Eight months of the year are gone, and I'm about on schedule on my resolution to do eleven collaborative projects. I've just finished the eighth one. This time my co-conspirator is Alyce McDonald, who is a fellow member of my regional fiber and textile artists group. There's a back story to this collaboration:
Two months ago Alyce and I went to a gallery show by Teri Dryden, who uses a lot of deconstructed books in her collage/assemblage work. We both loved Teri's work and were bubbling over with excitement as we left the gallery, had dinner and then went to our monthly fiber art meeting. That meeting ended, as all our meetings do, with grab bag, where people bring in their trash to become somebody else's treasure, and Alyce and I each grabbed a couple of volumes of a 1962 World Book encyclopedia.
In the car going home, we were still talking about the work we had seen in the gallery, and suddenly an idea appeared: we should tear the covers off our just-acquired World Books and use them to make art. The collaboration would be an exchange; we each made the bottom layer of a collage, then exchanged them and each put a top layer on the other's start. We started with matching stretched canvases, so the finished pieces would display as a pair.
Here's what the two bottom layers looked like several weeks ago:
Alyce mounted her covers inside up, spraying the turquoise endpapers with a bit of bleach for a faded look. Then she added covers from two smaller books to fill out the canvas.
I tore my cover apart so the front of the encyclopedia would be visible, and tied down the corners with thread to affix them to the canvas. The remainder of the canvas was covered with text and illustrations cut from the book, so you can see trigonometry, Tunisia, Sojourner Truth and many other T entries, all covered with T bags for an aged look.
And here's what they look like in their finished state:
Alyce turned my base upside down from what I had originally envisioned, then added another old book cover, a glass photo slide, some paper and some metal details. And best of all, she added a mechanical pencil that had belonged to her father.
I added a metal plate with peeling stick-on numbers, the station dial from an old pocket radio (attached with a nail so you can turn it) a computer key, a bit of computer circuit board, and some bits of paper. And best of all, a pen that had belonged to my father.
We hope to be able to exhibit the two pieces together; I'll let you know if that happens.