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The Perfect Machine

The Perfect Machine

In this picture book that will appeal to children and adults alike, collage artist Lance Letscher recounts a quest to build the perfect machine and the surprising discovery about the wellsprings of creativity it inspires.

January 2010
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56 pages | 8.5 x 11 | 45 color plates, 15 vignettes, 36 text collages |

If you could build a perfect machine, what would it be? Would it be something that goes really fast, like a motorcycle, or something that uses sunlight to make fruit, like a tree? Or what about something that can write a book or paint a picture?

In this picture book for children of all ages, artist Lance Letscher tells a beguiling story of a boy who sets out to build the perfect machine and makes a surprising discovery. Letscher illustrates the story through collages that are themselves composed of pieces of other stories—children's storybooks, old school books and exercises, boxes that once held games. These intriguing collages, with their many layers of detail, encourage us to ponder where creative ideas come from.

An appealing way to introduce children to fine art, The Perfect Machine represents a new direction in Letscher's work, in which fragments of phrases in his collages summon up memories and associations without being specifically narrative. Combining images with a story for the first time, Letscher has created a delightful, thought-provoking book that adults and children alike will enjoy.


Lance Letscher's work has been published in the book Lance Letscher: Collage. He has also had one-person exhibitions in Paris, Berlin, Munich, Barcelona, London, and Poznan, Poland, as well as throughout the United States.