Cirrus Clouds

Artist Susan Aurand

Artist Susan Aurand shows us her artist book about Cirrus Clouds and explains their role in climate change..

Artist Statement: Cirrus clouds are unique among clouds, being the highest, whitest, fastest moving, and least understood type of cloud. Most clouds are made of water droplets, but cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals, made by water vapor super-cooling directly into ice. Their ice nature makes them iridescent. Cirrus clouds form around particles of specific minerals and metals, rather than on organic particles. Thus they are an index to human-caused industrial pollution from fossil fuels in the upper atmosphere. Last, unlike other clouds which generally shade and cool the earth, cirrus clouds may hold in the heat that would otherwise escape out of the atmosphere. In the future, it may be possible to regulate the earth’s temperature by regulating cirrus clouds. I was fascinated to learn about them because of their extraordinarily beautiful delicate and varied forms, like wisps of hair across the sky.

Size: The closed book is 5″ tall, 11″ long, and 1″ deep. Open it displays as 12″ high, 33″ long, and 6″ deep.

Materials: Book board, Rives BFK paper, mulberry paper, vellum paper, and fabric.

Book Structure: flag book on an accordion fold spine. An arched support is contained in a pocket on the inside of the back cover.

Production Printing Method: The imagery was created by monoprinting cloud forms on Rives BFK. The text is inkjet printed on vellum.

Edition: Unique

Year Created: 2020

Susan Aurand is a Member of the Faculty Emeritus at The Evergreen State College where she taught interdisciplinary art/science programs for many years. She lives in Olympia, WA. She is primarily a painter, working in oils, but also makes artist books, collages, and small sculptures. Her work centers on the natural world, in particular, the ongoing transformation of matter over time and the beauty of nature as an opening to transcendence.

Susan Aurand: e-mail:; website: