Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Family Secrets


Family Secrets, begun in early 2014, has been sitting almost finished on my desk for most of last year and I recently decided to do the small amount of work required to finish it off.  I had originally thought I would make it for Robyn Foster's exhibition Personal Histories, but later changed my mind when I decided to make The One Pound Pom.

I'd made a Victorian Puzzle purse structure for my Christmas card in 2013, and was inspired to use this structure in another way.  I liked the way that even when you opened out the first folds, there was a second closure to be unfolded and it seemed very secretive.


I cut very large sheets of Arches paper and stained them with a mixture of tea and walnut ink to give them a very foxed aged appearance.  I made four puzzle purses and mounted them onto four pieces of heavy card covered with brown Canson paper.


These were then mounted onto a long aged and daggy piece of leather whose three edges I had folded and glued. The four segments then folded inward onto each other 


The fourth edge was the natural edge of the skin and had a pleasing shape which ended up on the front of the folded structure and was tied with a thin strip of pink leather, looking like something I could imagine having in a drawer that did contain letters or family secrets.  This was where I got to when the project was abandoned last year.


 I needed to make some little secrets to go into the puzzle purses, so I decided to make a small folded booklet for each.  I searched the internet for fonts that were attractive visually but difficult to read.  I envisaged something thin and tall.  I found just the thing I was looking for with a font called 'Disclaimer'.  I searched the family history and printed out a couple of facts that the family would have tried to keep secret in days gone by.


The book can be displayed with just one purse opened or can look quite stunning when displayed with them all opened with their booklets - and yes the secrets can be deciphered.

 

6 comments:

Elizabeth Banfield said...

Helen this is beautiful. I'd love to see it in the flesh to really have a look at all those secret booklets.

susan bowers said...

This book invites you to open and unravel, find out all its secrets. Love it Helen ..... and the One Pound Pom which I have just looked at too. Can't wait to see that in the Personal Histories exhibition.

Barry said...

H - great work - much thought and attention to detail - well worth completing - glad you did so. B

Fiona Dempster said...

Just love it Helen - all the elements work together and support each other, and it looks so beautiful with the purses opened...

Helen M said...

Thank you Elizabeth, Susan, Barry and Fiona - I'm so pleased the structure has had the desired effect and makes you feel like you'd like to explore further.

Jack Oudyn said...

An exquisite combination of great text and font as well as the beautiful little purses. Great photos but this wonderful book is even better in the flesh.