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The Sting

This screen printed and hand-bound book is about two groups building and maintaining a comfortable home. One is a human family and one is a colony of paper wasps. The family destroys the wasp nest after the daughter is stung. The wasps rebuild their home the next spring, and the cycle continues.

My Role

Artist & Designer

While developing this project, I knew I wanted two parallel storylines that would converge and separate. The humans tell their story through language, speech, and white printer paper. On the other hand, the paper wasps are building their nest with the book pages, a fine mulberry paper. These two materials alternate from page to page while the two families struggle to coexist. 

The process for this book began with a memory, one of my younger sister being stung on the foot by a wasp. Through the design process, I planned to bind two separate books, one with only text and one with only image, in the same case. After finishing the illustrations, I decided that the best way to preserve the readability of the text and allow the cut-out paper to interact with the text was to alternate pages of image and text. I felt that this easily resolved my problem and wouldn’t ruin the integrity of the delicate illustrations or the text.

The story and the illustrations build separately until the moment when the nest falls. I wanted the book to feel like two individual stories until this point, where the storylines cross, and it becomes clear that they are happening in tandem.

This book was screen printed and bound by hand as part of Imin Yeh’s
Advanced Printmaking class

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