" What is possible in art becomes thinkable in life."
I did some samples with the padauk sawdust I had soaking today, and of course ideas lead to other ideas, so I am not quite done with that in order to do a post. But if it weren't for these little books I might never have started the whole process. I have been reading Sketchbook Explorations by Shelley Rhodes and am really inspired by it. When I used to make a lot of clothing I doodled ideas down on random slips of paper, but never really kept a sketchbook. Shelley takes so many approaches to a sketchbook, it is hard to pick something and get started! I have had these little books forever, I can't even remember where they came from. I liked the way they looked so much, just as they were, that they became too precious and I was afraid I would "mess them up" somehow. It's a sketchbook for crying out loud-use it!
They are about four inches square, the covers are heavy pasteboard, like a children's book. They are held together with gunmetal gray binder clips. The first thing to do was to take the original papers out of them. I started with the one in the center. The paper was bonded, or had some sort of finish on it, so when I dipped it in that kind of sheen that is on the top of indigo dye it ended up looking like marbling. The one in the center back is a mixture of the original paper and watercolor paper. All the pinks, blues, and purples come from hibiscus tea. The more yellow looking paper is the original paper in the book. Both were allowed to soak in the tea and as you can see, the watercolor paper "dyed" and the tea tended to puddle on the original paper. The tea changed color, from pink to blue and purple, as it dried. The other two books are all eco printed papers. The brighter on the left is poinsettia. The one on the right is the more interesting parts of some ho-hum eco prints that I cut to size. As you can see in the two center books I used hole punches and stamps on the pages. I haven't decided what the next step is for the eco printed ones.
There is no pressure with this-they aren't "for" anything. Working in layers and letting something from underneath show through pleases me. I also liked machine stitching on the paper and may do more of that, or some hand stitching-we will see. These little projects lead to bigger projects.
Anyway, just letting you know that the results of the sawdust dye are on the way and I had hoped to post those the next time, but now I am soaking more sawdust as I want to try a different approach to the mordant.