The main struggle is over with the cases being complete. Now I need to determine what to do to provide light. The space these are going into do not have any sort of electrical plug-in. Bugger! So, what now? I do have one LED battery light bar floating around the studio somewhere, but I’m not able to locate it at the moment. It could be a possible alternative. I’ve still got time to work on this issue. The other option is to leave the backs off the case so some light can get in.
I’ve been working on a title for this emerging project and the line “more than beautiful” seems to be sticking. My brain is already working on other possible things to add into the mix of lighted papercuts. There is still another line or two from my G-Grandfather’s letter, discussing the state of the forests during his geology survey back in 1891 on the flanks of Mt Rainer in Washington State.
Since the cut writing isn’t the clearest, it reads:
“The scouting trip yesterday was more than beautiful, through virgin forests never polluted by the hand of man.” 1891 letter from H. Parrish to F. LaFreniere, Carbonado WA.
I did discover that working with the text was probably the hardest papercut I’ve done to date. Especially keeping it in his handwriting, but altering it enough to make cutting possible. It was very difficult to keep the lines from stretching during the color and glue application. Everything kept moving around and getting out of whack. The color isn’t quite what I had hoped (having forgotten how saturated the liquid acrylics needed to be to make a punch). Maybe the next one will go more smoothly.
Materials used: Hemlock, balsa wood, mulberry paper, Arches 140# cold press watercolor paper, Golden Liquid Acrylics, encaustic wax, danish oil.
Things are finally looking almost finished. Today I’ve been multitasking between woodworking, applying acrylics on paper, mixing glue, mounting and framing the paper cut, encaustic, and a few other things. There remains one more case to build for the partial quote. No problem! Heck, I sped up the acrylic drying by using the oven. The light box is on to aid the glue process where extra warmth is appreciated (complete with heavy textbooks keeping it pressed flat). I figure out ways to get the job done even if it’s not pretty.
Unfortunately, it’s Wednesday which means pottery night. Will I accomplish everything before class? I might be skipping school due to the deadline at hand. The five bowls will have to wait a bit longer.
I can already envision this project enlarging in size and scope…. It will be good!
I’m finally on a roll with the cases. The initial small case ended up in the junk pile due to bad cuts. Fortunately, I had more wood and the second round went smoothly. Now the cases are drying with clamps secured. Monday morning I’ll start working on the next portion of the finishing.
I still have one more piece waiting for a frame. It was a short quote from a letter my great-grandfather wrote to his soon-to-be wife. It requires coloring, mounting and possibly waxing. Hmmm, do I have the time? We shall see…
Slowly it’s coming together. A bit more fidgeting required to accommodate the cut tree ring panel. I’m so glad to have the bench router as part of the tool collection. It worked like magic once I figured out how to use it. Hopefully the cases will be glued up and dry by Sunday afternoon. There will be plenty of sanding and staining to accomplish, plus finishing the back access door and lightning.
Last summer I created the paper cut tree growth rings. Originally I had designed a series related to the Pacific Northwest forests. The Rot project show was the aim, but my health declined and nothing moved forward. It’s nice to be so much closer to completing this project and knowing it will be on display next weekend at Oregon State University.
Is it done yet? Nope. I thought so initially, but there needs to be more leaf work to tie the pages together. I’ve started planning the back page image of a withered dried up flower, not very beautiful, but that’s the theme of this book, the circle of life.
I’ve never spent this much time looking at one particular type of flowering plant. Amazingly enough, I still have a couple blooms remaining on a few plants (we have 7 plants total strewn around the house, each receiving different light and water levels) plus loads of photos. The flower structure is fascinating and the colors amazing. It’s been a struggle to capture the essence of the flowers, but it seems to be there.
More work to come once I get everything together for the show setup on Friday!
One week until the show hanging and I’m still trying to finish cases. This is the time I wish for the power tool fairy to complete the project. She hasn’t been seen for months! What a slacker! So, I’ll slog onwards through the process , building character and skills as it progresses.
Yesterday it took me hours to figure out how to make the case. For some reason I couldn’t imagine how it was supposed to be constructed (lap joints, routered edges for inset work and a hinged back to the case). After playing around with little sketches, I pulled out a large sheet of newsprint and created a full scale drawing. Success ! Why I didn’t do that from the start, I’ll never know. My brain forgets between wood sessions. Of course, if my father was still around, he would have said “you dummy, do a full drawing!” Anyway, measurements are figured and cutting can begin. Still need to figure out how to use the bench router from my dad’s tool collection. One step at a time today.
We’re also having warmish weather at 50F. Much better for time in the garage.