Some of the pages were polished – those to which I added beeswax or encaustic wax. The sketchbook was a progression of my artistic exploration Below the Line, a phrase from Deepak Chopra’s book Quantum Healing.
I dismantled the sketchbook and eco–printed some of the pages using plant matter and techniques developed by textile artist India Flint and described in her book Eco Color: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles.
I boiled the sketchbook cover in a sphagnum moss dye. I added new pages – eco-printed paper coffee filters – which are essentially pockets – and into which I placed leaves and sometimes rusted objects such as staples, nails, rods. All, pages and coffee filters, I rolled up into tight bundles, bound them with recycled sari silk yarn and steamed for 2 hours. I left the bundles to one side for one or more weeks before unrolling them to reveal the prints made by the plant material, rust, sari silks and pressure.
The damage to the papers caused by the process I repaired by stitching, patching, and sometimes discarding where some were too damaged to mend. I included some pages made of organza that had been rust-dyed. Onto these I transfer-printed symbols: vocabulary that developed from my Below the Line researches.
In addition to the organic arrived, accidentally, the geometric: squares, triangles, circles, in the form of stitches, patches, transfers and folds. I also added to some of the pages melted beeswax/encaustic. I think the wax is to do with embalming, preserving.
Collecting, considering, contemplating, chucking, compiling, collating; finally, fixing the book back together – one line of machine stitching down the middle.
At the heart of the book a mystery is unfolding. What is Below the Line?
There are 41 images in the book.
It may just have arrived in New York, the Brooklyn Art Library, where it will be digitised and catalogued, then sent round the US for a year, in the company of thousands of other sketchbooks. Every time someone checks it out to view, I will get an email to tell me.