01 April 2016

Much experimentation with "Edge"

Sanding the words off of the page works well with a single sheet, except that the paper sometimes tears. But if the pages are glued to cloth, they don't seem to stick well at the edges. 

And the sanding is (a) dusty and (b) tedious.

So I looked for sheer fabrics that could be glued over the unsanded pages to get the "same" effect. Best was the (matte) grey silk organza, but I haven't got the energy to track down a big-enough chunk of it.
So while the next Big Idea sprouted in that dark area known as the subconscious, I did a little "space clearing" - rummaging through the cacophony of fabrics to sort out another bag to send out into the world. And found a bit of crumpled paper with some wild stitching ... here it is in the tiny window in the 8" sample; this effect would of course look a bit different in the huge centre of the 60x100cm piece -
It's dressmakers' pattern paper from a huge roll in the textiles room at City Lit, vintage by now! That set me thinking about how to get large sheets of strong paper - I found some A1 cartridge, would that crumple easily and well? tissue paper, could that be layered with matte medium and have enough strength?

Baking parchment??? - it comes in white (I found a too-small piece, left over from a previous project) - and in a brown that I find silently stomach-clenching. It crumples well and might be strong enough as is, or as "two layers joined by stitch" - for stitch there would be in any case -
And the chaotic stitching fits in with my idea for representing a silence that is really a muffled roar (of rage at the loss of words).

Another possibility - gesso on the pages to obscure the words - tinted rather than stark white - here are some colour experiments -
Weaving them together, just for fun, and adding almost-invisible stitch to secure them -
No, too repetitious of the woven border. The centre needs to have its own character; perhaps that can be obtained by adding sheer fabric on top? -
And what about that border, the edge - trying out acrylic wax (right) and candle wax (left) - having to heat the paper so the candle would melt on being rubbed over it meant that the old paper went a crisper shade of brown ... and the show-through of words on the other side isn't adding anything either.
Another possibility is matte medium - the one I have mentions UV protection, which would be all to the good with the old paper - the less frying the better!

The final decisions are near. And to be honest, I just want to get this done and dusted! Looking forward to some crumpling, layering, and chaotic stitching ... and seeing how it turns out.


Celia said...

I'm not sure if this is relevant to what you are trying to do, but have you come across the work of Christian Holstad?


Reading about you sandpapering the paper reminded me of the way he takes an eraser to newspaper photographs.

Sandy said...

Good experiments! Sounds like you need to do a series when you do choose something for this one. ;-) and have you tried your beloved tracing paper?
I like the flavoured gesso just one a plain page. But if you weave them, does it make enough of a visual difference to place the bit in the space on point?

Liesbeth Williams said...

Why do you want something in the centre? It seems as though the emptiness accentuates the edges, and the edges accentuate the centre. Just a thought!

Charlton Stitcher said...

This whole idea is fascinating as is seeing your trials process and I agree that something is needed. However, it's tricky to find just the right amount of something different that doesn't compete with the edge but adds that little soup├žon of contrast. I'm looking forward to seeing what you settle upon finally.