A plaque for The Journals of Susanna Moodie June 29 2015, 1 Comment

The Journals of Susanna Moodie is a collection of poems by Margaret Atwood based on an English woman (Susanna Strickland Moodie), who came as a pioneer to live in Canada in the mid-nineteenth century. The poems are written from Susanna Moodie's point of view about a tough life in the bush. Artist Charles Pachter illustrated all 30 poems, and 120 hand-printed boxed editions were made in 1980. Even more recently, a book of the illustrated poems was published. 
Reva Krongold-Parlow was good friends and a big supporter of Charles Pachter early on in his career. Reva bought one of the original hand-printed boxed portfolios from Pachter. Reva Krongold passed the portfolio on to her children, who decided to donate it to the Toronto Reference Library in their mother's memory. That's where we came in: We were commissioned to make a custom plaque for this memorial. How special to be included in this process-- the portfolio is really quite amazing to look at. The beautiful images and poems have a great presence and really evoke what life must have been like for a pioneer of Canada. The folio is being kept in the special collections unit of the Reference library, on the 5th floor.
 
 
We designed the plaque based on images from the portfolio. The tree-line at the top is inspired by one of the illustrations, and the bottom silhouette is from another. We saw-pierced the silhouette by hand, and had the text laser-engraved on the surface. It felt extra-special for us to be involved in this piece, because the portfolio itself is already a collaboration between artists, and the theme is very canadian (just like much of our work). Reva was a big supporter of emerging artists, and her family wanted to continue that with her memorial by supporting us with this project. 
A big thanks to Ruth Krongold and Judy Gillis for working with us on this.
Here are some photos of the installation process:
 
And here are some photos of the prints (although this really doesn't do them justice--you should check them out in person at the Reference Library if you can!!)