The art of looking
October 7, 2012
Feel the Fear
October 14, 2012
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My friend Alke, is German but lives in the county of Cheshire in England. I live in Cheshire, MA. We met this summer at Penland, and laughed at the coincidence of living in the same, yet different place.

A month or so after Penland, Alke sent me a reproduction of a Cheshire county survey map, with the suggestion that we do something with it together, she wasn’t sure what.

Today, I took it out of its envelope, nearly three months later and had a go with it. Five hours later I’m sending her the map, but with my own mark to it. I divided it into the two map sections and made those into one page books. I painted one of the books and cut out words from the map to make a dada-esque poem. With the leftover papers I created a simple accordion fold book graced with the ever present, at least recently, red dots.

I’m quite in love with what’s happening so far and I can’t wait to see what Alke does. She mentioned embroidery…it’s gonna be fabulous!

And a big huge special thanks to Tara O’Brien who gave me the best pep talk yesterday. This work was able to be started because of her. It’s been a long time since I just played in my studio without any pressure of having to get something done…and her talk helped me do just that. Thank you Tara and all the other encouraging people out there, especially those random ones that don’t even known they are giving you the thing you need.


  1. Playing in the Studio is good for the spirit! Its clear that you were ready for a good dose of free-plau and invention. I enjoy the pix of each facet of the map book and your dada poem. Love the painted map- and the measuring graphics with your signature red dots! What happens next? Is this a collaboration book?
    You obviously boosted your happiness by giving yourself permission to invent, investigate and invigorate. Can you hear me clapping?

    • Melanie says:

      Yes–this is some sort of collaboration book! I sent it to Alke in County Cheshire England this week–but I don’t imagine I will get it back from her until at least a month or two… But yes, it was good–very much needed…I look forward to another day like it this coming Tuesday.
      Thanks for looking!

  2. Tara says:

    You’re welcome! Anytime! 🙂 The work looks beautiful!

  3. […] And you can have a look at pretty much exactly what she did with the map if you check out her blog (which I can overall recommend anyway, as it is inspirational) here. […]

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