Towards the end of last year I began meticulously cut/carving a set of Encyclopaedia Brittanica. My idea was to carve the seven deadly sins* (in Latin) into the page edges of the books -
It took months of hard labour to get all seven words completed - these are not laser cut, but are created very slowly by hand - cutting carefully with a scalpel, a few pages at a time - after the initial cutting, the page edges are then sanded.... (have you ever sanded the edge of a page? crazy!)
so here they were - after all that work.....
I was.....ummmmmm...... underwhelmed by the results - so I put the set away for a while to decide if they were worth keeping.....
then a few weeks ago I had the solution......
set the little suckers on FIRE!
NOW they REEK of SIN! (and of charred paper....)
And now they were the realisation of my initial intention - albeit in a very different form than originally anticipated ...... isn't that always the way? and isn't it the most exciting part of being an artist? well it is for me....
I've never considered myself a designer - even when design and meticulous crafting is an integral aspect of the creative process, I'm mindful that they need to serve the piece and not the other way around..... in other words - for me the process is only precious if it upholds/enhances the final results. soooooo it was no big thing to set fire to hours and hours of labour (in the hope that I may get one or two decent pics of the work aflame....)
but I was just as startled to discover I even like the remnants of charred books - as they shed ash ex-pages at the slightest invitation.....
And I'm loving the thought of these smelly, messy things in a pristine white space at some point in the future..... ahhhhhhhh spreading a little of their knowing sin to all and sundry.....
** in case you are wondering - the first three words are carved on the top of the pages - out of view in these pics - and the last four words are on the page fore-edge