Portals Project: Second idea in the works

Last month I agreed to participate in the November/December show at the Arts Center. This years theme is “Portals”. Wow, where do I head out from there? Actually I currently have two projects in the works and both are very different from each other. Project #1 involves wire armatures & pig gut. A definite comfort zone for me but with a twist. Project #2 came about after a few days of thought. Today was more of a project #2 sort of day.

Yesterday I realized (and not for the first time) that I keep coming back to utilizing mulberry paper in a variety of projects.  Waxed, sewn, glued, tinted with tea, block printed on, water colored, illuminated… so many variations with a single base material. This time I’m wanting more dimension and limited color. So I started the new trial: creating circles that are pulled into a shield/cone form & then connected together in an interesting way. Repetition in color & form. Yippee! Minimalist!

Inspiration: About ten years ago I was fortunate enough to assist hanging a show of work by San Francisco based artist  Theodora Varnay Jones.  At that time, her work involved graphite, circles, lines, paper and  meditation. Translucency, layering, burning, gradation and repetition were excellent ways to describe that exhibit. Translucency and repetition of form continue to surface in my own work.  Here we are in 2011 and I’m finally getting around to playing with circles (a form I don’t use but have wanted to incorporate). So far I’ve managed to create over 120 shields. I’m using the same diameter circle to start with but varying how much is cut away. This enables different heights & forms. They resemble limpets from the intertidal zone along the coast. Most are plain looking, others have lines and even incense burn holes through them.  I tried playing with doing a basket weave stitch around the edge but didn’t care for the effect. Now I’ve shifted to chaining the forms together.

Cut circles missing a wedge.

Glued shield forms ready for waxing.

Waiting for the wax to dry.

I used an electric skillet for the wax.

Testing a sewing idea, but not liking the look.

Playing with possible organic forms.

Chaining cones together. This will  take a while.

It’s certainly keeping my brain & fingers busy for now.

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

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