Judith Hoffman

Galleries: DREAMS - memento mori - found - tools - pinhole - steam iron press

Dinosaur Wave

Dinosaur Wave artist's book made with brass and copper by Judith Hoffman

Dinosaur Wave ©2010 Closed the book is 6.75 x 6 x 1.25 inches, open completely it is 30 inches long. Brass and copper, heat patina, fabricated. Accordion fold binding with hinges. Not for sale. This book is based on a dream: I'm on a wide beach. The ocean is far away. I look off toward the hills and see a huge grey mass. I realize it's a wall of water. I call to a boy who's with me. "Come, now." The other people we're with are far away and will run in the opposite direction. The boy and I run toward some low hills. I look back at the mass of water. I see a huge (4 story high) Tyrannosaurus running toward us. We turn and run away from him. There's another one coming from the other direction. The one behind us is covered in trees and shrubs. A living hillside. We're running in a ravine on a roadway. There's nowhere to go. I stop and look under the road. It's raised like a giant plank at this point. We crawl under. There are a few other people with us. The dinosaurs run overhead. I think I am vaguely aware that I'm dreaming. We crawl out, go toward a cluster of houses that are suddenly there - appeared out of nowhere. I see a house with the top floor blown off a separate garage. I'm worried about the woman who lived there. She is the mom of the little girl who's with me. (the boy is now a girl). Then we see the mom, they are re-united. I wake.

I didn't include the part under the road because I wanted to focus on the idea of danger coming from two directions. They run from the frightening wave, but the dinosaur is the even worse as-yet-unseen danger that they run toward. The whole dream feels very symbolic to me - mostly because I was worried as we ran away, but not terrified.

detail of brass and copper artist book Dinosaur Wave

The wave, of course, is a nod to The Great Wave by Hokusai, one of my all-time favorite wood block prints. The image on the linked Hokusai page will enlarge - note the tiny people in boats, struggling against the power of nature. I couldn't get the scale of the wave to people in metal - the book would have been very large and heavy. The small people in the boat on the title page are also a reference to another dream - where I'm traveling in boats with my family.

Copper tyranosaurus rex detail from artist book Dinosaur Wave by Judith Hoffman

Detail of the dinosaur. He's about 6 inches high and made of copper which was first etched, patinaed and then hammered from the back to give him a little shape. I cut these complicated shapes with a jeweler's saw. The hinges were soldered on, the rest was fabricated with brass rivets I make myself.