Paper manipulation library
As a complete newbie to this I hadn’t really heard of paper manipulation so my initial reaction was to have a look around the internet to see what it meant by “manipulation”. I discovered lots of interesting ways in which paper can be used to create art and so I felt inspired to have a try at a few ideas.
I started by choosing some papers to work with by thinking of some of the qualities these bring to mind.
Tracing paper – light, airy, translucent, filmy, shiny, sheer, thin
Cartridge paper – durable, long lasting, strong, crisp,
Patterned kitchen paper – delicate, layered, fine, lacy, soft
Brown envelope – strong, tough, hard wearing, heavyweight
Tissue paper – fragile, thin, opaque, soft
Starting with my leaves picture it inspired a paper sample of layered tissue paper. I felt the tissue paper represented the fragility of the leaves. I also manipulated a piece of kitchen paper which had patterns it was soaked and then squeezed flat and dried quickly in a pocket which helped it not to break up. I am pleased with the lacy fragile texture with tiny holes in it. It is reminiscent of the holes in the leaves as they start to break down.
Both of the rose drawings made me think of soft layers so I created some samples using tissue paper and kitchen paper. The kitchen paper I tore into strips and layered overlapping each strip. With the tissue paper I used an origami crumpling method which consists of folding and twisting and was inspired by the video on YouTube by Eric Gjerde (2013). I was really pleased with the effect this produced. It was a very organic shape and quite flower like.
The collage of the shawl brought to mind a few different techniques. I created some woven paper samples, one with an even weave using cartridge paper and another using tracing paper and brown paper. In this one I positioned the pieces in an orderly manner to begin with and then in a chaotic manner on the second half. I was thinking how the woven shawl had worn and the weave had broken down while doing this. The shawl inspired some more pieces. Using the design as a starting point I scored cartridge paper in a paisley style pattern. I had to be careful not to cut all the way around the shape in order to leave paper to try curling sections of it. I liked the curls of paper and the raised appearance this gave. Other patterns within the scarf were made up of dots of colour and this inspired me to try piercing patterns into a piece of light card. I used a folding and tearing technique which reminded me of being a child at school when we would make paper snowflakes using a similar method. Remembering the worn and mended area of the shawl I used tracing paper to imitate the worn lighter areas of fabric. I tore this into strips and then used a hole punch to randomly pierce through it and then layered it haphazardly. I also used tracing paper and folded it in a pleating method which was inspired by the way the shawl was presented to me in the archive.
My drawing of the detail on the dress has an interesting mix of almost geometric patterns mixed with floral. The dress was made of layers the first being crisp and papery the second light and silky and the third was light and translucent. I wanted to try more tessellation after trying the origami crumpling technique and thought this would fit with the patterns within the dress. I tried several different versions of this mainly on catridge paper as it was the most suitable for this type of work.
My picture of the button led me to try a scoring technique where I tried to copy the stitching pattern. This didn’t work quite how I had envisaged partly due to the paper. I think it would have been better to try this method on a stiffer card. Using a brown craft card I wetted the surface and scrubbed it with a scourer I felt this worked better giving a soft fuzzy texture much like the moleskin of the coat.
As a bit of an experiment I was inspired by nature to try layering birch bark. It has a very papery texture and I wondered how it would work layering and peeling sections and if I would be able to stitch into it in the next section.
Gjerde, E, published 31 July 2013 Origami crumpling instructions, video recording, YouTube, viewed 3 November 2017