The Great Paper Chase

EDIT:  The Paper Chase Project has now closed. I've been busying myself making new small-format originals for a mega-update of my Etsy shop & thought I'd list the first four pieces yesterday & then post about them here in my blog this morning - & guess what? They all sold overnight! Hooray!!

So, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on anyway...  I'm really interested in making these collaged geometric patterns from vintage paper lately - I'm quite happy with how they're working out. It's so satisfying to take a piece of dusty, forgotten paper, deconstruct it, & give it new life.

What interests me is how once you take a printed image out of the context of its completeness by cropping it into tiny details, you're prompted to look at it with a new objectivity - each little piece of paper becomes quite enigmatic & beautiful. Then to integrate it into this pattern that has so much depth & detail...it's really satisfying!

I love the mellow colours & textures & the way the patterns emerge. I try not to be too rigid with dictating what goes where, but I do like to try to create a sense of balance & harmony.

I have a few different designs in the pipeline, but the size & complexity of each one is limited by the brittleness of some of the paper & the fact that I hand-cut them all - in large quantities. It's tempting to get a digital diecutter to extend the scope of what I can do, but there's something nice about them being a bit wibbly & flawed. Sitting there snipping away has given me something to do in those moments where you just want to zone out & watch trash TV or engage in some chit-chat or something.

And now, to this...

THE PAPER CHASE

Finding new sources of interesting paper is not easy - so I've devised a little plan. If you have any found paper laying around that you don't mind parting with & posting to me, I will in return, make you a collage with some of the paper you send & ship it back to you, keeping the rest of the paper for my own projects. You get a little artwork, I get some paper joy!

The types of paper I'm interested in are not necessarily rare or valuable ephemera. I'm looking for mainly pre-1970 paper (although I do use more recent, & brand new paper sometimes too, so a little of that is fine) such as the following...

  • receipts & invoices
  • advertisements from magazines, comics, etc. (I love the little ads in the back pages)
  • pages from books, magazines, comics, ledgers & notebooks
  • patterned end papers from books would be great
  • labels & packaging
  • envelopes, letters, stamps & postcards
  • anything with handwriting on it, particularly old-fashioned pen & ink
  • anything without writing on it such as notepaper, graph paper, etc.
  • brown paper bags
  • paper that is aged, yellow, spotty, stained, even torn is fine
  • greeting cards & gift wrap
  • wallpaper
  • sheet music
  • maps
  • flyers, forms, theatre programs, etc.

Extra great would be ephemera from different cultures - China, Japan, India, Mexico, etc. Colourful, decorated paper is nice, but not essential - some of my favourite pieces are regular white paper that has aged to varying shades of yellow & brown.

If you're interested in participating in the Magic Jelly Paper Chase, just send your little bundle of found paper to me with your return address. What you send me will naturally influence what I make for you (what a great challenge!) but I might also use some paper from my own collection, including some of my own test prints & illustrations. I don't expect you to send a massive bundle, but of course, it needs to be a fair exchange, so a nice little collection of bits & pieces would be good! The resulting artwork I make for you will be small-format, around 4x4" to 6x6" or thereabouts. Depending on where I need to ship it, turn around time will be 2-4 weeks.

Please send paper to:

Magic Jelly P O Box 542 Welland. South Australia. 5007 AUSTRALIA

As well as making sure to give me your return address (so I can send your collage!), if you could please enclose a little note with your package letting me know your email address, Etsy username (if you have one), site/blog url - that kind of thing - so I can contact you & mention you in my blog. Thank you!

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

I'll be sure to post more about this project in my blog when I start receiving some paper goodies & making the collages to send out. Hooray!