The holidays hinge on special somethings. Special deliveries, special occasions, special guests, that special bottle you were saving. Our new edition from Bay Area-based artist and bookbinder e bond is proof that somethings are even special-er when they’re handmade. These (heck yes, handmade!) starburst artworks make beautiful holiday ornaments indeed, but in typical e bond fashion they’re protean creations—as surely as they’re artful adornment for a holiday tree, they’re hand-built books to begin with, pocket-sized interpretive maps, and petite paintings to boot.
Available in two colors—a bright, orange and yellow-inflected option, and a striking neutral streaked in black—each square starburst measures about 2.75” as a closed book. But! Untie the ribbon and unfurl the pages so the covers are back-to-back, and you’ve got something else altogether. Each fully unfolded star measures around 8” at its highest point. Tie the ribbon to secure the star open, then tie a hanging loop, and the palm-sized art book has completed its metamorphosis into a statement-making hangable paper sculpture.
starburst is dazzling hung on a holiday tree, dangling over the doorway as an arty-er take on mistletoe or mixed into a festive tablescape, but these object editions have a place in your perennial collection, too. Hang one by a window or a couple above a crib. Rest a few on a bookshelf or mantle. Whatever you do, get multiples! At $32 each, these babies are giftable as all get out, plus they're lightweight and easy to slip in an envelope if you're sending some love via snail mail. Another reason to snap up more than one: since each ornament is a handmade original, they vary from piece to piece (something we especially love about them).
When we first started talking to bond about a potential artwork-cum-ornament, we knew we were in for a treat. Whether the art in question is a sketchbook, print, or mixed media piece, the work bond makes is always distinctive, idiosyncratic, and provocatively poetic. Her beautiful handmade books are in a league of their own (just look at the one-of-a-kind journals she made exclusively for 20x200 collectors). They’re interactive, as compelling as art objects as they are wonderful to write in. Her starburst ornaments are equally dynamic—part book, part map, all open to interpretation.
bond’s work is big on layers—both material and metaphorical. Her multifaceted starburst editions get their name from rays of starlight in a night sky, which the artist offers could be envoys of “secret messages” on their way to the world below. The patterns on each book come from drawings of the bark of ancient redwood and sequoia trees, as well as line tracings of aerial land maps, both of which represent modes of reading and relating to the earth around us—one zoomed in and the other out. Different ways of seeing the same thing.
The holiday season is particularly suited to the kind of perspective-shifting, imagination, and explorative introspection bond's starburst artworks have baked in. “The end of a year cycle, where the holiday season resides, is a time to reflect on where we are and where we might want to be heading, as individuals, as communities, as a universe”, bond writes. “I am imagining these objects as foldable pocket maps with tales from earth, sky & everything in between, to quietly guide us on our way.”
With art for everyone,