The Alamamand Lenormand is a black-and-white 36 card Lenormand deck, designed and printed so the cards can be coloured in. Published in a limited edition of 100 decks.
Don't be confused, the Almamand Fortune-telling Cards are basically a Lenormand deck created by artist Katherine Alma-Nhite - hence the name ALMAmand. It has 36 cards with standard Lenormand titles, no re-names, no re-imaginings, and no extra cards.
Each card illustration is made of up to 10 separate images including a title, keywords, playing card correspondence, and a collage of component parts that provide the fundamental picture. The artist has used a variety of interesting images to make her compositions – photos, retro illustrations, Victorian floral paintings, 20s, 30s, and 50s advertisement and magazine art, as well as line drawings and altered art. Although these compositions have actually been scanned, they have the appearance of a photocopied collage with any fine details that have been lost in the process, reapplied by the artist - with interesting effects. There is some murkiness – large areas of colour which have been converted to black-and-white tend towards fogginess.
A great deal of time and consideration has gone into the composition of the images and some interesting effects have been achieved by the artist: the lava-lamp effect of the Stars; the hand carefully cradling the Scythe; the many different ships which make up the Ship card – sailing ship, aeroplane, and spaceship. The illustrations are imaginative, and dare I say it, fun.
The cards measure 70 x 120 mm which makes them extremely large for Lenormand cards, approximately the size of a standard tarot deck.The cards have been laminated with a special gel finish which gives them a smooth texture and solid yet flexible body which is pleasant to handle.
However the gel finish is also quite temperamental and may not be exposed to water without permanently damaging the cards; this means no sweaty hands when working with this deck. The finish does allow for artistic types to colour their deck using Sharpies, but the colours sit on the surface of the cards giving them a strange shiny texture. It is also very unforgiving of sloppy technique, so if you do not possess a light touch or have the patience to use a pointillist style, the cards will show every line with a start and finish blob, and the colour application may look almost childlike in execution. Additionally the finish does not allow for mistakes – one line out of place is forever.
The back of the cards features a collection of seashells rendered in sepia and arsenic green, as well as the deck’s title, and email address for its creator.
Presumably you will get a deck that is fully black and white, and I am assuming reviewers get a deck with several pre-coloured cards as well as standard black and white cards. This illustrates well the potential the cards have when they are hand coloured, (but unless the artist’s colour choices align with your own vision for the deck it is ultimately an exercise in frustration).
The cards come with guide pamphlet (four pages) which gives some basic instruction on how to use the cards in a reading, as well as divinatory meanings, and basic layouts. The divinatory interpretations are fairly standard, with a few interesting and progressive ideas thrown in, as well as some helpful and commonsense meanings.
For something original and quite charming in a Lenormand deck, the Almamand Fortune Telling Cards are certainly worth checking out.