Thursday, November 12, 2015

Making ends meet

On the hunt again. This time, for endpapers. You know, the papers pasted into the front and back of books. Specifically, antique endpapers. With any kind of pattern from marbled to narrative to floral. The worse shape they're in, the better, since they're being cut up for a big new collage project: a Victorian crazy quilt made entirely of paper.

The hope is that that in the end, it will look similar to the quilt above, a fabric family heirloom belonging to my friend Mary Heider. Since Victorian women used the overlooked scraps from other sewing projects as their material (waste not, want not), it seemed that endpapers would be appropriate. Some look like fabric. Some look quite luxurious. Others are drab. Of course, they also are papers with a past, another reason to use them.

The point is to mix them up willy nilly (not as easy as it seems for an artist used to putting things in order) on the quilt. Then, to embellish and embroider it to the nth degree.

It started with this block of pieces glued onto book cloth. Book cloth was picked, because I knew it would adhere to paper well, would be easy to sew through, and I wanted some kind of fabric in the piece. But the backing has since been switched to rice paper, in keeping with the all paper theme. Different glues are being used depending on the endpaper: PVA, gel medium, even some double backed tape.  

Here are close ups of two more squares … on the top one, you can see what I mean about papers that look like fabric. On the bottom one, an antique embroidery pattern from Peterson's magazines is inserted. At the bottom are more antique embroidery patterns that will be used in place of traditional embroidered ones. I searched my archive specifically for patterns printed with faux stitching.    

Once the individual blocks are finished, there will be 12 or 20, then the crazy embroidery begins. For it, I'm using vintage embroidery thread that belonged to my late mother. It will be my winter project. Then, the decision comes whether to join the blocks together to make one "quilt" or to hang them separately (but very close to one another) on cradled wood panels.

The exhibition this is being made for is a solo exhibit of my work titled "Remnants" that opens mid-June at the Loveland Museum in Loveland, CO.

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