Gringo Death Coloring Book

Gringo Death Coloring Book is a collaborative artist book made in the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact on Puerto Rico. The text by Raquel Salas Rivera, excerpted from their full length book While They Sleep (Under the Bed Is Another Country) [Birds, LLC 2019] is dialogic fragments interspersed with prose poems reflecting on the lasting impact of colonial trauma, arranged around the two different discourses. Hand-carved linoleum images made and printed by Mariana Ramos Ortiz. Book designed and bound, and text letterpress printed by Erica Mena.

An 8″ square carousel book with three layers forming a five-pointed star. The top layer of paper on which the text of the book is printed was handmade by Erica Mena and Mariana Ramos Ortiz in the summer of 2018 from unknown pulp fiber found in the Brown Book Arts studio (thought to be abaca). The text was hand-set from foundry metal Goudy 10 and 12 pt, with titling in 36 pt Baskerville, and printed by Erica Mena on a Vandercook 15-21. Images were printed on tengujo-shi paper by Mariana Ramos Ortiz on a Vandercook Universal III. Backing and cover paper is hand-made amate paper from Mexico. Books were folded, scored, cut, assembled, and bound by Erica Mena into cloth-covered board with magnetic closure. A limited edition of 5 come in hand-made walnut and pine box enclosures were designed and constructed by Geoffrey Hazard at the Brown Design Workshop. Edition of 20.


Process & Details

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Text was printed by Erica Mena on a Vandercook 15-21 at the Hay Library Book Arts Studio at Brown University. Images were carved from linoleum by Mariana Ramos Ortiz and printed by Mariana Ramos Ortiz on a Vandercook Universal III at the Hay Library Book Arts Studio at Brown University. 

Text printed on paper made by hand by Erica Mena and Mariana Ramos Ortiz from abaca fiber beaten in a Hollander beater at the Book Arts Studio at Brown University. Special thanks to Lindsey Beal and May Babcock for assistance with the beater. 

Images printed on tengujoshi paper from The Paper Connection in Providence, RI. Special thanks to Lauren and Kate for their expertise, advice, and the idea to print on translucent paper. 

Structure based on the carousel book by Emily Martin, and backed in hand-made amate paper, sewn with linen thread. Bound in cloth covered boards with embedded magnet closure by Erica Mena in Fiskars, Finland. Special thanks to Chris Bull of the Brown Design Workshop for help using the press drill to embed magnets in bookboard. 

A limited edition of hand-made walnut and pine box enclosures were designed and constructed by Geoffrey Hazard at the Brown Design Workshop.

Special thanks to the Visual Art Department at Brown University and the John Hay Special Collections Library at Brown University for arranging access to the Walter Feldmen Book Arts Studio.