Cari_Art Star

“The deep past, recorded or intuited, is the source for contemporary explorations of spirit, manifesting as books, texts, amulets, grimoires. Special interests include the origins of writing, medieval illumination, the natural world, simple magic encoded in nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folkways. I draw from ancient scribal methods and sacred practice in the making of my books, to reach backward and forward in time and consciousness. Narrative creates structure. I play with poems, primal symbols, color, and pages marked entirely by hand. Painting, hand writing, stitching and binding combine to create a journey, often using natural materials, pocketed charms, extra content in marginalia. Occasionally my books are reproduced as limited editions by means never dreamed of by my scribal forebears. Handmade books as bearers of enlightening, secret, and sometimes subversive knowledge have been and will continue to be a most intimate and complex form.”

Cari Ferraro is a scribe and book artist whose work explores folklore, writing, the old ways, sacred practice, and line in its many magical forms. A degree in Literature and Creative Writing led to the founding in 1981 of Prose and Letters, offering greeting cards, prints and books both instructional and artistic. Her books are in many private and public collections. She lives alongside a creek in downtown San Jose, California. Her work may be seen at Cari Ferraro and at Prose and Letters.


Priscilla Juvelis
Vamp and Tramp
Kelmscott Bookshop
Minnesota Center for the Book Arts
Another Room Book Arts
23 Sandy Gallery
and other resellers.


Baylor University, Special Collections; Waco, Texas
Bowdoin College, Special Collections; Brunswick, Maine
Brown University, Hay Library; Providence, Rhode Island
California Institute of Integral Studies; San Francisco, California
Institute of Archeomythology; Sebastopol, California
Mills College, Library, Special Collections; Oakland, California
National Museum of Women in the Arts; Washington, DC
Opus Foundation Archives; Santa Barbara, California
Otis College of Art and Design; Pasadena, California
Harrison Collection of Calligraphy, San Francisco Public Library; California
San Jose State University Library Special Collections; San Jose, California
Santa Clara University Special Collections; Santa Clara, California
University of California Berkeley, Bancroft Library Special Collections
University of California Davis, Library Special Collections; Davis, California
University of California Santa Cruz, McHenry Library Special Collections
University of Iowa, Library Special Collections; Iowa City, Iowa
University of South Carolina, Myerson Collection; Columbia, So. Carolina
University of Washington; Library Special Collections; Seattle, Washington
Walt Whitman Birthplace, Long Island, New York
Wayne State University; Detroit, Michigan

Selected publications and exhibits

Sacred|Profane, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon, 2014
Artists’ Book Cornucopia V, Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, Colorado, 2014
Superstition 13
, San Francisco Center for the Book, California, 2013
Finding Common Ground Through Sacred Words, Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California,  Oakland, 2013
Dialoguing with Sacred Texts: An Exhibit of Sacred Texts Past, Present, and Future, Santa Clara University, California, 2013
1000 Artists Books
, Quayside Publishing, 2012
The Poetic Pen, 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon, 2012
Hand Bookbinders of California, annual exhibits, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011
Book art juried into four issues of Letter Arts Review, since 2004
Gallery features and how-to articles in Bound and Lettered, 2009, 2010
Research articles in Alphabet, Friends of Calligraphy journal, San Francisco, California, 2009, 2010
Exhibition poster image and art for invitational exhibit Sacred Texts, Contemporary Forms, at MIAD, Wisconsin, 2007
Illuminations: Enlightening Words, solo exhibit, Kaleid Gallery, San Jose, California, 2007
Profiled in Ampersand, the journal of Pacific Center for the Books Arts, 2006
Beginner’s Guide: Calligraphy and Illumination for Walter Foster Publishing, 2006
Visions of the Spirit, Washington Cathedral, 1999

Some Interviews

Calligrafia, December 2010
Lettering Guy, October 2012
Eternal Haunted Summer, September 2013

Share if you like . . . Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Print this page
Email this to someone