24 Sep

Altered Book: Constellation Of The Great Bear

Altered Book - Ursa-6

When I pulled the bear out to work with I started thinking about polar bears but then inspiration led me (and I can’t remember how) to the constellation of Ursa Major. I felt this was a much more interesting idea to work with and sorted through my other materials looking for further items to incorporate into the composition. I was glad to find a star map in my paper box to use as the end pages in the book. But when I rediscovered the rusted bed spring, scavenged from Bowen Island a year ago and forgotten about, I then had everything I needed to complete the work.

Altered Book - Ursa-2

I really wanted to do more with this book. The last two I’ve made have left the books as flat canvases. With this one I decided to fold and cut the pages and make it a three-dimensional piece. I spent a long time cutting and shaping the space in the pages where the bear would rest because I wanted to make sure he would sit flat and be well supported. The rusted bed spring also needed a lot of careful work to have it supported where it’s inserted inside the book. I reinforced things between the pages with cardboard so the spring would float over top rather than rest on the pages on the outside.

Altered Book - Ursa

The metal stars and red thread were a final touch. These are meant to echo the star shapes and the lines that connect them on the end pages map. I always find working with thread rather aggravating because it slips away from me as I wind it around things like the spring and stars, but I love the affect.

Altered Book - Ursa-5

Altered Book - Ursa-4

This work will be available for sale during the Eastside Culture Crawl in November. I’m creating as much new work as I can to entice people to visit me for the Crawl.

Altered Book - Ursa-3

Materials used: book, wood bear, rusted bed spring, red thread, metal stars, star map from an encyclopedia, glue, and gel medium.

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© Rachael Ashe