Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's in the Bag

It's in the Bag

Along with the two conceptual books "Off with Their Heads" and "The Old Brown Cow and Other Moosings," two sets of consumer based journals were also created for the "Tosssed and Found" show at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, IL opening 6-8pm on April 2, 2010.

The photos above are examples of the first set, “Its in the Bag,” blank journals that were bound with covers made from un-recyclable, stitched and padded, plastic bags reclaimed from our big black trash can before it was set out for collection early one Friday morning. The manure bag was rescued while sorting through our potting shed while looking for a leaf rake. Even the bindings are recycled. The black book spines, for example, were taken from the tear-off tops and bottoms of cat litter bags; while the red chain-stitch threads that originally stitched the bags shut are now sewn into the journal spines with a Japanese-stab-binding. My husband has learned not to ask why. Once I began pulling bags and boxes from our trash can and saving them in a stack in my studio, my husband kindly started leaving empty bags and boxes in the kitchen on the dog kennel for me. Little presents waiting until I arrived home.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

From Big Hair to Book Binding - The 80's Recycled

A few years ago, my dear friend Nancy H. decided it was finally time to clean out her storage unit, save what was important, and recycle or dispose of the rest.  Fortunately for me, she brought bags and bags of 80's clothing and memories to my kitchen to cull through, savor and discuss.  The catalyst for the project was the loss of 75 pounds and a new wardrobe.  While we laughed at the big shoulder pads, rhinestones and peg leg jeans, we also saved all of the cotton, denim and linen for papermaking and indigo dyeing, plus the silk and leather for book binding. 

The Old Brown Cow and Other Moosings (spine and back detail)

The jeans made wonderful paper.  A brightly colored silk blouse was deconstructed and pasted onto kozo for the inside cover of a book of poems written by Nancy M.; and the short leather jacket with the big shoulder pads and zip-off sleeves became the spine hinge for "The Old Brown Cow and Other Moosings." The book was bound with a long-stitch technique and trimmed with a small band of indigo dyed cotton inserted between the leather and the recycled cattle chow covers.  Thanks, Nancy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cow Chow Inspirations

My current work, often inspired by place, is a culmination of a lifetime of collecting bits of memory, a love of family, Christian faith, and a passion for the cornfields and pastures that surround our gardens and small 1930’s home. My newest work from the 2ndhandpaper collection is both conceptual and consumer based. The work incorporates ephemera collected on trips to Cornwall, England and London while visiting my husband’s family; handmade paper processed from my garden plants; and a collection of commercial boxes and bags from our pantry.

The Old Brown Cow and Other Moosings

The second conceptual book from the "Tossed and Found" show opening April 2 at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, IL was inspired by a Cattle Chow bag given to me by my mentor and close friend, Laura Strand, Professor of Textiles at SIUE. “The Old Brown Cow and Other Moosings” is a collection of famous poems about cows, along with a series of photos taken by my husband or myself of the cows that live next door during the summers.

New Beginnings

Off with Their Heads

Today is the first day of my new blog. Very exciting for me as I selected my blog name more than a year ago, late one night, sitting at the computer at my brother-in-law's desk in Mevagissy, Cornwall.  As I have been recycling out of necessity since I was a young girl and now create art from paper ephemera, found objects and my own handmade paper, I felt 2ndhandpaper seemed a good fit.  With this in mind, the newest work I am creating for the "Tossed and Found" show at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville, IL will be handmade books inspired by 2ndhandpaper.  The show opens on April 2 from 6-8pm and runs through April.

The first of the conceptual artist’s books, “Off with Their Heads,” was inspired by an English Anne Boleyn postage stamp and a tour of the Tower of London last summer with family. The book is a collection of vintage envelopes, memorabilia, personal photos and historical facts about the Tower and those unfortunate enough to lose their heads at the command of ruling monarchy, plus a raven’s feather collected from the birds who, according to legend, keep the Tower from falling and a disaster from overtaking the empire.