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Published by Interweave

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Published by: Interweave on Mar 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2013

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barbaradelaney
the
BOO K
 
Techniques and Inspiration for Creating Mixed-Media Art
 
t
he decorative quality of vintage ephemera has alwayshad a great appeal to me and nothing more so thanvintage envelopes and letters. The muted, worn colors andtextures of these items, whether from home or abroad, withtext both mechanically stamped and handwritten, providean interesting backdrop on which to combine collage andembroidery, breathing new life into a transient item.
 by 
viv sliwka
sealed
with a
 
stitch
 
a
 
n exercise in collage and embroidery
I enjoy using found papers in mywork and prefer vintage envelopesfor the stories they can tell. I thinkto myself, “Who was it who wrotewith such a ne hand?” “Did hesurvive the war?” “Why did shewrite that letter?” All of theseunanswered questions are partof the joy of working with theselittle snippets of everyday history.But I would also consider using aspecial, maybe newer, envelope—one that contains good news,for example. If the envelope hasan interesting date on the back,
 
Iopen the envelope up, so that allthe points of interest can be seen.
preparation
Sorting through my stash of foundpapers and ephemera is part of my process. Thumbing throughold books and magazines untilI nd the right imagery and textis also a big part. (Be wary of copyright when doing this.) Forexample, the sweet little girl thatI used (left)—it just felt right touse her, instinct you may say—hasnothing whatsoever to do withthe envelope itself. It is all partof expressing one’s particularinterests.
What I have in mind as I workis to build a coherent visual pieceusing collected papers and fabricsfrom many sources. I sometimesinclude my own drawings ormonoprints. I want to achievedepths of opacity, with addedtext, color, and texture. I useembroidery to highlight not onlymy love of owers, but also mylove of the decorative stitch. Withembroidery, I bring surface texture,color, and interest to my work;I take each piece down anotheravenue and have more fun with it.The nal touch is the additionof buttons: wonderful, beautiful,old buttons. They, too, have a storyto tell, even better if they are fromyour mother’s or grandmother’sbutton box! I adore how theycatch the light or brighten a pieceof work with their cheery colors,shapes, and sizes; somehow they just nish the
piece beautifully.
C
L O T H
 
P
 A P E R
 
S
C I S S O R
S
 

3
Top:
 
Buttons, trims, and vintage fabric for collage.Bottom: Preparing an encaustic surface for collage.

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