26 October 2014

Sidetracked, mapwise

Fluffing around in the studio, I got out the "map folding" project with the idea of making folders for some of the maps. At the CQ winter school, when I last worked on the project, someone pointed out that the map's folder needn't be plain, it could have its own set of decorations. Well I don't want to overdo it, but the idea of something that identified a particular map, allowing it to be retrieved [shades of call numbers on library books!] was intriguing.

So in addition to trying out ways to stiffen the edges of the folder, I was thinking about motifs or marks that would link in to the map.

In the end, five of the "maps" are now separately in rudimentary folders - sheets of A3 typing paper. One has "identification marks", and one simply has a border round the edge to stiffen it. (My first thought for the borders was to stitch something one, and that's still a possibility, but at the moment, glue comes in handy.)
Every map its folder; every folder its marks
It was while cutting the border from the cover of last year's City Lit catalogue that I got sidetracked. On the inside of the cover was a map, rather like the one I'd used to make monoprints for the little fabric/paper/print/stitch books in the summer. I couldn't resist cutting it out ... and given the effort involved, opened the catalogue and cut through a few pages at the same time -
This yielded a few street-grids, and some holes in pages, and rather a lot of incomplete cut-outs.

Starting at the "back" - the least complete cut-outs - I painted each page, sometimes shielding some of the cut-out areas below, to get a sequence of colours -
 culminating in a great mess by trying to paint too much at once, and having the thin structures stick and need careful lifting before the paint dried -
 The bottom layer ... and how the paint seeps under the page -
This started as a way of making a stencil to use in my next monoprint session, whenever that might be. It's all put away for now, to be revisited later. "Cutting through" was fun and has possibilities for the little books, and the sticky mess was a lesson in how not to do it. Using ink on a roller/brayer, rather than a paintbrush, would make things easier in that regard. I was being too hasty in applying globs of paint ... there are times when you need to work more slowly, carefully, thoughtfully.

Also it's a case of how playing around - ie, not thinking too hard about what you're doing - can open up new ways of working ... in this case a different approach to book structure, to include the cutouts and what shows beyond them, and how cutouts can interrelate the pages.

There's a balance to be struck between the playful impulse and the thoughtful execution; that's the tricky bit.

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