Himmel & Erde

After no less than sev­en months of work I’ve com­pleted my first book. This one’s a lux­ury item, no doubt. 28 wood­cuts, all texts and titles set by hand, all prin­ted and bound manu­ally – tak­ing the edi­tion of 24 and adding the usu­al spoil­age that’s just a tiny bit more or less than 1000 pages hav­ing gone through my hands.

scan-0190 Himmel & Erde
The impres­sum.

I knew from the begin­ning it would be a lot of work, but in the end fell vic­tim to Hofstadter’s Law nev­er­the­less, which goes: “It always takes longer, even if you take into account Hofstadter’s Law”. Lots of work still proved to be doable. So without much fur­ther ado, treat your­self to the pic­tures! All of these wood­cuts are based on sketches made dur­ing a class trip in June 2019, camp­ing and draw­ing in Mecklenburg for a good week. Half of the sketches are mine, half are by my col­leagues – the wood­cuts are all mine, though.

In the book they’re organ­ised in six sec­tions and that’s how I’ll show them here. Titles are indic­ated, as are the kind pro­viders of the ori­gin­al draw­ings.

— I —

II

III

IV

— V —

VI

And what about the name, finally? The two nouns in “Himmel & Erde” each have at least two equi­val­ents in English suit­able here, res­ult­ing in “Heaven/Sky & Earth/Ground”. I have to be a nit­pick­er here because while the obvi­ous read­ing would of course by all means be “Heaven & Earth”, with “Sky and Earth” as a dis­tant run­ner-up allud­ing to the land­scape theme, there’s a third mean­ing, which is in fact described in the impres­sum. “Himmel & Erde” also describes a dish pop­u­lar all across Northern Germany, and sure we had it on that trip to Mecklenburg, too. Essentially it’s mashed pota­toes mixed with like­wise mashed apples – Erdäpfel und Himmeläpfel, “ground apples” and “sky apples”.

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