3191 is a number I've come to connect with intention and light. Glimpses of now-familiar windowsills and kitchen sinks, dining rooms at breakfast time and dusk, trusty recipes and growing families.
Artists Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes have long been preserving scenes like these. Over the years and across the distance between two Portlands, MAV and SCB would share photographs of their unfolding friendship, their art and quiet moments, on 3191 Miles Apart. I had happened upon their project early on through MAV, when my burgeoning interest in letterpress prints led me to port2port press. Since then the form of 3191 Miles Apart has evolved, and has become books and quarterlies, all the while remaining true to the thoughtful perspectives of its authors.
In A Year Between Friends, MAV and SCB chronicle their friendship and lives through diptychs (of course!), letters, and treasured rituals. I smiled and cried and chuckled as I followed along, learning of how traditions and newness touched both of their lives with each passing month of 2015.
The book also includes some tried-and-true items from further back: I was delighted to discover my favorite sweet potato biscuits recipe of SCB's here, and MAV's rules for a closet clear-out that's become my go-to each spring. I've filled my copy with post-its, noting new projects to try and comforting thoughts I wish to keep close.
Thank you, Maria and Stephanie, for sharing your serene light and having me along all this time. What a gift. Warmest hugs and cheers to you both! xo
A Year Between Friends is available now. Images used with permission of Abrams.