True as Earth, Strong as Water
By Shu-Ju Wang Portland, Oregon: Relay Replay Press, 2011. Edition of 26.
8.125 x 4.75"; 26 pages. Accordion structure. Gocco printed on Nepal Heavyweight, a handmade paper from Nepal. Solarplate etchings printed on cotton paper handmade by Helen Hiebert. Boards covered in handmade mulberry paper from Taiwan. Cover images Gocco printed.
This is the story of Arnold E. Metz, who grew up on a farm in South Dakota and served during World War II on the USS President Hayes. He completed his education after the war, graduating from Northern State University (Aberdeen, South Dakota), and had a long educational career in Michigan and South Dakota. Shu-Ju Wang has captured this life through etchings, handmade paper, and a few words.
Shu-Ju Wang, blog entry September 2011: "This was the book I started with an elderly WWII vet back at the start of 2009. His wife heard about the project I did at Rose Schnitzer Manor and thought I might be interested in working with him. And now two years and nine months later, I have completed the project!
"Detail on the back of the accordion. It's the melody from San Antonio Rose. If you know the song, you can follow along. Otherwise, it might just look like a landscape or the water. There are 5 etchings all together (solarplate etchings) on each of the 5 sets of handmade paper made with soils and waters collected from various places.
The first trifold: the brown paper with the etching is made by Helen [Hiebert] and contains soil from the South Dakota farm that he was born and raised in.
The second trifold: the blue paper with the etching contains water from the Pacific Ocean.
The third trifold: the green-blue paper with the etching contains water from the Columbia River.
The fourth trifold: the gray-blue paper with the etching contains water from the Willamette River.
The last trifold: the brown paper with the etching contains soil from his Oregon farm."