Monday, May 26, 2008

Using paper casts in art

This is a spread I did in my first Altered Book, back in the spring of 2004. The main reason I'm posting it now is because I'm entering a blog give-away on GPP Network Street Team, having to do with paper casts in art, and so I need to post this piece on my blog. And also because I haven't been making much new art lately, due to increased work days and hours. I did create a spread in the AB of a friend from my local book arts group this week, but I haven't taken a digital picture of it yet, so I can't post that. And I haven't been posting much on my blog lately, so I figure at least posting something is better than not posting at all.

Thank you, Michelle Ward, for your great tutorial on paper casts on your blog, and for the give-away you are having. You have a great blog! I didn't know about it until recently, when an art friend pointed me to it. I'm so glad she did.

Okay, so now a bit about this particular piece. I was a total "newbie" to altered books and altered art, when I made this. However, I like it -- although my art today is different and not what it was four years ago. And that's a good thing, because hopefully, as artists, we are constantly learning and growing, right?

On this piece, I used a sheet of my handmade paper that I made on the left page. I used purple copy paper and coffee filters for this handmade paper. I made the paper pulp in a blender, and didn't blend it very long, so the white coffee filters would show up in the paper sheet. I used the border of a woven table place mat, and yarn unraveled from a sweater, on that page also, along with a button and some flowers cut from a necklace.

On the right page, the main background is a piece of sheer fabric from a fabric sample book, and of course the painted strips of corrugated cardboard. Those are more buttons at the bottom of the page. The women's faces are the paper casts, painted with metallic purple paint. I lucked out and found the plaster mold for these at a thrift store. I've never seen another mold like it, and I really like these faces.

So that's how I made this piece, a conglomeration of "things" I had on hand. I still have the plaster mold, as well as two others I bought that day, and I'm thinking maybe I should get busy and make some more paper casts. I have lots of different molds, some I've never used. Most are the plastic candy molds, but I also have some flexible molds for polymer clay, and some terra cotta cookie molds. And I have lots of unmounted stamps that would work for paper casting, as shown on the blog mentioned above.

I wouldn't say this piece ranks in the best art I've ever done, I know it doesn't, but I think it's not bad for when I was a total newbie to altered art. And it does speak well to using what I had on hand when I made this piece. And lately, I've been thinking about using paper pulp in my art, or at least experimenting with that. I haven't made handmade paper in years, mostly because I still have piles of it left over from several major marathon paper-making sessions I did years ago. I haven't used my handmade paper much in my art, and I think I need to do that too.

So in closing, if this post encourages any of you to make handmade paper or paper casts, that's great. I hope it does. I know it has caused me to reconsider using them more in my own art. Whether or not that actually happens, I'll let you know.


Anonymous said...

Val - your castings are wonderful! - Nicki

michelle ward said...

Valerie - thanks for joining us on the Paper Casting Crusade! Love seeing how you used your cools casts, and the handmade paper too. You got me thinking...might have to do a paper tutorial soon. Like you, I was on a paper making (and casting) frenzy years ago and still have boxes and boxes of the things. Fun to dig them up and figure a way to incorporate them again. Welcome aboard!

Christy said...

Oh boy, I don't have any molds but I'm sure I can find something... I've not done paper casting before and I did see the crusade on Michelle's site and the tutorial. I just might have to give it a try. Love your faces, how fabulous. And hey, love that purple metallic LOL

Sharon said...

I, too, enjoyed this technique. It's fun to see how others create with paper casting. Thanks for sharing.
Here is my stuff:
(If you can't copyt&paste the link, it's in my January 07 blog archives)

peggy gatto said...

Really lovely rich papers! thanks!

Artyfax said...

thanks for the info, always looking out for new (?) techniques to learn & expand the alternatives open to me for crafting/art. This looks particularly good. Will my wife let me use the blender tho'?

Therese said...

Val, your work is always a joy to see. I've always wanted to try making my own paper...that and about 100 other art methods, but I need to be realistic :o) At any rate, I always find inspiration on your creative spirit is always piqued. Thanks for a great site!