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The Temples of Venus, a book within a book that is a crucial element in the plot, shown as page proofs with crop marks, color bars and other printer's elements to enhance the sense of reality without resorting to photographs of an actual book.

Photographs by Lisa Hamilton

Forbidden Dreams, 1995
Collection of Virginia Christine Wexler

An early version of the cover, made of papel amate on boards, varnished with acrylic sealer for a leather-like effect, with a title label printed with an inkjet on papel amate. This has a decidely rustic look, as Cancun was still a remote destination, and I had to invent my own techniques of book-binding because I was unable to obtain any references.

I came up with an adhesive-bound text block reinforced with cords cut into slots in the spine and embedded in the cover boards. I later learned that this is a standard method. Almost all commercial hard cover books are now adhesive bound, rather than sewn in signatures. The process is said to result in books that are more durable than sewn books, because modern adhesives will outlast traditional book-sewing materials.


Another page from
The Temples of Venus

I created the illustration digitally in Picture Publisher using a full-color photograph from the British edition of Cosmopolitan as a reference. The result is so different from the original that it just barely qualifies as a derivative work, but it will be replaced in the final edition by one of my own works.

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