This is a piece I made about Lewis and Clark and their expedition out to the Pacific Ocean. It is titled, “The Expedition of the Corps of Discovery” and depicts their travels out and back between 1804 and 1806.
I wanted the book have the look of a satchel so I constructed the box to be slightly deeper on one side and sloping toward the other. The cover paper was treated in a way to look and feel like animal hide and the sides of the satchel are colored with the soils of Missouri.
Once opened a boxed compass that has its lid flipped up fills one window and its needle moves to determine north. It is compass that I found online that is a copy of the one given Lewis by the president at that time. Above the compass is another open compartment that holds bits and pieces that the explorers could have easily put in their pockets at the start of the trip near St. Louis. Below the compass in a third compartment are objects that could have been collected out on the coast. They are left open so the viewer can touch the small collected pieces.
What fills the section to the right is an accordion style book that depicts the trip out on one side and the return voyage on the other. It is interspersed with drawings and quotes from their journals and like the cover of the satchel is made of the same paper treated to resemble hide. The accordion binding is actually done using the piano hinge technique that has been wrapped with sinew to keep the pages up from ground level.
There are further embellishments to enhance the concept of a travel satchel and it ended up looking and feeling just as I wanted.
The piece has been on exhibit at least twice that I can remember but was never for sale. I don’t sell work like this. I just wanted first to do it and then to have others see it. Now I want to find a home for it. Preferably some place where there is other work about Lewis and Clark, perhaps a museum or a place housing a collection about the discoveries of the explorers.
If anyone reading this has an idea of where I can send this, please contact me through my website. I suspect there will be other artworks looking for homes as well but this one is a good place to start.