Dos and Don'ts
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Ontario, Canada: Transformer Press, 2001. Open Edition.

4 x 5.25"; 16 pages. Accordion fold. Collage created using text and images from popular magazines. Collage colour-copied onto hemp-cotton-flax cardstock.

Lise Melhorn -Boe: "Illustrations from fashion magazines are paired with strange commands to create a bizarre little rule book for sex in the new millennium."
$30


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In her work, Lise Melhorn-Boe looks at the social constructions formed on assumptions of what constitutes desirable feminine qualities.
   

Germangoodgirls
By Lise Melhorn-Boe and Clarissa Lewis
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2005. Edition of 35.

7" circular book tunnel book. Constructed of Artist Bristol Board and Kizuki Kozo. Hand-colored with Windsor-Newton watercolors. Tied with satin ribbon. Text handwritten with Staedtler Gel Roller and Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen. Add on of goose down. Snowflakes hand-punched from Kozo paper.
18 (di.) x 2 cm.

Germangoodgirls was created for A Book Art Mosaic, a project of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "The reference to the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Frau Holle (sometimes called Mother Hulda in English) led us to create a tunnel book that opens like a well. In the fairy tale, when Frau Holle, who lives at the bottom of a well, shakes her feather bed, it snows on earth, hence the addition of the feathers and snowflakes. Does the blue at the bottom of the well represent the water or the sky?"

Text: "Growing up as Germangoodgirls we were praised for our Tugend und Fleiss [our virtue and industry]. We loved the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm because good and bad, industry and sloth, were so easy to tell apart and the heroines were so justly rewarded. We did identify with the good ones but the bad ones were intriguing too, especially as we got older. However, these stories left us with two somewhat contradictory notions: if we were tugendhaft und fleissig, didn’t complain and waited long enough, someone would notice and reward or rescue us, OR, if we were tugendhaft und fleissig, we could take care of ourselves and accomplish anything. But was this really a choice?"

$500


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Rough Girls
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1996. Edition of 10.

11 x 7.75 x 1.5" 5 pages, a handmade paper flag book with a hard cover.

Christine Charette's story about beating up boys in Grade Two is rubber-stamped on miniature blue jeans, which tumble across the accordion spine with tiny running shoes kicking here and there.

“It never would have occurred to me to kick boys in the crotch when I was in Grade Two.”
$500 (Last 4 copies)


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Lise Melhorn-Boe uses fashion magazine text and images to tell these traditional fairy tales.
   

Once Upon a Time
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2006. Edition of 8.

50 pot-holder style pages including title and colophon. 48 (5 x 5") squares with text on one side only. Closed 7.5" deep. Open 72" horizontally. Twelve 5 x 5" base pages bound with leather and bias-tape. 36 foldout pages attached with metal rings through embroidered holes in base pages. Techniques and materials: quilting, embroidery, cloth, leather, thread, metal rings, and fabric.

An interactive work allowing the reader to create the tale within a multiple choice framework. The base line of the story begins: "Once there was a…." Choices ensue. Is the protagonist a CEO, police officer, pop star, environmentalist, computer geek, politician, or street person? Was s/he lazy? A workaholic? Very wise?

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "To make this multiple choice fairy tale, I started with archetypical fairy tale characters and situations and then adapted them to a contemporary setting. I have been collecting fabrics and thinking about it for a long time. I actually have only the one copy completely finished, and another almost finished. The others I still have to write the text, quilt, bind and make the holes and embroider round them. There will be three others with the burgundy leather and bias-tape edge-binding, and four of them will have tan-coloured leather and tape."
$500 (Last Copy)


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Many-Fur
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2005. Edition of 10.

10.5 x 8.25"; 13 pages with six pop-ups. Accordion structure. Bound in patterned cloth with fashion magazine illustration and paper title on front board. Colophon on back pastedown. Uses illustrations from fashion magazines. Text computer typeset in Lucida Calligraphy. Printed using a Xerox Colour Series 50 photocopies on Rolland Hitech acid-free 80 lb. paper.

Many-Fur (Allerleirau in German) was one of the fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm. Perrault collected a similar story known as Donkeyskin (Peau d'Ane in French.) As it involves incest, it has fallen out of modern collections for children.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Because it is a less-well-known fairy tale, probably because of the implied incest, I chose to actually include the entire story as the text, rather than using words and phrases from the women's magazines as I did with the other four fairy tales."
$400

   
   

Sleeping Beauty:
Finding That Special Someone When You're Not the Aggressive Type

By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2000. Edition of 8.

7.75 x 10.5" accordion fold with ten pages. Each double page with a moveable / pop-up structure. Created using text and images from popular magazines and Canon Laser colour copied on 55-lb. Pro-21 Eco-source paper.

No spinning wheels in this up-dated version of the well known story — it's a stiletto heel that puts this Beauty to sleep. Images and text are collaged from fashion magazines.
$400 (Last two copies)


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Lise is currently researching connections between our health and the environment for a new body of bookworks.
   
What's for Lunch?
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
Kingston, Ontario: Transformer Press, 2011. Open Edition.

7 x 8"; 10 pages. Flutter book. Pop-ups. Color photo-copied onto Boise HDP Color Copy Cover acid free paper. Numbered and signed by the artist.

Transformer Press: "A fun faux children's pop-up book about (yes! more) toxins in our food. Color photocopied from hand-painted and collaged illustrations, with a bouncy poem as text.

"My tummy is growling. What's for Lunch? Colourful illustrations combine with bouncy rhymes about nasty stuff in our food to make one wonder if having lunch is such a good idea."


Lise Melhorn-Boe: "[What's for Lunch? is] sort of a companion piece for 'What's for Dinner?' in that it is also a pop-up book and also about toxins in our food. This one is however, more typical, in that it is made of paper. It is styled like a kids' pop-up book with a bouncy verse about the nasties we are eating. I actually designed it years ago for a contest that Little Simon advertised. Artists were supposed to illustrate, write and do the paper engineering for a pop-up book for 4-8 yr. olds. The winner was to be published, but no one won. I realized that I should take advantage of the fact that I had already done the artwork and pop-up design and just rewrote the text."
$400

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Breast Cancer Journal
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2010. Edition of 50.

3.5 x 5"; 48 leaves. Sketchbook construction. Original watercolor paintings color photocopied on Boise HDP color copy paper. Metal-spiral bound at top with front cover of Boise HDP and back cover of 4-ply rag board.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Original pages watercolour-painted and drawn from 2004-2010 as a record of my experience with breast cancer, starting with some childhood and teenage experiences."
$75

 


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Mind over Matter
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Ontario, Canada: Transformer Press, 2010. Edition of 10.

9 x 11.25 x 1.5"; 12 leaves. Accordion structure. House shaped boards and pages. Printed by an Epson Stylus Pro 9600 with the Ultrachrome inkset onto Crane Museo Max and ink press fiber papers. Cotton-covered acid-free board covers with spine of Le Papeterie St. Armand's canal paper (sisal coffee).

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Some of a series of watercolours I painted when my old house was making me sick. These images were supposed to fool my mind into believing that all was well, although the first image pretty much portrays how I was feeling. ... The images portray a journey from despondency to a joyful wellness, as the artist tried to visualize herself better."
$600

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Body Map
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2009. Edition of 50.

8 x 8"; 10 unnumbered leaves in a snake-fold format. Printed by an Epson Stylus Pro 9600 with the Ultrachrome Inkset onto Inkpress Fine Art Matte paper.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "I have been struggling with my health since my mid-twenties, some problems caused by or exacerbated by art materials, and discovered a couple of years ago that I had breast cancer. I then learned that I had extremely high levels of heavy metals in my body, which my doctor attributed to growing up in two communities with smelters. He also felt that the cancer and my chronic infection could be attributed to the heavy metals contamination. I realize that there are probably many others, whose health has been compromised in some way by their environment. I decided to make a body of work on this topic, and have recently spent four months researching connections between health and the environment, as an Artist in Residence at Queen’s University."

Body Map is a show-and-tell book presenting some of the information that Lise has uncovered in her research about connections between our health and the environment. These tidbits of data surround a body - Lise's body.

A 1988 study showed Mercury Vapour in the air at a conference doubled during coffee breaks. Mercury emissions from dental amalgams were identified as the culprit. Mercury is linked to food allergies, an impaired immune system and to thyroid malfunction.

Metals mining is responsible for 39% of arsenic releases, 89% of mercury releases and 88% of lead releases.

$200


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Toxic Kids
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2009. Edition of 50.

8.5 x 11"; 18 unnumbered pages. Photocopied on acid-free Boise HDP Color Copy and Color Copy cover.

Another bookwork featuring Lise Melhorn-Boe's research into connections between health and the environment. In conducting her research she prepared a questionnaire which included questions about childhood environments.

Lise Melhorn-Boe, Questionnaire: Tell me about your childhood. In what kind of environment did you grow up? For example, did you live near an electrical transformer or transmission line? in or near an agricultural/industrial area? near a gas station, print shop, dry-cleaning establishment? Was there a lot of tension in your family?

This young girl's paper doll book incorporates information uncovered in her research: certain articles of clothing hold information, hand-printed by the artist, that specifically relates to connections between childhood environments and adult health.

Breast-feeding infants occupy a higher rung on the food-chain than the rest of us. In many cases, human milk contains pesticide residues in excess of legal limits for commercially marketed food. Nursing babies take in the highest doses of contaminants that they will experience in their entire lives: levels ten to forty times greater than the daily exposure of an adult. (Living Downstream. Steingraber, Sandra. Don Mills: Addison-Wesley, 1997. Our Stolen Future. Colborn, Theo et al. New York: Dutton, 1976.)

$55


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No Safe Levels
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2006. Edition of 3, State II.

6.5 x 9.9" closed accordion with pop-outs. Photocopied on acid free paper. Laid in cloth covered boards with interior corner pocket for book to slip into. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Transformer Press: "Northern Ontario highways are lined with rock cuts, sometimes covered with graffiti. This pop-up rock cut morphs into the artist’s scarred body."

Lise Melhorn-Boe, interview with Cassandra Kuyvenhoven from "The Garbage-loving Environmentalist": "This is a rock cut because I love the rock cuts along the highways up north. People do often put graffiti on the rock cuts, so my graffiti on this ‘rock cut’ is all the heavy metals that are in my body and the size of the lead and mercury are much bigger because I had a much higher concentration of those than say, tin.

"To visualize — this book is cut out in the shape of me lying down on my side, with my leg stretched out. It connects to the quote down at the bottom, which is: 'there is no separation. We are the environment. So whatever we do to the environment, we do to ourselves' and that’s David Suzuki. So I am part of these rocks, these rocks are a part of me. This is my personal landscape and it’s my body and its intersections with the environment, with nature, with rocks, with metals."

$150

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Gypsy Moth
(Carol's Story)
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2001. Edition of 10.

6.375 x 8.75"; 10 pages. Set in Humana Serif and printed on an Epson Stylus Photo RX600 printer. Canal paper (peat moss and mustard flax) made by Papeterie St-Armand. Bound in green leafy cloth with green ribbon ties at both spine and foredges so it can become a two-dimensional carousel structure. Netting covers some openings; others have insect-like bodies hanging it them. Paper title on front cover.

That misfortune is often underserved and beyond our control is no surprising revelation. When the situation is compounded by supposed experts who are supposed to help, it becomes even more infuriation. This is a story of triumph over such misfortune and attendant human folly and foibles.

Gypsy Moth is a complex story — a true story — told simply. Carol was the unwitting victim of insecticide spraying. Her health suddenly took a nosedive. Doctors were wrong, pessimistic, and dismissive. She lost her job. Nevertheless, with the help of family, friends, nature, and her own spirit, she recovered.
$600


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Transformer Press Sold and/or Out of Print Titles:
• A Sad Little Girl
• Beauty and the Beast
• Cinderella: How to make a Statement Without Saying a Word
• Colour Me Dutiful
• Garbage
• girls I have know
• Playbook
• Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: Looks can kill

 
   

Anything Can Happen:
A Love Story

By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Ontario, Canada: Transformer Press, 1989 / 2010.
Edition of 150.

5.5 x 8.5"; 100 pages (50 unbound leaves). Printed on both sides with images and text clippings from a variety of magazines. Images collaged and photo-copied. Shuffle book structure (unbound), but held together with black elastic band. Of the edition 1 - 99 produced in 1989 in black and white on cardstock, while 101 -150 produced in 2010 photocopied in colour on Boise HDP Color Copy Cover (80 lb.).

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Anything Can Happen is a shuffle book, in which the reader can arrange and rearrange the pages to create any number of stories about male/female relationships in the late twentieth century. The images and text are appropriated from men's and women's fashion magazines."
(SOLD)


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Brain Drawers
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
Kingston, Ontario: Transformer Press, 2015. Edition of 3.

6 x 6 x 8"; two parts. Top half cast-paper brain with 5 drawers – two glued shut, 3 with accordion books inside. Bottom half bound in cloth with 6 drawers – 1 glued shut, 5 with accordion books inside. Ribbon pulls on drawers with books. Signed and numbered by the artist on the bottom.

In April of 2008 returning to his home in Toronto the artist's son lost contrail of his car on a ramp and hit a rock cut. Although he had on his seatbelt and the airbag deployed, his head was whipped into the support between the front and back windows, and he suffered multiple fractures. After a piece of bone was cut from his skull to remove a blood clot, he was put in an induced coma for five days.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Brain Drawers a companion to Diffuse Axonal Injury, using the same brain mould. When Matthias came out of the coma, he mentioned a few times that he knew some information was in his brain, but 'that drawer won't open.'

“Some drawers, such as ACCIDENT and INTERNSHIP, which he was doing when he had the accident, have no drawer pulls and are glued shut. Others, such as LEGO COMPETITION open and have memories of that occasion or place. These were longer-term memories that he had no trouble accessing. It was the stuff that had happened within the year before his accident.”

(SOLD)

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Diffuse Axonal Injury
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
Kingston, Ontario: Transformer Press, 2014. Edition of 5.

6 x 8 x 6" paper object. Materials: cast paper, thread, ribbon, acetate.

In April of 2008 the artist's son had an automobile accident when he was returning to his home in Toronto. On a sharply curving ramp he lost control of the car and hit a rock cut. Although he had his seatbelt on and the airbag deployed, his head was whipped sideways into the support between the front and back windows. He suffered multiple fractures. A piece of bone was removed from his skull in order to remove a blood clot. He was put in an induced coma for five days.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "This cast paper brain is filled with neural connections, but some are broken, owing to a nasty run-in with a rock cut. The acetate circles on the outside make me think about all the EEGs that my son has had since his accident.

"I have to cast [part] one at a time, and it's cold, so the pulp dries slowly: This is a wordless portrait of my son's brain right after his accident."

(SOLD)

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Dinner for Three
with Marilyn Zimmerman's story
North Bay, Ontario: Transformer Press, 1998. Edition of 3.

10.25 x 7.5 x 1.5" box with 4 part aluminum tray containing 4 paper food items and a booklet. Materials: aluminum, paper. Images and text typeset in Helvetica and photocopied on Ecosource 60 lb. Eco-21 paper, 40% hemp, 40% flax, and 20% cotton. Food items made of cast paper. Pamphlet: 3.75 x 4", 10 pages; handmade paper; sewn binding. Box closure with slip-in flap.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Safely nested between her parents on the couch, eating TV dinners, Marilyn Zimmerman contrasts her suburban life with the violent events on the television in 1968. An aluminum TV dinner tray holds cast paper food and a handmade paper pamphlet, all enclosed in a box. Colour and black-and-white photo-copies images are used on the box and in the pamphlet."
(SOLD)

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Good Girls Don't
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1994. Edition of 30.

5.5 x 3" four spreads. Rubber-stamped text and colour photography transfer images on handmade linen paper, with four pop-ups. Accordion folded into a self-cover with a tab. Closed with a ribbon.

Sunbonnet Sue pop-ups with the Virgin Mary superimposed upon them are surrounded by rules for good girls, such as "Good girls don't fight back" and "Good girls don't whine."

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "When I first moved to North Bay 15 years ago, I took a quilt-making class specifically to learn to make a "log cabin" quilt. I had been saving fabric for it for some time. I got quite excited about the names of traditional patterns of quilts and made a series of them which related the pattern names to issues in contemporary women's lives. They were all multi-squared quilts, many with texts, so I just saw ("read") them as big flat books. I had my first show here exhibiting the quilts and several books that used quilt patterns as images, "Good Girls Don't" being one of them."
(SOLD)


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Homeless
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2008. Edition of 7.

7 x 7";15 pages. Accordion structure simulates a quilt by using the Little House quilt pattern to sew color photocopies of a row of solid-looking homes and sections of gray cotton paper handmade by the artist onto peat moss paper made by Papeterie St. Armand (Montreal). Color photocopies on Boise Fire 80 lb. acid free paper; text in Trebuchet MS Bold is black-and-white copy on acetate. Pages stitched together with cotton thread.

The quilt pattern is central. Not only does it echo the quilt the artist was forced to sleep under because of the toxicity of her home but it also simulates the fragmentation experienced by the homeless. What seems solid is really stitched together in a tenuous way.

Lise-Melhorn Boe: "In the fall of '06, I came across a disturbing statistic: according to a study from the Environmental Health Coalition of Western MA, 57% of people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities have been homeless at one time or another. I thought "Whew! I'm lucky that I have a safe home," but by the fall of '07, my own house was making me sick, and by that winter, I had been forced to find a new place to work and was sleeping on our unheated front porch, with piles of quilts and a hot water bottle. I felt as if I were homeless. "
(SOLD)

 


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My (Discouragingly) White Life
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
Kingston, Ontario: Transformer Press, 2014. Edition of 6.

6.5 x 9"; 7 leaves. Flag book structure with 21 flags. Text rubber-stamped with Speedball Block-printing ink onto acetate. Uses Inkpress Fine Art Matte Paper for the accordion and Tibetan Straw Paper on the board covers. Colophon printed on Ecosource Paper's hemp, flax, and cotton paper (Tree free Eco-21.) Signed and numbered on the colophon by the artist.

Lise Melhorn-Boe, colophon: "In the book Learning to be White: Money, Race and God in America, the author, Thandeka, writes: 'African Americans have learned to use a racial language to describe themselves and others. Euro-Americans also have learned a pervasive racial language. But in their racial lexicon, their own racial group becomes the great unsaid.'

"As a means of becoming aware of this racialization process, she suggests playing the Race Game. It has only one rule: for a week, one must use the term white whenever one mentions the name of a person of European descent. For example, one might say, ' my white friend Beth, or 'my white son Matthias.' Out of this exercise came this book."

(SOLD)

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Misleading advice
The Worst Advice You'll Ever Receive (And Why Most Follow It)
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1997. Edition of 25.

8.5 x 11"; 23 pages. Magazine format. Color photocopied on Domtar Plainfield Offset paper. Saddle stitch (staple) binding.

The titles of articles in women's magazines promise heaps of insider wisdom.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Women’s magazines are chock-full of advice—this handy volume wastes no space on articles but gives you nothing but advice on everything from “Eight things never to say to the man you love” to “Ten ways to make yourself miserable.”
(SOLD)

 


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More Garbage
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2010. Edition of 12.

8.75 x 12.25 x 2.5"; 20 pages. Found objects. Text pages stitched to various fabric pages. Text photocopied on acid-free cardstock. Bound with tapes and closures from knapsacks.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "This book is entirely made of garbage, or stuff I had lying about. No new materials were purchased except the photocopying of pages. The covers are bottoms of mandarin boxes collected at Christmas. The socks and T-shirts were worn out ones raided from husband and son and self. The mitts and gloves were picked up on the streets as the snow melted. ... The paper was left over from Wake up the Frog and Library Book. The thread was from when I used to do embroidery. The 'tapes' on which the pages are bound are mostly from knapsacks. The fake suede is leftover from the blinds I made when we moved into this house; also the insulation from other Roman shades. The rag rugs were from my mother's ....

"It was fun to make these books, which are all somewhat different, of course, although it is an edition of 12.

""The text deals with the effect of garbage on our health."

Bibliography:

"Household waste." Today's Parent, July 2007, page 76.
Conor Mihell, "Talking Trash", Maisonneuve, No.30, p24.
Lisa Van de Ven, "When green isn't green enough," The United Church Observer, Nov 2009, p. 14.
Elizabeth Royte, Garbageland (New York: Little, Brown, 2008), p. 283.
Elizabeth Grossman, High Tech Trash (Washington: Island Press, 2006), pp. 8, 112-113.
William Rathje and Cullen Murphy, Rubbish (NYC.: Harper Collins Publishers: 1992), p.180.
Jeremy Jacquot, "Numbers", Discover Magazine, October 2009, p. 12.
Elizabeth Royte, Garbageland (New York: Little, Brown, 2008), p. 196.
Elizabeth Royte, Garbageland (New York: Little, Brown, 2008), p 190.
Elizabeth Royte, Garbageland (New York: Little, Brown, 2008), p 166.
"Pass It On," Smartmoves, 2009, p. 36. See smartmoves.ca
Elizabeth Royte, Garbageland (New York: Little, Brown, 2008), p 283, quoting John Vidal, "Poisonous Detritus of the Electronic Revolution," Guardian, Sep 21, 2004.

(SOLD)


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Picky Eater
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2001. Edition of 3.

13.5 x 13.5"; 9 pages. Cloth book. Tablecloths have been cut, rubber-stamped, appliquéd with color-copy transfers and re-assembled to form a foldout book.

This is quite actually a tablecloth book. Unfolded and draped over a table, the story of how one picky eater is disciplined can be read by moving from place to place.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "Lori Gilbert’s unpleasant memories of being forced to eat are combined with photos of a plate of food being mushed about and slowly consumed."
(SOLD)


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Recipes
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2001. Edition of 5.

3 x 5" box containing 129 cards with dividers. Printed on hemp paper. Recycled metal recipe box. Signed and numbered by the artist.

A recipe box that holds family photos and stories collected from twelve women about food and family relationships. Instead of Casseroles, Salads and Desserts, the categories become Atmosphere, Force-Feeding, Obsessions and Prohibitions.

Tara Hyland-Russell, Fairy Tales and Family Fables: "Lise Melhorn-Boe recognizes that, as Mary Catherine Bateson phrases it, 'Women’s lives have always been grounded in the physical by the rhythms of their bodies and the giving and receiving of concrete and specific tokens of love, a ring or a teaspoon of cough syrup.' Thus Melhorn-Boe roots her bookworks and sculptures in the everyday objects and aspects of women’s lives: aprons, baby clothes, recipes, meals, houses, makeup and follows a trajectory that marks the undervalued objects of women’s lives as worthy of scrutiny. The resulting works have a potent visual, tactile and narrative appeal."
(SOLD)


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Slurping
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2004. Open Edition.

8.5" circular stainless steel dog bowl with six text pages laid in.

This stainless steel dogfood dish holds red acetate pages printed with Norma Homer's funny story about eating jello, and a lesson learned about proper eating etiquette.
(SOLD)

 

 

 


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Someday
By Marilyn Zimmerman
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2004. Edition of 4.

8 x 11 x 5" curved pink-and-white quilted-brocade covered box. Pearl button and gold braid closure. Six cutout text pages (including title page) and four quilted fabric illustrations loose in box. Text rubber-stamped on handmade paper.

A Mother's story about the power of stereotypes – here the prince and princess – young girls are taught. She witnesses her three-year-old already identifying with strong men and weak women. The daughter insists upon acting the role of the princess who has to be saved. Mother fights back with feminist fairy tales. But the struggle is not easy. In the end Mother says, "My daughter has observed the world and has noticed that the boys are in charge. I do what I can. She is strong."

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "The story of Someday came from Marilyn Zimmerman, who teaches photography at Wayne State University in Detroit, and who was one of the members of my MFA Committee. She's a good storyteller and I have used several of hers before."
(SOLD)

   

TV Blues
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2009. Edition of 14.

9 x 6.75" closed. Tunnel book.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "I am an artist who has been making books as art objects for over twenty-five years. I have often used other women’s stories as the inspiration and text for my work."

Based on Robyn Mooney's story, this book speaks to the effect of a night spent in a home where the bed consisted of a pillow in front of the television.
(SOLD)


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Wake Up the Frog
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 2004. Edition of 30.

5.25 x 11.25"; 11 shaped pages (cut in the form of shoes or clothing). Computer typeset in Book Antiqua. Photocopied on Canson Mi-Tientes and Colour-Line acid free papers. Paper wrap with title cutout on front. Flutter binding.

Eleven women write about the effect of fairy tales on their lives.

Lori: "Something that affected my life was reading the original version of the Frog Prince. In this original, as in modern versions, the frog makes more and more demands for greater and greater intimacy with the princess. However, when he demands a kiss, instead of overcoming her revulsion and complying like a good girl, she defends her honour by picking him up and throwing him against the wall. And that is when he turns into a price. I think of all those little girls fed on the false story that 'you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you can find a prince.' The true story is that the only real prince is one who respects you, and that you can't bring out the prince in a guy by capitulating to his endless demands. Sometimes you have to wake up the frog in a big way before he leaves his slimy habits behind and learns to have respect for women."
(SOLD)


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What's for Dinner?
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
Kingston, Ontario: Transformer Press, 2011. Edition of 7.

10 x 10 x 5" closed, opens to 40" x 40"; 18 pages with eight 2-page pop-up spreads. Cover with title in felt letters that have been sewn onto printed fabric. Base constructed from found tablecloths. Each book is unique in that the tablecloths vary over the edition. Other materials: fabric swatches, various papers, plastic utensils.

Transformer Press: "Food pops off plates on this tabletop-sized book made of tablecloths. The text about toxins in our food is hand-printed on the napkins.

"Pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, and genetically-modified foods are some of the issues raised in What's for Dinner? Yum, yum!"

The information, certainly meant as cautionary, begins from the first sentence – "Half of the produce currently tested in American grocery stores contains measurable residues of pesticides."

(SOLD)

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WRONG!
By Melanie Egan
North Bay, Canada: Transformer Press, 1996. Edition of 5.

12 x 6"; 4 pages. Text rubber-stamped on pink and blue handmade flax paper, folded to represent baby blankets. Pages intended to look like baby blankets folded around a baby. Bound with satin ribbon like that used to edge blankets.

Melanie Egan's memory of an 5th grade Health class, when the teacher asked "How do you tell a girl baby from a boy baby?" is, perhaps, an amusing story now, but traumatic to a 10-year-old girl at the time.

Lise Melhorn-Boe: "This story was told to me by a friend. She was almost in tears when she told it, even though it had happened at least twenty years earlier."
(SOLD)

   
   

Page last update: 07.17.17

 

   
  
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