While driving down the East Coast, the plan was naturally to stop over and meet artists’ book makers and binders. For the last few years, I have looked forward to this intended trip.
Finding myself in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I promptly seized this unique opportunity to visit Thomas Parker Williams. Every artist’s meet-up is a terrific experience and Thomas' studio visitation did not disappoint. My husband and I were welcomed in Thomas and Mary Agnes’ home and studio with great hospitality. This was invariably a fantastic visit! I immensely enjoyed viewing works that have inspired me online over the years.
Thomas Parker Williams of Luminice Press has efficiently created almost 100 artists' book editions and unique book works since 1998. He is inspired by different sources including mathematics, music, literature, theology, design, philosophy, astronomy, history, natural sciences, architecture, and Eastern thought.
His working processes include reduction linocut printing, etching, letterpress printing with hand-set metal type and hand-cut and polymer plates. He equally enjoys digital printing, paper cutting, laser cutting, and painting with oil and aqueous media. Music and sound are elements found in many of his pieces usually composed, performed, and recorded by Thomas, himself. In addition to music CDs, some of his publications have companion videos. Thomas has developed a unique structure, appropriately entitled the cascading rotary structure, which can be seen in his book “Revelation.”
In 2009 Thomas started collaborating with his wife Mary Agnes Williams, a pinhole photographer. And, in 2013, Thomas and Mary Agnes started Luminice Press, incorporating letterpress printing in artists’ books and broadsides.
Pinhole photography is apparently simple and direct, but it can yield complex images. With no lens or viewfinder, the pinhole camera allows me to explore and create mystery and ambiguity — in many of my photographs, the images appear to be emerging from, or about to enter, another time or place — Mary Agnes Williams.
Like Thomas, Mary Agnes has a constant source of creative inspiration and distinct pleasure—the iconic bridge over the Schuylkill River in her local Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk.
All my studio calls have presented me with very generous artists who love sharing their work space, processes, and their insightful artists’ books or bindings. It’s fantastic to observe their work in person and take in these creations in an intimate setting—their studio.
I left with my hands filled with gifts, a digital copy of Venice, A Gallery of Pinhole Photographs (previous photo above) by Mary Agnes Williams; 12 Artist Books, Vista da Santa Maria della Salute, Vessel of Secrets Universal Principles Twelve Drawings, and Icarus by Thomas Parker Williams—did I mention the generosity of these artists?