into the fold
specialty book printing
"Into the Fold" is a collection of new writings and visuals only about sheep, in an attempt to reinvigorate the animal in contemporary vernacular.
"Into The Fold" engages the notion that as the animal disappears from the earth, it also disappears from the verbal and visual language. The human communication regarding the animal ensures the outcome for the animal. The goal of this project is to remind, and reintroduce sheep to this existence.
All submissions will be edited for grammar, and published in a soft cover, commercial on-demand printing.
Publication will be complete approximately
please see the project website for further information and submission criteria:
A sheep fold is a protective structure for sheep - primarily made of stone, typically a semi-round , open slightly on one side for entrance and exit. Normally built in areas that protect from directional wind and snow drifts. Originating from the time of ancient shepherding, sheep folds are becoming less common - much like the sheep and the shepherds that have relied on them for thousands of years.
Once such a part of the human existence, survival in many parts of the world was determined by the health of the sheep, and successful shepherding. Sheep have been part of the human-animal relationship for over 10,000 years, and humans have been depending on their wool production for over 5000 years. Now, as petrochemicals have replaced wool as a textile source, wool is in an unrecoverable decline. Sheep populations are in a global decline, and shepherds and shearers are almost non existent. We live in a place and time where the majority of humans in North America have never had personal contact with the animal that ensured their ancestors propagation.
West Valley, 1976, Before Cul-de-Sacs of Stucco Houses Choked Off the Centuries-Old Sheep Herding Trails
Before dawn one spring morning
I drove down a dusty two-lane road
across the dry river bottom,
across a low-slung concrete span,
by fields of cotton and truck gardens
twenty-five miles from home.
I smiled as Tom T. Hall sang Sneaky Snake
on the radio and clasped a mug of coffee.
No cars on the roadway at this hour.
Suddenly I sensed a mystical wave of white
rolling across the desert from the north.
Trotting fast, baaing and bleating
thousands and thousands of sheep
were upon me, blocking my way.
I worried I would be late to work
as I turned off the engine and opened
the window. The sheep kept coming.
They rolled over the hood of my 280Z,
fell down, came up backwards. One fellow
stuck his head in my window, staring
at this girl in this immovable object
in his way. I glimpsed the sheepherder
in my rearview mirror coming from the east.
A working collie circled the sea of dust.
The sheep broke their spell on me and moved on.
I started up my engine, rolled up the window,
hypnotized, tinkling bells fading in the south.
Paula Ashley February 2014