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Over the weekend my sons, Marc and Donovan, visited and had a look at the work. As ever their insightful questions, comments and criticism were of value.
Continue the convoluted background to the figure.
Polly Minett first began making paper in Japan where she studied the basic methods of Asian Papermaking. She continues to explore and investigate this art form today specialising in plant fibres. Polly has also worked in the field of education since the early eighties and she continues to pass on her skills through workshops and activities for adults and children. Kilkenny County Council Arts Office is assisting Polly in her research by enabling her to undertake a six week residency in Castle comer Estate Yard, Castlecomer Demense, Co. Kilkenny from November 6th to December 15th 2006. The aim of this residency is to facilitate research and experimentation within the medium of paper and fibres in order to further extend this developing art form beyond the usual two dimensional form. Polly’s research will further her knowledge and repertoire of skills thus enabling her to further raise the profile of this art form in Ireland.
These activities enable us to expose the general public, third level students and community groups to the working processes of two individual Kilkenny based artists by way of pre-arranged visits.
Put up new paper over the wild dog piece.
This has altered the entire reading of all the pieces. I am relieved to see that none (other than the Three Figure piece – incomplete) have suffered as a consequence. The interaction between the drawings is not sequential or narrative but a formal visual conversation. In some respects the rearrangements has clarified what has to be done on the new sheet. The silver sea in the Corpse’s Dream will be echoed in the Icarian figure in the final piece. This is started and worked on throughout Friday 27/10.
Monday, 26th November
I then decided to add cooked straw fibre to the abaca and beat the fibres for a lot longer than the first tests, in order to see if I could create more movement and structure to the finished papers. The total beating time was seven hours. The results were interesting; a rich golden coloured pulp that when sheet formed and air dried, shrank to three quarters of its original size forming wonderful crinkles and folds. The final effect resembled skin or dry seaweed and made a light dry crackling sound that resembled walking through leaves. I had great plans to use this pulp to make large rippling pieces but as it was so difficult to sheet form I wasn’t technically sure how to achieve this.
I decided to pour the pulp onto a long screen and let it dry naturally once the water had drained. The end result was disappointing as it was extremely fragile and difficult to get off the screen.
I also experimented with hand beaten Japanese Kozo but found no real shrinkage or movement in the samples. The most interesting find was that fibres could be transformed from a stiff stick like quality to the feel of a soft shammy leather by manipulating them. (The results are documented in the data file.)
Complete the Self confrontational piece.
There is a again a lecture in the evening about Traditional Arts by Liz Doherty from the Arts Council.