Thursday, September 08, 2011

Pleasant pottering

I seem to be blogging in retrospect every day!  ;o)  This afternoon (ah, that would be yesterday afternoon now, of course!) I spent a couple of hours engaged in some studio pottering.  I have a habit of gathering things destined for the studio from other parts of the house into bags which then line up in the studio awaiting dispersal.  ;oD  So, this afternoon I was dispersing some bag's contents.  Pottering is a pleasant occupation, especially so if you need to be in the studio but don't know what you want to be doing.  I find some light pottering always prompts some creative action and gently carries you off on serendipitous adventures.  ;o)  And so it was this afternoon...

I wish I had been blessed with the foresight to photograph the bunch of metal tags I found before I started to play with them but unfortunately it passed me by!  I do have photos of the process so far though.  ;o)  The tags came from my husband's old job; he used to do chemical etching and often brought home scrap metal shapes.  The tags are a sort of elongated pear shape, stainless steel with a hole at the narrower end, about 2 inches long, and it struck me that they'd make a good book so I have set about the process of transforming them. 

There are 26 tags in total and I've started off by gluing them all to watercolour paper with gel medium and then I weighted them down and left them to dry.

They'll need a bit of tidying up on the metal side as some of them got a bit gluey during the process.

This evening, once they were dried, I started cutting them out, 1 down 25 to go!  ;o)  The edges need some sanding just to round the corners nicely and then I plan to colour them all and add text.

I slapped some emerald green Brusho on this first one as an experiment and have left it to dry overnight.  I'm thinking of using some poetry I've written as the text on them, possibly using dry letter transfers but I haven't really decided yet.  In fact, I may not even use text, ah the excitement of what might be!  ;o)

As an aside, some of you who knew me way back when will remember that it was my discovery of altered books which started me on my artistic path.  ;o)  I have a passion for books, reading and book arts.  I have been asked many times over the years how I could "destroy" a book by altering it and also told that books aren't books unless they're two covers with text on paper between them!  Yeah right!  (insert raised eyebrows and a pout to accompany that!) I have a sudden urge to return to my altered book roots.  ;o)  I have had the privilege over the years to work with some fantastically talented artists in collaborative and round robin altered book projects.  I have held in my hands altered books that are true works of art, books that were dying a slow death on a charity shop book shelf liberated and resuscitated with passion, patience and such imagination.  I have seen artists go from being unable to make even the smallest mark in a book to producing amazing, freeing, beautifully expressive altered book artwork.  If that's "destroying" a book then by all means call me destructive!  ;oD  Here endeth today's sermon!  lol  Oh, except to say, check out this link, book arts at it's best!  ;o) 

And just to finish, while I was pottering about the studio I rediscovered something I'd forgotten all about.  Back in May I was in a local shop buying some cotton sheeting and, as the shop assistant unrolled the bolt of fabric to measure it, I was interested to see a length of printed paper tape attached to the fabric.

The assistant told me it's called truth tape and it's purpose is to help with stock taking. I asked if I could have some (they just throw it away) for artistic purposes and she rummaged in the bin and gave me a huge handful. ;o)


Sheilagh said...

That is so wierd, I got my Altered books out las night and took photos to put on my blog...Spooky!!!

Looking forward to seeing you:)



Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post - your passion really does shine through you know ... gosh I haven't thought about altered books in such a long time - but you are right - it is what got me going again too, for last year's/this year's sketchbook challenge I used altered text - a fave of mine.
Great to see such enthusiasm - look forward to seeing what you do :)
Jill x

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