Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ludvig and Mapping

Ludvig is at the gallery.  I tried a different clay for the heads this time but managed to keep them from blowing up in the kiln.  It still isn't the exact mix I want but I'm working on it.  He's holding a little shell in his hand.

I'm still doing maps.  What size is this? What color of ink do you use? Why is the paper rippled? How do you get that shape? Inquiring minds want to know and I will tell all, as promised.

The size is 6x8 inches, the paper is from a Strathmore Drawing paper tablet. When Susan puts the pictures on the computer she usually does a rough crop to eliminate the edges of my sloppy photo so the actual image you see might not show that proportion exactly.

We set the tablet open on the kitchen counter with a piece of aluminum foil under it and a piece of foil under the top clean page.  When we have finished drinking coffee for the day I take out the wet coffee-loaded filter and put it down on the page. Randomly, just where it wants to go.  During the rest of the day we sometimes push down on it. Sometimes the grounds spill out.  Sometimes we splash a little coffee back on it.  Look at the map above and you'll see a vague filter shape starting at the bottom left.

The next morning the filter is taken off, foil put down on the other side of the tablet and the damp page flipped over and a fresh page is ready for its filter.  At the end of a couple of days some of the pages will be totally dry so their foil can be taken out but the stack will still be several days worth high.  The pages are very rippled because they dried with a wet blob on them.

Susan tried ironing them.  Nope, didn't work.  She tried ironing them with a damp paper on them.  Smelled just like fresh coffee but totally diluted the color.  We've been given ideas about how watercolor artists "stretch" wet paper but haven't bothered to buy expensive paper. Yet.

The ink? Just fine point Sharpies and (preferably) Pigma Micron pens or Faber-Castell Pitt pens.  Once every page in the tablet has some stain marks on it and the whole table is dry I can start marking on them.  This series of maps needed a unifying element so I started by making dotted lines through every page first.  No thinking allowed!

Susan has told me to read the book The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet and the map illustrations look really cool but I just haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

However, I have taken time to watch the movie The Grey with Liam Neesom.  It's the movie about guys trapped in the wilderness as they are stalked by wolves.  I learned a valuable lesson watching that movie:  Never take a leak in the woods at night.


martha brown said...

These maps are FABULOUS!
I think not taking a leak in the woods is a great idea. I got a bit disoriented once when I was camping and had to sleep in the wild. And I thought that I was "leaking" about 3 feet from the tent. But it disappeared! The tent got lost!

Lost Aussie said...

Like the map concept and it's serendipitous execution.
More cool dudes since I last visited. Perhaps time to add to our collection of Madden masterpieces!