Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tools of the trade

Life is getting back to normal - busy is the term I think - and I have lost my voice.  Yesterday it was all sexy-husky; today I am channelling Minnie Mouse. I never realised how much effort it took to squeak out virtually nothing!

But I have been able to sit and do a bit of burning; and smiled when I looked at my tools of trade...

I keep the candle burning so that I can re-ignite the incense sticks when they lose their heat. It sits on a special piece of rock my friend Boris gave me (purple and green!)

An old book from our local library. The librarians know I like to mess with old books so keep them aside as they are culling their collections. I search the pages looking for the right words...

Our fabulous Redheds matches (totally suitable for a red head I think!)

Japanese incense sticks. For some reason I only like Japanese incense so always buy a few packets if I see it. I also like clean, clear, crisp scents - green tea is a favourite.

Torn out pages and a card to note the words, a pencil to mark whereabouts on the page the word is so I don't burn right through it! Knowing me, that is a sensible precaution.

And the word emerges from the burnt page. Not finished yet, but well underway.


  1. This looks really COOL Fiona!
    Love the thought and act of the words being burnt away and the eminent word being left behind.

  2. That last image is indeed very cool! Hope your voice comes back soon, Fiona.

  3. Thanks Robyn - glad you like! I love the way the burnt out words remind you there were words, but hides what they said..

    Hi Robyn - it is pretty cool isn't it? thanks and me too re the voice - I'm not so good at at not talking...

  4. Beautiful Fiona, just beautiful. Wonder indeed. Rest those vocal chords....

  5. So sorry to hear you aren't feeling well! Love the photos of the tools of your trade. The last photo makes me want to run out and buy incense to experiment with. Wonder how it would work on rusted cotton?

  6. Just reading this with the smell of incense stick and burnt fibres still on my hands. I saw some old books on the TV from Fez, eaten by book worms, they had the look of this work.

  7. What a wonderful look.....those burned out words....a big of magic with the incense! You have some rather interesting tools of the trade....and your voice, well, might as well enjoy the quiet for a time! Cheers and hope all returns to normal soon, as I know how frustrating it is!!

  8. A unique and wonderful image Fiona (pardon the pun). May your Minnie Mouse voice soon disappear and be replaced by the voice we all recognise...moderate and mellifluos (love that word).

  9. Who needs a voice when your voice comes out as art? I love the burnt pages Fiona. Lovely to read all your travel adventures, really it is! Thank you for sharing your life here with us. Always a pleasure to find what comes next. You can tell folk you're taking a vow of silence in the name of art. x

  10. Hi Lesley - a gentle wonder indeed. Today has been better for resting the voice, thanks.

    Jennifer - I think it would be wonderful - more circles!

    How amazing Jackie - you were really getting into it! I took mine outside so as to avoid smoking my brother-in-law out (who still observed me quite uncertainly I must say - wondering what on earth I could be doing!)

    Hi Patti - it's funny how incense is now part of my kit and I feel quite friendly with it! It's so meditative sitting there poking, burning...go well.

    Well Jo - I love mellifluous as well; not so sure I am but thank you anyway! Its stills scratchy and squeaky, but getting better I hope - rested it properly today.

    An excellent plan Louise - 'twould be great to keep that going for a while even after the voice returns. Glad you enjoyed the trip with us and the who knows what next...take care.

  11. That's an amazing image Fiona. Such painstaking obliteration of the words. Quite haunting.
    You take care.

  12. hoping the illness is more of a nuisance than a drain on your body... how wonderful that the local librarians keep their eyes open for you... this process is fascinating really - i love the how you are playing with positive and negative space here -
    interesting to learn about the incense - a popular indian one that i have burned in the past was a bit too husky for my house... will look into this...

  13. Love, love, LOVE this whole idea, and its execution.

  14. Thanks Amanda - here is a lovely sense of time standing still as I poke and burn, poke and burn.

    Hi MJ - yes MUCH improved thank you. as I was playing again today it seemed to me that the holes are positive and the paper negative space - so intriguing. Yes, I can only do Japanese incense, its not quite as clingy or something.

    Thank you LL - lovers of letters and words will understand...

  15. Love to see your process. Very intriguing, and a marvellous result.

  16. Thanks Carol - I too love sticky-beaking at other people's processes...


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