Landscape of Landscapes is the first of a series of mixed media encaustics I’m working on – still part of my Below the Line project.
It’s small, but includes a good number of mixed media techniques, including digital imagery, an altered (bleached) photo of a landscape, and the bottom bit (green) came about when I found my hands doing something entirely unexpected.
It has led me into new territory.
I’ll skip a long story, but the green bit is knitted paper. The paper combines two sheets of rice paper which I’ve painted, stamped and coated with encaustic wax. I have quite a collection of likewise decorated sheets for which I’d not yet found a use.
I found myself pushing one of these through my little paper shredding machine. I DON’T recommend this – it almost wrecked my shredder! If you are going to try this, wax the paper after you’ve shredded it, not before.
I had such a strong urge to knit the strips together that I had to run round to my local craft shop and just as it was closing, shouting, “Knitting needles! I need knitting needles!” This is not an uncommon event, though unlike Archimedes, I have not run round there naked and wet from my bath, or at least, not to date.
I bought a gorgeous pair of bamboo needles, the thinnest I could get and knitted a little square from my shredded, waxed sheet – feeling very Kaffe Fassett – then flattened it with my hand, then absolutely squashed it by running it through this little embossing gadget (second picture).
My local craft shop sold me this gadget for just £1. (I am not ashamed to get down on my hands and knees and ferret around under their shelves to see what’s been lost and long forgotten and this was one of my recent finds, covered in dust and without a price label).
The gold wool and wire stitched through my knitted paper square is a reference to a little story I wrote some years ago about a hero archetype doing his journey.
The addition of the incense stick with red wooden stick is a hint in the direction of the divine and the sacred aspect of journeying.
Knitting, weaving, knotting: these are my key words at the moment. I like the idea – and act – of trying to combine disparate materials and in doing so, create beautiful harmonies.
A lesson for life?