Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Week 24: The Map of Change

      The Oxford Dictionary defines the verb change as 'to make or become different.' Its origin is from the 13th century Middle English and Old French, from the word changier.. or chaunge, meaning to alter, exchange, switch;  and further back, from the Latin word cambiare, meaning to barter.  A Celtic etymology is also proposed according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. Though many words fall out of use as centuries go by, change is not one of them. According to, synonyms include: adjust; alter; diminish; evolve; fluctuate; modify; reduce; reform; resolve; shape shift; transform; turn; vary; accommodate; adapt; alternate; commute; convert; diverge; diversify; merge; metamorphose; moderate; modulate; mutate; naturalize; recondition; redo; regenerate; remake; remodel; renovate; reorganize; replace; revolutionize; substitute; temper; transfigure; translate; transmute; transpose; vacillate; veer; warp; make innovations; make over; restyle; tamper with... But in real life, change can mean so much more. The narrative of a life, which includes changes good and bad, is colorful and complex and uncontrollable. This week's book-of-the-week, The Map of Change, pays homage to change in all its forms.

the fluidity of change, captured as paint
   The Map of Change is a single sheet of Stonehenge print paper which has been dipped in a marbling bath loaded with colors from a day of marbling. Golden® Fluid Acrylics floated on a carrageenan (seaweed extract) medium created the complex image. Colors were mixed with other colors... the marbling paintbrush never washed, but transforming the other colors every time it was dipped into a new color pot before being touched to the surface of the seaweed bath. Sometimes the paint-loaded brush was flicked over the marbling medium, so tiny round droplets of colored paint covered the surface... growing and shrinking as they reacted with each other.. Reacting, just like humans do. We are never without impact on or from others, and we are never without change.

   The single line of text, The Map of Change, is also the title. The title was letterpress printed on the Pearl press at Paperbuttons Press using 30-point Bookman, italic type.

students' papers from a recent weekend marbling class...
   Earlier in the week, this artist taught a 2-day class in western-style (as opposed to Japanese suminagashi) marbling. For six hours each day, the students experimented with color and pattern as they began to understand the chemistry, art, and the magic of marbling paper and fabric. Mordents and carrageenan, surface tension and color theory all became part of the learning and community as the nine artists darted to and fro between tables and clotheslines, wash basins and ironing boards, paints and combing tools with their colorful dripping papers that moments before had been blank. Each finished piece was a perfect illustration of the day... it was a Map of Change.

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