Book Arts Summer in Salem – the gallery window piece

I love it when materials offer surprising gifts that enrich the piece I’m creating.  Here’s a case in point.

The sketch to the left was inspired by the way the dark stalks of old growth stick up and show through the winter ice in a nearby wetland.  It is made with translucent drafting film, silk yarn and a stick chewed by beavers.



I brought it with me when I met up with Ed Hutchins recently at The North Front Gallery in Salem NY where I will be installing my wearable books in July.  I suggested that I might develop a larger version for the front window of the gallery.

We agreed that the piece read well through the glass.  Ed liked the book-ness of the accordion structure.  I thought there was great fun ahead in making a much larger version with lots of pop-up features.

I was right. Fun set in right away.   I suspended a long beaver stick up high horizontally and then reaching up over my head I tied really long strands of yarn from the stick. Silk yarn is lovely, so supple, pliant and expressive. After I’d finished, I glance down at my feet and saw this:

It was as if the silk had written stories on the floor, and it gave me the name of the piece. Tales of Ice and Mist, (Winter’s Cape). 




Here is how the silk writing looks with just  the bottom part of the cape in view.  A sneak preview.


The silk tethers the cape which sways, almost breathes, in any ambient air flow in the room.  That was another gift from the materials.  Mmmm.



And here are two of the pop-up structures I played with for the piece.If you want to make some yourself, I highly recommend Carol Barton’s book The Pocket Paper Engineer.

I predict pleasure!






Book Arts Summer in Salem – the gallery window piece — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Book Arts Summer in Salem – designing the installation | Johanne Renbeck

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