Destroying to Create…

The problem with being a prolific maker, and rare seller, is storage.

My studio isn’t huge, but it’s bigger than some. There’s room for me to make large drawings on the table, and also for a music table in the opposite corner, and for about four people to drink tea and eat biscuits (or rehearse) without anyone having to sit on laps. It’s great, and I’m fortunate I know. But anyway, in the day to day accumulation of work, it becomes smaller.

This week, after many conversations with friend and fellow a-n blogger Kate Murdoch, (we talk about the stuff often), I realise that my stuff isn’t stuff I work with, like Kate’s is. Most of it is work already done, that probably won’t ever be shown, and much of what has already been shown may never be shown again. I also think back to the words of another friend, Sarah Goudie, who asks of her work “Has it done its job?”

(image from 2021)

So I look at the Giant’s Causeway of paper rolls in the corner and I ask the question. The answer is, I have no idea what it all is… let alone whether it has done a job!

I also think that I’m not quite ready to dump it all. It’s good quality paper that I feel sure can be used again. And I would like to have some sort of record of all these lines I’ve drawn. But I realise I am actually not that bothered about them being complete drawings… so that’s one good decision! 

I have decided that what I would like to do with them is make books. When the books are made, I may draw onto the reverse of the drawings, on the blank pages, or write, or maybe not. But now I can see how a row of books might be rather more useful and interesting, and easier to peruse than a load of paper rolls. And so I begin. 

I unroll and weigh down a few sheets on the studio floor and spray mist them with water and go home. When I come back into the studio the paper is flat enough to cut into pieces. 8” x 16” ready to make into 8”square books. A friend is coming over in a couple of weeks to help me start. So I am trying to get as much cut and flattened as I can. 

In addition to the sheets cut to size are a pile of offcuts. And actually these are also more interesting now they can be handled with ease. Maybe collage? Maybe just the ground layer for future drawings? I’m going to take a pile home to play with while I watch tv. Quite often letting my hands do the fiddling while I’m not really thinking about it, I come up with something I might not have thought about at the studio table.

The corner of the studio is already looking better. I do have a few rolls I am keeping, and at least I now know what they are. I have a couple of pieces I would like to work on, and a bigger pile of stuff to cut up. I’m feeling pleased with myself. The studio is a workplace, not a glorified cupboard!

2 thoughts on “Destroying to Create…

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