Recently I took a virtual workshop through the National Gallery of Art on collage book covers. The inspiration for the collages were based on the Gees Bend Quilters, a group of quilters from Gees Bend Alabama known for their unique quilting style. While I did not make a book cover, I did make several very small paper collages based on the stylings made so famous by this remarkable group of women. The way in which the Gees Bend quilts are pieced together spoke to me as they are not in the traditional block style quilts with perfect symmetry. My description of their quilts would do them no justice so I encourage you to take a peek for yourself by clicking the link here to get to the exhibition at the National Gallery of Art where you can see, watch videos and read about them. I have been very fortunate to see some of these quilts in person as well.
For my project, I used a very small 4″ x 6″ wire bound sketch book. I wanted to approach these collages with not only the inspiration of the Gees Bend quilts, but also with minimalistic design elements which I am very interested in, generally speaking. The first paper quilt does sort of use a block style but that is because I was trying to follow some of the guided suggestions by the workshop instructor, Sarah Matthews. The rest go in a different direction. Below are my first six from the sketch book.
Many of the papers are ones that I printed myself for different projects, the second example is a paper towel stained with paint marker that my husband made when we took a jewelry workshop a few years ago, others are various forms of ephemera I had saved.