Launched in the suitable setting of a UCL construction canteen, Urban Alchemy brought together chemists, contractors and archaeologists as part of Leverhumle artist in residence for UCL Chemistry department, Hilary Powell.
Hilary's beautiful book examines a core ‘family’ of demolition site materials – zinc, copper, slate, brick, stone/concrete, steel, aluminium and asbestos through photographs of the materials undergoing transformation in a chemistry laboratory and print studio.
Text and endpapers were printed in full colour on our Heidelberg 74F litho press on 140gsm Cocoon Offset 100% recycled stock. It was then section sewn and hand finished with a gold gilt edging in the tradition of an alchemical ‘book of secrets’, before being casebound in a teal coloured Dubletta linen cloth from Winter with a matt black foiled title on the front and spine.
The end result was a real eye catcher, something any alchemist, artist or lover of salvage would be proud of, and a fitting follow up to Hilary’s first project with us, pop-up book Legend.
Urban Alchemy is available to buy here. If you are an artist in residence, or just like working with salvage materials and want to create a beautiful book of your exploits, then Calverts would love to hear your story.