Monday, August 24, 2009

From the depths of the vault...


Starry Sky, handmade paper with inclusions, size unavailable

Back in the early 80s, I became fascinated with handmade paper. I spent my summer vacation that year taking a papermaking workshop at Sievers School of Fiber Arts on Washington Island -- just off the tip of Door County in Wisconsin. The instructor that year was Gisela Moyer, who had just received her Fine Arts Degree in papermaking. She went on to a successful gallery career, including ownership of her own gallery, before switching to outdoor festival sales about 10 years ago.

Just this weekend, I stumbled across slides of some of the pieces I produced that year. I've lost track of Starry Sky, but Lakeshore Dunes still hangs in my parents' home.

Lakeshore Dunes, layered handmade paper, approx. 8" x 10"

For these workshop projects, the emphasis was on creativity, not archival materials. As you can see, there is discoloration in the final works, particularly in the layered piece -- in part from the raw materials and in part from casting the paper onto hardboard covered with muslin. That permitted the production of pieces with some depth and also resulted in rapid drying times so we could get quick feedback and inspiration for additional works.

I later began a series using watercolor dyes to tint the pulp and create more colorful finished pieces. Unfortunately, the dyes available at that time were fugitive, so any works that were framed and displayed have faded almost to invisibility. I know I have a stash of unframed works, but their whereabouts are a bit of a mystery right now. I'll take a few pix and post them if I manage to unearth them.

3 comments:

  1. There is something so energizing about making paper and putting in whatever you want, coloring or not, etc. I like both of these but the dunes one is my favorite!

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  2. Good to see you are back to at least visiting your artwork! Hope your creative juices are beginning to flow again!

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  3. Thanks, Rhonda!! I did a bunch of these layered pieces and they're all neat, but the Dunes is my fave too.

    Deb, the interest in creativity never quits, just the oomph needed to get into the studio!! Looking back through these old slides has been like a treasure hunt -- part thrill and part shock!!

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