Thursday, December 18, 2014

beautiful sources

Once again, I want to write about procuring materials/ephemera for my creative collage efforts. This past Tuesday, I spent half the day at the Farmersville auction in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with my good friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan. The auction itself is a wonderful cultural experience. In addition to some Life magazines from the 1960s (Life magazines are some of my favorite sources of collage elements), I also got some vintage books. One of the books was a Bible from the turn of the 19th Century with many beautiful etched images like the angel shown below. But the emotionally moving element was the page on which the owner of the Bible entered family information including the details of his/her marriage in 1902 in beautifully calligraphic red ink. I found this moving and somehow felt a bit "guilty" that I ripped pages from this tome. In fact, if by any chance, anyone who reads this blog has any information about this family, I would love nothing more that to frame this page and present it to them. In addition to the Bible, I also bought a lot of three books which included a book entitled "The Grammar of Palmistry" from 1893 (by Katharine St. Hill). This book didn't have many images and was not the one I bid on primarily. As it runs out though, I will not cut/rip out images from this book. It will be the second vintage book about hands and plan reading that I own (perhaps this will become another interest of mine... i.e., the history of this silly notion that hands/palms tell us something about personality. A second book -- the one which caused me to bid enough to get the lot -- was a book entitled "Steam". It included wonderful images of vintage machinery with beautiful depth (shown below). BUT... the book was even more beautiful than I initially thought AND it is SO beautifully laid out, that I will have a difficult time "destroying" such a wonderful piece of "art" for collage. The thing is, if I hadn't purchased the book, it may have ended-up in the garbage or in a musty attic somewhere. What made the book even more heart-warming was the hand-drawn inscription in the first couple pages of the book -- a wonderfully drafted signature and the phrase "Knowledge conquers riches" in old colored ink. I guess I just wanted to share another aspect of collage that makes it SO special to me -- the time travel and nostalgic and contemplative experiences it provides. I LOVE IT!

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