K e l l y   M.  H o u l e

Anamorphic Miniatures

miniature books with anamorphic mirror portraits

An anamorphic picture is an image that has been carefully distorted so that it can only be put back together by looking at it in the reflection of a curved mirror.  In 2008 I published a series of miniature artist books that combine traditional bookbinding with anamorphic art, a 16th-century mirror illusion. Each of these miniature books is illustrated with an anamorphic portrait and contains its own curved mirror to view the reflected image.

Portrait of Mitsuo Basho

Portrait of Mitsuo Basho

Washi paper-covered boards, black cloth spine, accordion-fold pages reveal an anamorphic portrait of Basho hidden in the leaf of a banana plant, with haiku by Basho. Ties closed with black and gold embroidered threads.

Signed and numbered

Limited Edition (30 copies)

1” x 1 5/16”

Out of Print

This accordion-fold book in a wooden box with inlaid ribbon and red velvet lining unfolds to display five quotes from Shakespeare about mirrors and illusions. A pull-tab forms a curved mylar mirror for viewing the anamorphic mirror portrait of Shakespeare. Boards are covered in gold-painted handmade paper with inset ribbon trim.  A brass charm on a gold string holds a color portrait of Shakespeare.

Signed and numbered limited edition (30 copies)

1 5/8 in x 1 5/8 in

Out of Print

Reflections on Shakespeare

Portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Original pencil drawing with reflective mirror bound in handmade custom leather album



Private Collection

Original pencil drawing with reflective mirror bound in album


Private Collection

Portrait of William Shakespeare

This miniature soft cover book contains Emerson’s  complete essay and a reproduction of my original anamorphic portrait of Emerson in graphite with a pull-tab activated mylar mirror.

Signed and numbered

Limited Edition (150 copies)

2” x 2”

54 pages


Ralph Waldo Emerson

Winner of a 2008 Distinguished Book Award from the Miniature Book Society

this miniature book contains Alastair Reid's English translation of Borges' poem and includes an anamorphic portrait of Borges with a small pull-tab activated Mylar mirror. This is the first anamorphic portrait to be incorporated into a miniature book.

50% of the profits from the sale of this item are donated to Room to Read's "Adopt a Project" program to create libraries for children in underdeveloped countries.

Signed and numbered limited edition (300 copies)

Letterpress printed by Kelly M. Houle at The Paper Studio and hand bound at Books of Kell's Press.  Black cloth spine, gold leaf illuminated capital, and illustrated center spread.

Poem of the Gifts

Jorge Luis Borges