Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Paper Presentation

It is interesting that one of the reasons I prefer to work on deep, stretched canvas is because I do not want to have to deal with presentation once the work is completed. Now, how is that for laziness?

My woven pieces are a case in point. If you read this blog, you know I like doing these woven pieces with papers where I test various materials and techniques. As a matter of fact, I have been testing on rice paper because I know I will use these pieces for one thing or another.

So now I have a stack of woven pieces which are unmounted or unframed. I decided I was going to test out the Ampersand 3/4" Cradled Panels. If I had chosen the flat ones, then I would have been right back to where I began with how to present it...framing.

The weaving above I tried a ton of things. Babs had thought it would look good placed against a grass-cloth type backing. I also thought that texture might be nice. You can see, I worked on the string like appearance, but getting this thing right was brutal. After tons of trial and error, I ended up with this solid color over the texture I had worked with earlier. This particular wine hue does set off the weaving nicely, though.

This piece is one I did quite a while ago. I actually showed it as a WIP, but received so much encouragement to keep it as it appeared in the photograph. So I chose to do just that. The delicate gluing of this piece was very, very time consuming. It is quite fragile, but I also know glass over it would take away so much of the texture I worked hard to keep. So, I am just going to leave it this way. The cradled board behind it has many, many layers of glossy black paint and the edge of the cradling retains the clear wood (without paint).

I am not all that excited about these boards, but I am glad I tried them. They are fairly expensive, but they are very rigid and strong. I would like to find some other way to present these works on paper.

Do you struggle with having items framed? Do you find it cost prohibitive sometimes? I know I could not afford to pay for framing. Do you ever frame your work yourself? How do you deal with work you do on paper? Maybe I should be mounting these on canvases. What do you think? Do you think I should get into bookmaking? :)


~Babs said...

aaaah,,,The Weavings! (applauding)

I love that ridged texture you made as background on this first one Kim! It really ofsets the weaving nicely, IMO.

Now I KNOW I must not be completely understanding the construction of this second one, as I can't see why a simple shadow box frame wouldn't work.???
It is sooooooo beautiful, I know a ton of time went into that glueing, what patience you have, but it's paid off big time!
Really a unique piece, love it!

I have had work professionally framed for the gallery, and OMIGOSH it can be so expensive. I always was able to wait till a half price sale was on, so that helped. The pieces on paper I always do a standard size, so I can cheaply frame them myself, with ready made mats and frames.
I only buy canvases now that are gallery wrapped,(when on sale) so framing isn't nesessary,,,but the older work needs framing, as it's on regular canvas with staples on the edges.

Elis Cooke said...

the weaving looks great on that background! I know exactly what you mean about framing headaches!!! it makes me tend to view my work on paper as more playing... and I rarely resolve them so I have an ever growing stack of papers waiting to be sorted into resolvable vs collage papers lol! I did see a tutorial on the site under newsletter archives for gluing finished work on paper to canvas. it's something I have been meaning to give a try one of these days. namaste Elis.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Babs,

Thank you. I am glad you think that rigid background works for the smaller piece.

On the second one I think the space between the glass and the work would distort the image. There is a lot going on with this piece with the painting and the way the strips create several types of textures. It is simply complex and I think a lot of that would be lost. I think it would sit well in a shadow box, but that distance, which is required for the sculptural part, would take some of that away.

I am glad you like it, though...that means a great deal to me. A Great Deal! are right...a huge expense. Do you know the floater frames? I find them very appealing. A few of my first pieces were stapled and only 3/4", so they will also warp. I have really liked the looks of the floater frames. I would also frame myself...which you can with the floater save some money. You don't need or use glass for these (which is a HUGE expense) and can buy the moldings to put together yourself.

Thanks Babs! I really appreciate your input with all of this. You really help me to think through a lot of stuff here.

Andrea and Kim said...

Oh Thank You Elis! I appreciate your thoughts on how this is a challenge, isn't it?

Framing...a real challenge of both application and budget!

Oh, I am going to Robert's web site to have a look/see about attaching paper works onto canvas! I appreciate the heads up on that.

As always I appreciate your insights here, Elis.


Unknown said...

Hi Kim, first of all, I love those weavings.

Then, I looked and looked and looked.

The way you presented the pieces here, I like it. Then I also think, that what if you put both on the black background. And what, If you inverse the two weavings. Black-blue weaving on black background, and wine coloured weaving on wine coloured background?

Very confusing, I'm sorry if I confuse you:)

Mounting them on canvases: I am sure that, if you do it, you'll find a way of making them look good:)

love and hugs

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Andrea! You liking these means a lot to me. :)

You know, my inclination is to often use the black background for many things. I have a feeling I will be giving that a try, too. I have some others here to deal with. I do think maybe using a similar background color could be very positive because it would focus on the texture rather than the colors. Look for that to happen with some others later on.

You are not confusing at all.

I am really going to give the canvases a try...the panels are a lot more expensive and heavier to hang. I will have to find a stud for hanging these to be sure.

Love and Hugs to You, Andrea!

sukipoet said...

Great post. Firstly the two weavings look so lovely. I like the background of the first, textured. And second just the black.

I have made many things out of handmade selfmade paper and endlessly am unsure how to present them. I agree with you, paper loses something if placed under glass and I never placed any of mine under glass. A few things I did glue to a canvas. Others I glued to a heavier piece of handmade paper often other made (ie not by me). These I hung via tabs and string and bamboo or just using a piece of wood on the back with string or hemp really to hang them with. I made some thick paper reliefs two of which I was able to frame in old frames without glass. As they were made on top of foam core that kept it steady in the back.

But now i have two, 3 feet by 4 feet paper kimono which I havent figured out yet how to hang. I feel I never learn just one way that works but with each new piece it's like figuring it all out over again.

It's an exploratory process. Be well, Suki

Ive never tried these panels you describe but I like the idea of them.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Suki and thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Thank you also for sharing your experiences in dealing with the presentation of paper pieces.

I can imagine some nice, thick handmade paper as a support piece and that thick paper mounted, too...these particular weavings are fairly fragile due to their construction. But I am taking Elis' advice and have looked up the process Robert Burridge has used to mount paper on canvas...his work looks very nice.

You might consider mounting the kimonos on canvas, too. 36" x 48"...I think you can get nice canvases larger than that, so it might work okay. Here is the URL to access his newsletter and instructions:

If you have trouble getting to that, go to

Then click on the Artsy Fartsy News...this is in the February 2007 newsletter.

I hope this is helpful, Suki!

Thanks so much for your encouragement. I really, really appreciate it!

~Babs said...

Ah, I see now Kim,,,,and I'm sure you're right. The distance thing.

Andrea and Kim said...

It is hard, don't you think, Babs? Sometimes you feel something is the right way to go, but once you give it a try it doesn't work. That is also what happened when I tried to mount these on heavy paper. Because of the fragile nature of these, I could not use a brayer to securely attach these to the paper. This caused the paper to buckle.


I am sure glad I can bring these issues here for some help though!

Thanks so much, my friend!

sukipoet said...

Kim thanks for the great idea. Mounting the kimono on canvas. That way they have more "authority" than hanging on bamboo. I never would have thought of it as the canvases would have to be fairly large. But it might work.

Just wondering. I dont completely understand about your weavings, maybe I would if I saw them in person, but do you have to glue every part down? Could they be glued at the top say and hang free elsewhere? I know some paper weavings can be quite sturdy. I've seen in books ,weavings that are waste paper baskets etc. Then there is the house made entirely of newspapers, though not woven, glued I think.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Suki,

I will be eager to hear if you give this a shake. They would have a bit more authority on the canvases...if that is a look you wish to achieve. The other thing is they will probably be better protected.

No, I don't glue each part of the weavings. I weave the strips loosely, then manipulate the strips depending on the look I want. When I get this the way I want it, then I begin to glue parts of the weaving to hold it all together. These are single strips of paper...not folded at all. They are rice paper which is strong, but thin which makes it "floppy". The more glue I use, the stronger they will be, of course. If I glued all of the pieces perfectly and neatly, I might be able to hang them freely. The other thing I have done is glued them to tissue which helps to hold them all together, if they are tightly woven.

This is something I need to keep working on to be sure.

Thanks So Much Suki for thinking about this for me.

sukipoet said...

KIm I just checked out the Burridge posting and thanks for telling me which date to look under too. I do it almost exactly the way he does when I glue paper to canvas except i've never varnished it in the end. I slather so much acrylic medium over the whole thing it gets sort of varnished that way. Also I tend to paint my canvas to look like it's part of the picture rather than set the picture off against a contrasting background which I might try.

Both things you say about the kimono on canvas are true. What I'd like is to sell them so I think making them more formal is a great idea. I can't wait to get some large stretchers and try this as I have two kimono, one finished and one nearly finished.

Thanks for explaining about the weavings. I understand now. I find it fascinating. Just an aside, I made shoes out of handmade paper a couple times. One a children's size shoes. Both pairs sold as object d'arts not as shoes to wear. And I once bought a hat woven of paper. It was amazingly sturdy though i never wore it. I found it in a thrift shop. It was very funny.

And thanks for your inspiration re: book on inspiration. I have an order set up at Amazon for that bk, and Twyla Tharp's book on creativity and some fiction by Esther Freud, Lucien Freud's daughter. Who's writing I love. Now I just have to press the order this now button.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Suki,

You know I agree with you about the lack of varnish. With acrylics it just doesn't seem as though it is necessary...but maybe we will hear different from some others.

Hey, I think that is quite cool you paint the canvas to be a part of the paper work...two different approaches. I am sure both are wonderful.

Yes, if you would like to sell the kimonos, the canvas applications might be a very positive support for them. I will be very eager to see how that works out. I am also glad the R. B. directions were easy.

Wow, shoes from paper. Do you have photos? I would love to see them. Do you remember the disposable paper clothing idea in the '60's? Of course, thankfully, that never took off. But the idea of paper clothing art pieces is quite interesting.

Ahhh, push that button, Suki! Books...we all love them. I have been on a book purchase roll lately and am ready to do it again, as well.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful discussions here. I am always eager to hear what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

Phranc, a musician and artist, makes all kinds of clothing out of paper. They are not for wearing, they are sculpture.

Andrea and Kim said...

Cool, Chewy.

I am going to check it out.


San said...

Kim, I've expressed my admiration of what you do with these weavings. I am so tempted to touch them, but my software just doesn't allow it!

Framing: I work exclusively on deep, gallery wrap canvas. This, fortunately, seems to work with my "style" of painting. It's been a godsend for several painters we represent. One of our landscape painters used to put everything in traditional gold mouldings, but when he started using the gallery wrap, his paintings started selling much faster. Go figure.

A few of our painters do frame their work, however. And we show next to no works on paper. When we were in San Francisco, we represented a pastel artist who worked rather huge. Framing for him was a major expense. Shipping the work was a challenge too, but we sold a lot of it. For some reason, in Santa Fe, there's much more emphasis on canvas.

Andrea and Kim said...

Awe, San! Thank you... I always wish I could turn on various senses with various photos on the computer. Your kind words are very appreciated.

You know I really like the sturdiness of the deep gallery wrapped canvases and am particularly drawn to the ones without the staples.

It is interesting because I think even viewers are interested in the paintings as opposed to the frames which were, at one point, a very important part of art work. I suppose I am not at all surprised to hear the artists work sold quickly when the frames were removed. That is also the reason I think the floater frames are appealing when a frame is really needed for whatever reason. The bare canvas is also in keeping with the integrity of the work and the materials...sans anything to detract from the original. My personal opinion.

Mmmmm, I suppose I can see where canvas would be a positive seller there in Santa Fe. People have their perception of what the SW (and specifically Santa Fe) means and the unframed canvas reflects the natural, simple environment there. In SF, there are a lot more perceptions depending on a person's point of view. I personally see it as a vibrant, very contemporary (cutting edge) community. But there is also the Victorian history which is so strong, too.

Interesting things to consider, to be sure.

Thanks San for allowing me to ramble even more. :)

fiona long said...

Hi Kim,

I really love these woven pieces you do! The colours and textures are just smashing!

I do find the price of framing prohibitive! I was lucky enough to work in an art gallery a while ago and learned how to do alot of the framing so I got a discount but even then! I did get to mount stuff for free though if there were scraps of mount card around that I wanted to use. That was a great perk of the job!

There is a homeless charity around where I live where they have set up a framing business which I think is non-profit making. They do a pretty good job, it's for a great cause and it's about half the price! I wonder if there is anything like that around you?

I wonder if you should try fixing these pieces under glass. I'm sure one could still see the texture, even if they couldn't feel it. And it would stop dust getting caught in it! It's certainly a framing challenge. I'm sure they'll look wonderful whatever you do with them!

Andrea and Kim said...

Thank you, Fiona! I am glad you like these. Although the presentation is an issue.

Wow, what a great perk of working at the Gallery! When you cut those insides out of the mat board, then you often have a nice piece to work with again....that is cool.

I don't know of any charity type framing organization here. That would be positive. We don't have the same kind of charity shops you have there in the UK...which are amazing!

I have one piece which is flat under glass...not one of these...which works fine. The challenge with the larger one of these is the relief where it would have to sit away from the glass surface. I know if that happens, then I would visually loose a lot of the texture and color with the space between the surfaces.

Thanks Fiona. I really appreciate your input here.