Oracle Bones

oracle bones deluxe

View the panel discussion between Terry Tempest Williams, Gaylord Schanilec, and the Red Butte Press production team at the local release event that took place on March 3, 2024.

Oracles Bones is a fine press artists’ book published by the University of Utah’s Red Butte Press. The book contains text by Terry Tempest Williams and prints from woodblocks by Gaylord Schanilec, both produced for this edition and not previously published elsewhere. 

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In the fall of 2015, Gaylord Schanilec and Terry Tempest Williams ventured into southern Utah’s desert and returned to the studio with juniper and sandstone artifacts from the author’s land. Gaylord built and proofed printing blocks from the found elements; around and through these images, Terry shaped her text. The Red Butte Press designed and crafted an artists' book out of a vision shared with author and artist.

In the summer of 2019, the press team made cover paper from cotton, abaca, and locally-sourced yucca. Sage leaves were added to the sheets used for the paper spines, which were then dyed with prickly pear and Ephedra (Mormon Tea). Wood and stone blocks were printed on a Vandercook SP20 on Goyu. Text—handset in Bell cast at the Bixler Type Foundry—was printed on a Columbian handpress on Magnani Pescia. Single sheets were hinged then sewn with a pamphlet stitch through a folded spine piece with attached covers. Red Butte Press contributors were Crane Giamo, lead printer and papermaker; Marnie Powers-Torrey, master printer and production manager; Amy Thompson, designer; and Emily Tipps, lead binder and papermaker. Imogen Atwood, Ruby Barrett, Erika Bishop, Annie Boyer, Jazmin Gallegos, Annie Hillam, Sara Luz Jensen, and Jonathan Sandberg provided studio assistance at various stages of production. Much appreciation is due to Associate Deans Greg Thompson and Todd Samuelson for their ongoing support.

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Oracle Bones is 12 x 10” x ¼”. The edition size is 145 with 20 deluxe, 110 standard, and 15 hors commerce copies. A clamshell box houses each deluxe copy along with a vial of red sand collected by Terry from the land on which she resides. Each is signed by both the writer and artist.

The deluxe is priced at $650 and the standard at $350. Inquiries can be sent to Please contact us for international orders.

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