Sunday, February 19, 2012

Days of burning

It has been a real week of burning pages.  I haven't had much time or brain space for anything else and I have just plodded along. Whenever I got an hour or so I went out onto the breezeway deck and burnt more words out of more pages.

It really is a beautiful and meditative practice.

I started to put the pages together with used teabags and some encaustic wax. Or not. I fiddled and I faddled and I started over. It was that kind of week. Perhaps the head cold had something to do with my lack of coherence.

We have had such beautiful days - always a gentle breeze, mostly warm, and some gentle rain. Even in the rain it was warm, and the breezeway is dry. A beautiful place to sit and be outside with nature whilst I pottered along.

Rain on the breezeway deck; home grown potato on table behind shell!
Almost there; I hope to have these pieces sorted soon!


  1. This is fantastic…….I make a lot of work involving burnt bookpages, and the practise of burning books by authorities. This really speaks to me!

  2. F- all that incense burning has paid off - the pages look gorgeous. B

  3. time consuming but very effective, fiona... love the effect, will enjoy watching this develop!

  4. Your pages look lovely and I bet they smell good too.

  5. gorgeous! and the colors you have used as backing suit it so well... meditative work has its place - and these pieces sing of it...

  6. the large amount of word reduction through fire makes for a very interesting paper. i can hardly wait to see where you take this next.

  7. Hello to you! These pages are awesome! There are no failures (although of course our inside voice disagrees) here - lots of good experimentation. I have tried using incense and soldering tips mostly and I can't get this level of control. What tool do you prefer? Fantastic work and a lovely environment. I'm happy for you!

  8. Such a process.... but the results reallyhave a character all their own.

  9. can't wait to see the final work!
    your veranda and the surrounding landscape is such perfect place for inspiration and work...

  10. I love what you are doing here Fiona.

    I think the Chinese calligraphers who write on a single grain of rice, would be most impressed. (you are likely to know how to do that too - or have I just challenged you to something?) will you be selling these burnt pages? Is it important which books the pages come from or the different types used? I wonder..

  11. Really beautiful post Fiona. The work is lovely and I am humbled and inspired by your gentle acceptance of the constraints imposed on you this work. I have so much practice to do.

  12. Exquisite pages - I am compelled to guess at the negative words - but can never quite get them - maybe I will make up my own story. Can't wait for the finished product xoxoxo

  13. These pages are starkly beautiful Fiona. The shapes of the words tantalise as to what they might have said and the words you've left to stand alone are equally affecting. I love where this is going.

  14. Suzie - thank you for dropping by - there is so much to be said with burning books and pages isn't there? Go well.

    Thanks B - yes the scent of hippie was worth it!

    Thank you Suzi - it quite fascinates me and I will be equally intrigued by where it goes next!

    Hi Robyn - thanks, and yes they do! I also like their touch - but ever so gently.

    Thanks MJ - I love the slowness - you just can't rush it. The warmth of the waxed teabags with their different colours works I think.

    Yes Velma - it removes so much yet adds something more I think.

    Hi Hollis - thanks! I like the incense, it seems sort of natural and gentle. I go VERY slowly - letter by letter. I'm glad you enjoy them.

    Jo - you're right, no one in their right mind would do this...says something hey!?!?

    Thanks Anna - the breezeway has been the perfect nurturing spot to be this week and the final pieces are almost ready for show...

    Hi Louise - and thank you. It is very slow and time consuming but so is most of my work. I joked to Barry thru the week - I wish I could make quicker mistakes! Sometimes the books matter, other times they don't...the words always do. Go well.

    Hi Amanda, sometimes giving in and going slow is the only way to get anywhere, and I really enjoyed the slowness of this work as it accompanied me in my slowness.

    N - thanks! I think that knowing there was something there, and wondering what it was is one of the best parts of the pages...

    Thanks Lesley - it's the two things isn't it? What is left matters; but what has been taken away means something too.

  15. I like your work, so far, v. much.

  16. Thanks Jackie - the burning is a shared interest!

  17. love this work of yours....'burnt offerings'...very selective. yes to beauty. pick and chose and burn away.

    and then to add tea bags and wax...will watch for MORE of the LESS!

  18. Apologies for the delayed response Nancy - we have been travelling for work. Selecting a word that matters is important to me, and I always like to see what happens with the wax, and the teabags, and the whatever happens next!

  19. oh my - coming over by way of Jennifer - you can not - or perhaps you can imagine how this work speaks to me - last week I burned my hands - badly after falling on the wood stove - all incidents and esp. painful accidents have meaning and purpose in my cosmos - to see your work - now that my hands are healing is deeply moving - thank you so much for sharing - I may have to burn a page of healing...

    thank you for adding meaning
    to the concept of burn...

    xox - eb.


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