Joining straight flush edges
I have been hiding from this project and getting myself in a pickle. I am afraid of it. How crazy is that?! I’m nervous of what it may bring up psychologically, I’m also nervous of the physical scope of the project. I want to be experimental. I want to be creative. I want to push the boundaries, but when there are so few boundaries to push against, the range of possibilities is overwhelming.
I decided to bite the bullet and just start. I have set myself up with limits. Since the project is about joining, I have tried to set up an experiment that enables me to focus purely on the form and structure of this, rather than being overly concerned about the complex interplay of texture and colour. I have therefore limited myself to white printer paper and thin white card, with joins made from the sacrificial dictionary torn. To affix I wanted to explore the most predictable and commonplace taping of joins – I chose to use masking tape because I can tear it by hand, it forms a ruffled and organic tear and it is translucent.
This failed! Good start! I wanted to create some kind of binding with the printed paper, so I thought that perhaps if I tore it there could be some kind of interlocking. I tore from the spine – this created a great shape but a rubbish interlocking binding.
I tore the folded paper from torn edge to spine, folded these tears forwards and backwards in an alternating sequence, then attached them to the paper that was to abutt the other.
I was pleased with the effect and contrasting sides that one surface was affixed and the other appeared to be held by flaps. I also liked the effect of the text overlapping and interlinking, like a story on both surfaces – some on the surface, some behind the scenes, not always connecting and torn in places, but making a whole nonetheless.
Being pleased with the interplay of the materials chosen I decided to stick with these and only change the join.
A much more simple join – a strip of printed paper affixed by tabs. I purposefully tore the printed paper so the words were vertical adding to the lengthening effect. The obvious experiment that remains is to see what happens when the paper is torn and the words aligned horizontally. With this join there is one side changed, the other simply cojoined. I think this may have been inspired by the old map that I was considering tearing up – on the reverse each fold line is taped with brown paper.
The previous sample called for an investigation in thin strips placed diagonally.
This lacked stability and was not so effective in and of itself but it did suggest the next sample had to be thin strips but not laid flat.
I am most excited by this sample. It still feels full of potential. I am going to consider this join further – perhaps in different materials or at a different scale. I like the movement in the join, the solidity and stability of the join, the bone-like cavern and the tunnel that asks to be explored.
I was going to call it a day and grabbed a drink, only in pouring I noticed how the plastic label was joined to the bottle. This was the hardest image to photograph, but hopefully this shot shows the grid/ netlike pattern that caught my attention.
I played with this form in Sample 6.
Then, back to Sample 5 for some alterations in photo studio, on instagram and with my cropping and rotating: