Sunday, 8 April 2012

One way of dealing with junk mail or An odd way to spend Easter Monday!

I have been 'maturing' unwanted junk mail catalogues in the garden for several months now. The one above needs longer out there and is still very regular in shape and it's pages haven't welded together yet.


This is what one of the 'cooked' ones looks like when it has been dried, brushed and disinfected.



Here are the rest of my collection having had a coat of gesso. When they are all dry I shall gesso the other sides as well.


You get some lovely textures ...............................


........................... and very nice irregular edges.


The first ones I did two or three years ago were much thicker and took ages to take effect. If you use old phone books or yellow pages, break them into thinner sections depending on their original thickness. Even so, I found that as they dried out, the thicker sections tended to separate and distort into very undulating surfaces which were not what I wanted although you can gauge interesting bits out of the soggy surface. My much thinner ones will need to be flattened under something heavy as they are also buckling. They were put into the garden last autumn and when they seemed to be ready I laid them onto the greenhouse staging in January to dry out. When thoroughly dry I brushed them with an old scrubbing brush - any really stiff brush will do - to remove the dried soil and bits of leaf, etc. Then I sprayed them with a household disinfectant and allowed them to dry again. If you have no gesso, some spare emulsion paint would do just as well. There are no hard and fast rules and this is just my way of doing them. There will be variations according to the length of time left outside, the weather, the paper itself and the thickness of the catalogues, etc. I find that a thickness of about a quarter of an inch is good, and leaving them outside for about 3 months gives good results. Very thin booklets don't work as the paper gets too soft and just falls through your fingers when you try to pick them up.


When the gesso is dry, I shall spray or brush paint or ink onto the surface and attach various things for decoration. Numerous craft products and techniques could be used and I might even add some small pieces of embroidery.


Just to let you know that there are 'proper' things going on in my garden, look at these lovely young hosta leaves just beginning to appear. I thought I'd give you a quick peek before the slugs and snails discover them.













9 comments:

Heather said...

I do know how to spell the word gouge, in case you wondered!

Maggi said...

And you also appear to be a day ahead of everyone else. Interesting that you are still being a 'catalogue killer'!

Heather said...

Poor old soul - she doesn't know which day of the week it is!

DIAN said...

If I leave my catalogues in the garden the snails eat them.
Interesting idea though.

Ro Bruhn said...

Looking forward to seeing what you make with these.

Carol Q said...

lol - the things we do for art Heather!

The Weaver of Grass said...

You clever thing, Heather - what a good idea.

Heather said...

I can't lay claim to that idea Weaver - I got it from Maggie Grey. Now she is clever.

Jessica Maybury said...

I love your junk mail! Yummmm. I have a rejection letter that's on ever-so-nice headed and personalised stationary and I'm trying to think of something suitable....

any suggestions o wise one?