One of the benefits of being prolific is the mistakes and failures don’t phase you. They are just information. My process is deeply iterative. I try and fail and try again, adjusting and experimenting endlessly. I love being right in the middle of that process and it can go on for years.
The ships are like that, the paper mache ships and lately paper ships. Endless experiments and all sorts of failures and all sorts of discoveries. Discoveries and innovations that can only come (I think) from that kind of process.
I’ve been playing with paper I found in France. I went to tons of spectacular flea markets with French General. My main objective was finding paper for the ship class this October. These antique booklets are ideal and I got lots of them – the colors and quality of the paper are perfect. Totally worth the schlepping. And Kaari (French General) found wonderful old letters, ghost messages traveling time.
This antique wallpaper and these gorgeous old pattern tracings were French flea market finds too. I’m thinking of making ships with the tracings. And maybe framing a couple. The wallpaper I love just as it is.
My other paper project involves making lots and lots of smaller paper ship and boat experiments. I’m going to hang them as in installation later this year, more on that soon. It’s daydreamy work, I do my best thinking when my hands are busy.
And I’m making a ton of them so I feel improvisational and uninhibited about trying stuff. It’s a “yes and” unedited process, one thing does lead to another if you let it. I’ve been working on them every day for a while and like the cardboard horse project years ago the growing fleet is surprising me. I love looking at them. That was my original impetus for making the paper mache ships – to live with them, to look at them, it was a thing I wanted in the world. There is a full tutorial for the small paper boats coming soon (early September- ish). They are fast, easy and magic so be on the lookout for interesting paper.
And old linen:
My mother always collected fabric for me, even when I didn’t know I needed it. And apparently she still is, with perfect timing. My sister Catherine sent me this bundle of hand stitched linens she found in our Mom’s things, mostly collected at the flea markets she haunted almost every weekend. They are exquisite.
They even smell good, they smell like they should. I’m keeping almost all of them in tact, making pillow covers, stuff like that. So much beautiful handwork. There are a couple with a lot of damage I’ll make needle books with and incorporate into some applique experiments.
PS – Are you making ships and needle books and mushrooms and beetles with me in LA? The antique french paper ship is a weekend class and the others are evening classes. It’s a lovely time stitching with like minded individuals and I’m bringing all sorts of cool stuff to play with – signups are here.
PPS -There’s more old cloth to talk about and some applique experiments (thanks so much for your feedback on that) but I’m out of time today – come back next Friday and I’ll tell you all about it.