Primary Tools & Materials:
PAPER CUTTER, PHOTO
Additional Tools & Materials: transparency film, tape, card stock, inkjet printer, camera, scanner
Today's composition took me somewhere unexpected. My original plan for pairing cutting tools and photo/video was to take two different landscapes, weave them together from paper, then cut the letter out of the intertwined photos. So I chose my photos (this one from a trip to Colorado, another from Antigua) and began to weave them. However, as I began to piece the landscapes together, I worried that the letterform would be secondary in this design, so I stepped back and asked myself how I could still weave, using a landscape photo, and make the letter more prominent. I rifled through my paper drawer and found some transparency film, and decided to print the letter, knocked out, onto the transparency film, then slice and weave that into the landscape - so that the clearest view of the landscape was through the letter.
Another mistake was to "weave" with a photo printed onto card stock. I should have used plain printer paper or photo paper, which would have probably been more flexible and easier to manipulate. The card stock was too thick to tightly weave one row against the next, which is why you see some white gaps in the letter's shape. That was not my intention, but a consequence of materials. I also think the dull matte card stock made the colors in the landscape less vibrant than they could have been on something glossy.
Piecing this letter together was not easy; I accidentally left some scratches and tears in a few places, which was disappointing. It was hard to keep spacing between the rows even and level, and as a result it slowly slopes to the right as you move top to bottom. The letter did give me the sense of a window into something else, almost like looking out of a window with the blinds closed. It also has the ability to play with light - either to highlight the checkerboard pattern (as in image 6) or to illuminate the letterform when backlit (image 7).
If I were to make this again, I might think about leaving the edges unfinished, so that you could stretch and shape the letter by tugging on the corners. It would be interesting to push the idea of window blinds, and make it more mechanical so the letter could somehow be transformed by sliding a tab or twisting the whole composition.