17 April 2012

Pieced paper

Where did the urge to sew paper together come from? It's been lurking for a while, and after seeing Matthew Harris's folded-over-and-stitched seams, I wanted to try that on paper. Which might have been fine if I'd stuck to just that one thing --like at the top in the photo-- but no, I started to add slivers of text and  before you know it, something like that gets out of hand and you wonder why you ever started. But following the advice of Idris Khan, I kept on till the end. Which brings us to the famous dictum: "Perfection is achieved not when nothing more can be put in, but when nothing more can be taken out." 
I wanted to "use" the seams, but on reflection, too much (pattern, colour, placement) was going on with them. The inserts - the intruders! - took over. I prefer the back -
This has possibilities for being double-sided, with some seams on each side. And interesting edges. Perhaps using slivers of colour, not text/texture. It's also interesting against the light.

The paper is japanese paper from a roll. When sewing paper, the seams much be absolutely straight - unlike fabric, the paper has no "give" to it. (Overlapping and gluing is easier!) So any hand stitching is best done as you go, before the area becomes unreachable. Thinner threads seem to work (look) better than thicker ones.

When it comes to sewn paper, Carole Bury's pleated tissue paper is superb - see her work here. I also recall a paper quilt by Margaret Anderson at FOQ involving squares (recycled envelopes?) with appliqued houses, with monoprinting and machine stitch, but my photo seems to have been lost in one or other computer crash.
Maps and kitakata paper used here.

Mike Cloud's Mick Jagger "paper quilt" (from here; he talks about it here) - this combination of found photos plus painting plus lettering has many possibilities -
Susan Stockwell's Imperial Quilt (from here) -
A collaborative Paper Quilt Project was shown in Berkeley in 2011: "This project revives the social and participatory nature of quilt making among contemporary artists who might normally work alone to join forces in a shared experience."

This is NOT from the house quilt I've been searching for - it's by Mirjana Farkas -
It came up on my seemingly-endless paper quilt search, and seems to be a sign that it's time to stop searching...


Sandy said...

To be honest Margaret, I think the piece you have made is wonderful! I think rather than being too much going on, it has a calm peacefulness about it. yes there are 'bursts of speech' but I don't think they take over. There is just enough 'space'.

perhaps if you trim the seam allowance on the inserts of text, it will knock back the feeling of intrusion you get yourself.

I do like the idea of it being displayed double sided. I think further pieces should have at least some text because it progresses with your other work. But perhaps the spacing of the insertions could be related to some of your work that looks at the patterns of punctuation or covered text.

Just some ideas that came whilst looking at it! I do love it!

Judy Martin said...

What I am impressed by is the sheer amount of work you do and the variety of directions you go off in. (madly?)

I love Matthew Harris' work. I read somewhere that he draws on paper first, then cuts up the paper and rearranges it, then translates that into bits of cloth and stitches them.

And my 'House with the Golden windows' is a paper quilt.

Thanks for maintaining such an interesting blog.

Connie Rose said...

I love what you've done with the paper at top. It works, IMO. I love Matthew's work, as well, who doesn't!
You've been looking for house quilts? Interesting...I'm working on a small series, a quartet for an upcoming challenge, all different houses/buildings. Look for the finished work on my blog on May 15.