Textiles 1: Ideas and Processes Nina O'Connor

Learning Log

Exercise 1.5 Action

1 Comment

Continuing to use words to inspire further creativity, I found Richard Serra’s Verb List Compilation.: Actions to Relate to Oneself, 1967-1968 interesting and thought provoking. However the black and white photograph on page 23 of the manual to accompany the exercise was uninspiring and a little off-putting to me.  Interpreting words by manipulating plain white paper, not very inviting.   I found myself ‘picking the obvious words’ and finding an ‘ambitious’ approach elusive.    Livening things up a little I decided to use painted papers from my ‘stash’ and found some enthusiasm.

To Weave:

Beginning with some papers created to mix greens, a warp was cut with a scalpel and strips of mottled green paper were used as a weft.  Although quite obvious choice of verb, I enjoyed the effect of colour.  Similarly coloured strips appeared quite different on the backgrounds, with the yellow having the effect of brightening the greens.


Considering the colour again to make the weave more interesting, magenta, a near complementary was added to liven up the greens and has resulted in an effective combination, with lots of dry brush texture and green tones:


Feeling I had played it safe, I sought some more interesting paper and combined paper yarn, ribbon and strips of painted paper for the following.  This was more rewarding for me, a combination of texture, both visual and actual and the different weights of paper adding interest.


I also like the uneven edges and would like to develop this further in future.

To Hole:

Warming up a little, I enjoyed selecting papers and tearing, cutting or piercing to ‘hole’ the surface.   Tearing the edges to produce more organic shapes and using the blue-greens and rust colours was particularly satisfying.


Also pleasing was the sample below, (ignoring the paper fasteners from the previous page).   The negative shapes created by the torn strips against the background, the combination of colours and marks on the decorated paper, layered to reveal glimpses of the the background through the holes are visually interesting.


To Scatter

Covering the page with PVA or matt medium, various paper snippets were scattered. The dried glue was evident on the surface and the results were a little dull.  Tearing the background paper and viewing the three samples as one was more acceptable, although still lacking in quality.


Of Layering

Torn painted papers and text were layered.  In my mind I was responding to ‘To layer’ for the first sample so the composition was adhered to a background paper first.   This is quite a lively combination, the slivers of white along the torn edges emphasising the interesting shapes, and the colour palette and variation in values adding to the energy.


In the second sample, found papers from a West Dean Short Course brochure were glued to compose a sheet ‘of layering’.  With the strips generally more horizontal and the palette a little softer, this is a calmer compilation, although I particularly like the yellow strip on the left against the vertical black, grey & rust dry brush piece below it.


To fold & to enclose

Here I was inspired by the thought that an envelope could enclose and folded a small (8cm) circle envelope from painted papers and enclosed a square of decorated, waxed paper.    An origami wallet (12cm square) was next enclosing various pieces of hand made & dyed paper.



This was a very satisfying little make, neat, visually appealing, highlighting the subtle contrasts of brush marks on the green papers and pleasing lines in the curved edges as they slot together to seal the envelope.

The origami wallet was folded from some brown parcel paper and creates two types of opening for enclosures.

This too was a pleasing exercise and although I touched on it in the Mixed Media for Textiles course, both pieces emphasised my delight in making small, tactile items that can be held in the palm of the hand and explored.  I would replace the brown paper used for the wallet as it didn’t have the weight or tactility of a hand made or heavier paper but overall the design has potential.

Choosing to use decorated papers for this exercise made it much more interesting and inviting and reminded me of the affinity and pleasure I feel working with these materials.



Golden Alisa (2010) Making Handmade Books 100+ Bindings Structures & Forms

One thought on “Exercise 1.5 Action

  1. It’s good to see you returning to the folding and book-making that you enjoyed in MMT – I so admire your patience and precision – these pieces look very inviting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s