I Haven't Been Swindling Your Paper - Honest!

EDIT: The Paper Chase Project has now closed.

Can you believe it? It was in July that I started the Paper Chase! Some of you may have been wondering if I was ever going to make & send the promised collages, or that maybe I'd skipped town with all that paper. Well, fear not, I'm still here & I'm busily collaging.

I've received 36 packages of paper so far, & although I'm still more than happy to accept people's parcels, I just want to let you all know that it might take me a while before I can post back the collages - I've had a much bigger response than I expected.

Thanks to everyone who's participated so far - I hope you can be patient with me! Hopefully I'll finish updating everything this afternoon.

Here are the first six collages (and the finished stamp that I put on the back of each collage) - I hope the recipients like them! I'll be popping them in the post on Thursday!

I made Collage No.1 for artist Rosa Murillo. I love Rosa's work & I hope she likes my little collage! The square of paper with the masked woman stamped on it is from a legal document from the 1880s that Rosa sent. The paper has a beautiful crinkly texture that I didn't want to lose by gluing it down, so I cut a little window in the backing card. When you hold it up to the light, that section is kind of luminous - it reminds me of a watermark on a dollar bill.

Collage No.2 was made for Smoobage who sent a big pile of amazing vintage 7" record sleeves. I really love the muted, drab colours.

Caroline of Peaseblossom Studio sent me some beautifully aged pages from a French dictionary. Collage No.3 reminds me of an 18th century entomological expedition to an exotic island somewhere.

Collage No.4 was made for High Desert Diva who sent me a lovely collection of vintage stamps & labels & things. I made a green & purple collage for her!

Moving on to Collage No. 5...Mandy sent me a really nice letter with her parcel of paper. She thinks the lining of envelopes are really beautiful (I agree with her!) & sent a little collection to me - I wanted to make her a collage that somehow incorporated their intricate patterns. I think this collage has something to do with the migratory habits of a big brown moth - he flies to Dublin each summer to stay with relatives apparently.

Lastly, one that I just finished this morning - Collage No.6 that now belongs to Joanne, aka Shaving Kit, who sent me a really colourful collection of paper. I wanted to give her collage a storybook feel...

So that's it for now! I may not be able to get started on the next batch of collages for a week or so, since I'm finishing up on some gocco prints that I need to post off to the UK for an exhibition, but I'll keep you posted on any further Paper Chase developments!

It's All in the Details

I want to make the Paper Chase a little bit special, so I designed this stamp to print on the back of all the collages I make. I also uploaded a new batch of photos to the gallery - I've received 20 packages so far! I'm pretty busy with work at the moment, but I'm slowly getting through them & still happy for any new people to join in!

I've had such an incredible response, I had to devise a little system to keep all the packages in order & make sure I don't mix any up. I'm not what you'd call naturally organised or efficient.

Thank you so much to everyone who's participated so far - I've been totally blown away by how generous & thoughtful people are!

Quick! Where are My Scissors & Glue?!

EDIT: The Paper Chase has now closed.

Trips to the post office are not normally this thrilling... The response to the Paper Chase has been huge - 19 parcels of paper so far, & more to come. Hooray! Here's what I picked up this morning...it was like Christmas Day opening them all!

I'm obviously going to be very busy making collages for all the participants, so I'd like to ask people to be a little patient.

I'm devoting my evenings & some of my weekends to the Paper Chase so I can post back everyone's collages as soon as possible!

I'm just amazed & really really moved by how great you all are! I hope I can do this project justice by making collages everyone's happy with! Thank you!

Still Chasing Paper...

EDIT: The Paper Chase project has now closed.

I am absolutely floored by the response I've had to The Paper Chase. I've already received 6 packages - 5 of them arriving super-fast from the US.

This project means so much to me, not just because I love paper (& I do love paper!), but because it's enabling me to make contact with so many amazing artists & art-lovers, & I'm just so touched by people's generosity & kindness. This is going to sound ultra-corny, but I really feel connected in the warmest, fuzziest way through this exchange - this is what art's all about. A big thank you to everyone participating in The Paper Chase!

As you can see, I've posted tantalising shots of the packages I've received so far. I've made an extra-special photo gallery just for The Paper Chase where I'm uploading pics of the bundles as they arrive, as well as the finished collages I make to send back.

These parcels of paper pleasure were sent by Mandy in NSW, Peaseblossom Studio, Smoobage, High Desert Diva, Rosa Murillo & Shaving Kit. Thank you!

Who Knew Paper Could Be This Exciting?

Well, actually, I knew...& I'm not the only one out there with a serious paper fetish. I've kind of lost count, but we're up to over 50 participants in The Paper Chase now (from 7 different countries), with over 10 people already having shipped their packages. I'm excited! Melissa from Crab Apple Designs kindly emailed me a photo of the wonderful package she's sending, so now of course, I'm extra excited! Thanks Melissa, I can't wait to receive your amazing parcel of paper joy - I hope I can do it justice & make you a collage you'll be happy with!

Paper Chase Continued...

EDIT: The Paper Chase Project has now closed.Wow!!! The Paper Chase Project has exceeded my wildest expectations - not that I actually had any expectations really, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing.

So far, I have 44 people (from 5 different countries) who've expressed an interest in participating, & 8 people I know of have already posted their packages off! That's potentially a lot of collages I'm going to be making, but please don't be discouraged by that if you were thinking of taking part - I'm expecting the arrival of the packages will be spread out over a manageable time period, & I'm up for the challenge! I'm really amazed by how many people are eager to join in, & how incredibly kind & generous they've been. This is shaping up to be a lot of fun!

If you'd like to participate in the Paper Chase, you can find out all about it from my previous post, where I've given all the details, my postal address, etc. I'm asking people to enclose with the packages their online details (along with their return address of course), as I intend to post regular updates on my blog & link to everyone who takes part. There'll be photos of the packages as they arrive & I'm also posting pics of the finished collages. Yay!

A big thanks to mega-talented artist Gemma Jones for mentioning the Paper Chase on her blog, & hi to all my blog visitors from Argentina who've found me via Diseño Club, who've made me the Feature Link of the Week!

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!