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Metamorphosis is the illustration of my 40-year love/hate relationship between my menstrual cycle and me. It begins with the anticipation of my first menses, followed by my dreading its arrival after its newness wore off, and the terror I felt if it was late. Finally, came the realization that my menstrual cycle had run its course, and culminated in the undeniable realization that I was growing older.

The foundation of this work is 28 sheets of handmade mitsumate, one for each day of the menstrual cycle. Because of its warm tone and soft touch, mitsumate is akin to femininity. My original text was letterpress printed, using polymer plates on a Vandercook press. Using multiple colors of silk thread, I used stitching to create abstract imagery to accompany the text. The threads ranged in color from cream, to red, to brown mimicking the menstrual flow throughout the lifecycle. This imagery also illustrates the thickening and thinning of the uterine wall during the monthly cycle. A handmade leather clamshell box holds the 28 pages.

Metamorphosis
2010
Handmade mitsumate, letterpress, silk thread, leather clamshell box
Box 8.5" x 5.25" x 1.5"
Pages 7.5" x 4.625"
Photo Credit: Petronella Ytsma

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