Bervin uses needle and thread to "map"; mapping the punctuation and markings in manuscripts of Emily Dickinson's poetry in The Dickinson Fascicles, mapping the Mississippi in a scale model composed of hand-sewn silver sequins.
|The Dickinson Composites, Granary Books, 2010|
Unbound pages and sewn samples from the Dickinson Fascicles
|The Composite Marks of Fascicles 40, 16, 38, and 34. Sewn cotton batting backed with muslin. Each quilt is 6 ft high by 8 ft wide.|
|The River (Mississippi Meander Belt). Hand sewn sequins on tyvek, mull, and paper. 230 curvilinear ft, 2010|
Bervin seamlessly blends writing and embroidery, using embroidery to embellish and alter the poetry of John Van Dyke with "atmospheric fields of pale blue zigzag stitching to construct a poem “narrated by the air” — “so clear that one can see the breaks.”
|Page detail, The Desert, Granary Books, 2008|
The Desert follows in the tradition of altered books, the most famous of which is Tom Phillip's A Humument. However, unlike most altered books, where the unwanted text is simply censored or obliterated, the obscured text in The Desert can still be made out through the machine-stitched blue thread. This offers the viewer several different readings.