New Artists’ Book – Moth


I have at finished making the first books of a new artists’ book I have been working on since 2012! It has been a labour of love. The book is called ‘Moth’, it is a shaped concertina that opens up at the folds at approximately a 45 degree angle. This means it opens up in a circular motion rather like apple peel. One ‘page’ consists of a moth folded in half and then it is attached to the next ‘moth page’ at the wingtip at a 45 degree angle. On one side of the concertina, the ‘inside’ pages consist of faint grey line drawings of various moths with a poem in black text overlaid on top. The ‘outside’ of the concertina features an image of a moth in full colour, repeating page by page.

The poem is about moths that are attracted by artificial lights, and their ultimately futile circling around and around these lights to no purpose. The shape of the concertina opening in a circle reflects this motion. The typeface I have used for the poem has scratchy and splotchy letters in different weights and sizes, the idea was if a moth could write what would the letters look like! The poem reads

Confused, lost in light

exhausted fluttering

suspends gold pinpoints

in beams glittering

a trail captured

chaotic wing beats

that change nothing

night after night

lost, confused in light

I chose to illustrate three moths; Kentish Glory, Cinnabar and White Prominent; two moths that I had recently spotted and after research one that I liked the look of, that complimented the other two.  I adapted the illustrations to the form of my book so they are not anatomically correct, rather they carry similar marks of these moth species.

I decided to box my ‘Moth’ books in my idea of a specimen box; reflecting moth specimen collections, moths easily lured by artificial lights to obtain them. The containing box is brown card, folded and glued with an acetate window, hand printed in black ink. The ‘Moth’ concertina is printed with six colour Epson inkjets onto Epson Matte Heavyweight Inkjet Paper; the concertina consists of 9 moth pages, 3 moths printed to one A4 page and then cut, folded and attached to the next set of three moths.

Approximate Dimensions ‘Moth’ – one open moth page   L = 15.5cm   H = 6.5cm

Approximate Dimensions Box   L = 16.3cm   W = 7.5cm   H = 4cm

I intend to make 10 sets of each moth species, an edition totalling 30. So far I have made 3 and two boxes, so a long way to go. You can buy the two finished boxed ‘Moths’ here online.

(Note on Sept 2014 – there are no ‘Moths’ in-stock right now; they are quite time-consuming to make, and so are produced slowly. I will be stocking them again; let me know which one you would like to purchase and I can make that up as a priority. Email

I would love to hear what you think of my ‘Moth’ concertinas.


(© Catherine Cronin)



21 thoughts on “New Artists’ Book – Moth

  1. Besides the beauty of the visual of these moth books I imagine the papery rustle and delicate unfolding adds massively to the pleasure of them…..just wonderful

    • There are more to be made. Each one is quite time consuming to make, so they are being produced slowly. I can let you know when the next ones are available to buy if you are interested? If you let me know which moth you want I can make it up first. I am making the black and red one at the mo.

  2. I think they are amazing and they somewhat remind me of the pattern you get when folding and cutting “snow flakes” Really fun and thought provoking. Beautiful color.

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I never thought about it like that; but I did love folding and cutting snow flakes and chains of people as a child; so maybe that activity was working away in my subconscious when I was making ‘Moth’.

  3. Very interested to know how the concertina moth book is folded. I belong to a book binding group and we love making unusual shaped books. These are beautiful. It opens up other ideas and themes. I can see there is a lot of work in them. Do you do workshops?

    • Thanks for your kind comment. I don’t do workshops I am afraid at the moment; though one day I hope to have the time to spare. Let me see if I can explain further how ‘Moth’ is folded: in a normal concertina the folds are on the vertical and parallel to each other; in ‘Moth’ the middle fold in one moth is on the vertical, the next fold at the wingtip is NOT vertical and parallel, rather the paper is folding at a 45 degree angle into the next moth at that point. I could get 3 moths out of one A4 piece of paper; and so required 3 sheets of A4 to make up one of my books. Hope that makes sense!

      • Yes, I can see now from looking back at your images. Quite straightforward really. I will have to get out paper and tackle and have a play. Thinking of allsorts of themes to apply to this method now. Holly leaves perhaps as Christmas is nearing?! Thanks for your reply. Best wishes. Sarah

  4. Pingback: Editioning – Moth | Cat Among the Pigeons Press

  5. Pingback: Artist’s Book Yearbook 2016-2017 | Cat Among the Pigeons Press

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