13 June 2010
In my quest to find something useful to do with my love of collage and mixed media art, I recently took a workshop with Jane Davies. The topic was "Collage In a Box" and I want to give credit both to Jane for a fantastic and well-organized class and to Patti who is the delightful proprietor of The Queen's Ink, who hosted the workshop.
The goal of the workshop is to make a box from scratch and decorate it with mixed media papers and other embellishments. I needed a striking design for the outside, but since the box is for my husband, I didn't want it to be floral or pastel. I selected the blue and turquoise greek key pattern as perfect for him. The design is on wonderful Lokta paper (rice paper, traditional type made in Nepal), which is very easy to bend and wrap, as well as, thick enough to withstand the necessary layer of adhesive used to cover the chipboard.
The box edges are covered with a very thin, hand-painted rice paper. It's a remnant from a stack of the jewel-toned papers by a local artist that I purchased at The Queen's Ink many years ago. The paper is so richly colored you cannot take your eyes off of it. The downside for box collage, is that it is very thin. The adhesive made the paper so wet that I had to be careful not to tear it. It was also tricky to manipulate this paper to cover the edges of the box. It had the tendency to want to fold, crease, and buckle no matter how careful I was. I decided, however, that I was okay with the result because the creases actually make the flecks of metallic paint sparkle.
When you open the box, you'll see one of my scrapbooking papers of vintage travel luggage tags. One of them fortuitously is from Hotel Carlos V in Spain. Marc and I stayed at a hotel of that name in Madrid 11 years ago on our first big trip to Europe together. I laid out my interior paper so that the Carlos V tag was an important visual element, impossible to miss as you open the box.
And with that jazzy pattern on the inside of the box top, I decided the bottom interior covering should be ultra simple. It needed to match the Lokta paper. I had also brought with me several colors of papers that mimicked faux leather; I chose the turquoise color to match the Lokta design on the exterior.
I'm so pleased with how my very first box of this type came out. I will be adding just a few collage elements to the box's top exterior to complete the design. I have some travel tickets that I've stockpiled from travel abroad with which I can experiment.