Edition of 25. 2021.
Box size: 9-1/4″ x 6″ x 1-1/4″
Book size (closed): 8-3/8″ x 5-3/8″

From the colophon: Helen Hiebert created all of the handmade paper in this book with a 90% cotton rag/10% abaca fiber blend. She composed the string drawings and stitched them with the assistance of Will Katauskas. The end sheets are machine stitched. Tom Leech printed the text at the Press at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico from polymer plates made by Boxcar Press. The typeface is Dante. Claudia Cohen bound and boxed the book. Intensio was designed and produced by Helen Hiebert Studio in Red Cliff, Colorado in 2021.

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Tension is a pulling force in physics. The strings within these pages cannot be pushed to form a definitive shape: when a page is closed, the thread – without tension – goes slack, lying in chaos between the folds. As you turn the page, extending it to 180 degrees, the single thread pulls taut, and the invisible property of tension creates beauty and order.

Each of the string drawings is composed with of a single piece of linen thread – one continuous line, ranging from six to sixteen feet in length – with one exception: two threads were used to create two parabolas in drawing 7.  

I constructed each drawing on a flat sheet of paper, punched a pierced pattern, and then stitched in and out of the holes across the scored centerfold – the axis of the page. Two surprisingly different drawings were created in tandem as the needle and thread moved from the front to the back of each page, and there is a sequence to the stitching that is not readily visible. 

My father was a physicist who studied how the universe began, and my mother has degrees in psychotherapy and divinity. My thoughts linger between them as I find myself comparing the tangible puzzles I explore in my work to the invisible physical properties my father researched and the emotional tensions my mother explored.