Ditch Fish Project: Paper prep

This is my adventure into creating an art installation for the Art in Rural Storefronts project sponsored by The Arts Center of Corvallis. ARS serves regional audiences in Linn and Benton Counties by bringing innovative, thought- provoking art projects to rural communities that lack spaces dedicated to contemporary/non-commercial art.  Three artists  were chosen to participate.  Art in Rural Storefronts is a collaboration between The Arts Center and Rural Development Initiatives. The project is funded in part by the Oregon Arts Commission.

It’s been almost a year since my last foray into dying tracing paper. On the last go, I used a reduction of boiled coffee grounds. This time it’s with a walnut dye. Boy, does this stuff stain!

The weather has become unpredictable. Rain with sun/grey breaks and cooler temps. Mountain passes are receiving a healthy dose of snow. Not the sort of weather to work outside. Fortunately, I cleared some space in the garage for a dye/dry station.

Dye bath

One of my questions has been “how long to leave the paper in the solution?” So far it’s only been a couple of minutes max. I’ve also been trying crumpled/distressed paper vs flat. I think the crumpled captures more dye and interest.

Hanging wet paper from plastic coat hangers

Drip catch system

Once the paper stops dripping, I’ll be able to bring them indoors to finish drying. Note to self: don’t leave the paper in the dye bath too long because it starts to fall apart. Also don’t try to squeeze out the water. Paper really does tear apart when wet!

I thought my paper stash still contained more rolls of tracing paper left over from the branch installation back in 2010. Nope. Time to head to the art supply store. I’ll also need to hit the hardware store for more 19g wire. The 3 Spined Stickleback fish is the first in line for creation.

More prep to come!

Published by paperstew

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

2 thoughts on “Ditch Fish Project: Paper prep

  1. How fun! It is so fun to watch someone create something from nothing. Can’t wait to see this 3 Spined Stickleback fish! Go Gale!

    1. I’ve been researching and figuring out which fish to do. The top three found in OSU’s study are the 3 spine stickleback, Redsided Shiner and Reticulate Sculpin. Cut-throat trout and Chinook salmon were also found, plus a bunch of others. Working on a scale drawing this afternoon.

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