I don’t have a Halloween story for you today, but I can tell you about boiled books, which I have been mentioning the last two weeks. The process is somewhat like a witches brew. My local mixed media art group made these about two years ago.
We used watercolor paper, which we folded up into a packet, putting an assortment of leaves in between the pages. We clamped them together and put them in a large pan of water, to which we added a small amount of “Rit” fabric dye in whatever color we had, or wanted to try. They had to be weighted down with a rock because the paper wanted to float at the top.
As I recall, we brought the water to a boil, then turned the heat down to medium, and cooked them for several hours. We let them cool in the water. The next day we opened the packet, discarded the leaves, and set them aside to dry. The paper can be a bit fragile when it has been saturated with water for several hours.
We brought them to our meeting and looked at each others “books”, discussing which colors and leaves worked the best. I took mine home, added them to my stash of papers to use for something, and sort of forgot about them, but I see them when I’m looking for something else.
I decided to use them in a project for an online class two weeks ago because I wanted a dark shape that did not show a particular object. I used a page that was the outside of a package, and the impression of the clips I used can be seen, particularly in the collage I’m showing this week.
My original idea was to put something in between the two scraps with the clamps showing. I didn’t have anything in mind for the space. The rust + gold scrap was marking my place in a magazine I was reading, and when I took it out instead of throwing it away, I stuck it in the center space just to see how the color would look, because of that little line of rust on the clip.
Then, I went looking for a thin piece of something black, and found this wonderful ribbon in my sewing room that has two thin gold threads running through it. In order to get some of that rust color in another area of the piece, I used some oil pastels in the top left corner, before I added lace across the top. I also added a bit more paper on the bottom right, and a little white paint here and there.
I frequently have trouble finding a title for the art I make. This one was easy. I’ve been hearing the word “divided” all month, maybe all summer. Having different likes, dislikes, and opinions should not devolve into hatred. We are members of one nation with millions of ideas, feelings, and concerns.