Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Instead of working...

Despite the fact I have a couple of commissions lined up that will be paying me money to do them; and the other fact that I'm preparing for more work-work in Melbourne, which also helps pay the bills, I got distracted.

In fact it doesn't take much to distract me I must say.

There I was planning to draw up all these lines for calligraphy and work on a couple of layouts when the siren song of incense burning called me. And who am I to resist?

Its an interesting reflection for me how some works take over your life your mind, your thoughts, your dreams.  This most recent book with Susan, which isn't actually due until the end of January, has done that to me in the past week or so. I close my eyes and think of options, I try things out, I scribble notes, I dream of more ideas.  And yet, I have months to do it in!

The commissions on the other hand are due in the next few weeks and I should really be head down bum up and working on them.  But I will.

So I started trying cut out some letters from the scraps of pages I had left over.

And then I tried to burn the edges.  I like the life in these words, despite the fact they have been burnt.

This jumble of them all together was particularly nice I thought.

Book, before and after.

I still find burning with incense the best way for me to control the burn. I sit quietly in the studio, with my candle burning and dip my incense stick in to get a flame and that hot-red look, then burn a bit, then re-light the incense. All so slow and meditative.

You can see by the number of holes in my backing paper how often the incense tip breaks - I end up putting out little scorches here and there as I go along.

I was checking here to see if you can burn the top edge of a page effectively.  So much fun.

As ever, I don't know where this will lead or even if I'll use it in the final piece. But half the joy of making is the exploring and testing I think, those lovely unanticipated meanders, following an idea or two down a path...


  1. "when the siren song of incense burning called me. And who am I to resist?"

    Can I admit to the hearty chuckle this statement brought? When you talk about incense, I can't help picturing you as the quintessential 60's hippie - long flowing skirt, peasant blouse, sandals, flowered and/or peace-signed headband holding your hair back while quietly declaring your stand for peace, love and art to all.

    Actually, I love your burned work. It inspires me to bring out my own incense and play. Alas, no time. I'll watch from afar and burn a stick in solidarity. Enjoy!

  2. Love this look. I am not so patient so I use a soldering iron for this kind of work.
    But thanks for the brilliant prompt! I have not been able to think of something for the second letter set for ALAW (or rather, I have thought of too many things and haven't settled on one!) but I have been wanting to get back to burning something. So...put the two together!
    Now to put it into practice!
    Sandy in the UK

  3. I love what you do with letters...and a flame!

  4. That incense stick is like a magic wand in your hands Fiona! Loves these looks and the way you are letting the materials lead your direction.

  5. I agree with you so much - at least half the joy of being creative is in the testing and trying out and that wonderful sense of self-absorption that goes with it all.


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