Soxy Fleming

Melbourne, Australia

Soxy moves between different media, recycling, assembling, capturing and bringing previously unseen things to the surface. / If...

Making of Plum & Rose

“The very first book of Plum & Rose” is my contribution to the sketchbook project 2012 for arthouse co-op

As with the 2011 project there will be a USA tour of thousands of these sketchbooks which will then end up living in the Brooklyn Art Library.

For 2012, however, this book will also be exhibited right here in Melbourne in the NGV Studio Federation Square….This is very exciting and I hope to meet up with other bubblers who are participating.

So here, in order, are scans from the cover right through the page spreads of my recently completed book. My chosen topic was “the first ever…” and an explanation of the construction follows.














What I did… First I removed the pages from the empty sketchbook. Then I made new pages from baking paper which I had previously used to make plum leather (read that story here). I machine sewed some pieces of baking paper together encasing dried rose petals (read about the petals here).
I also used a fine nib and ink made from rose petals to write on the cover and front page.

The colours from the plum staining are beautiful and I wish I had kept more of the baking paper I used…I cooked up many batches! I like the translucency of the paper and the way the colour goes right through. One gets to see both sides of the pattern and to see elements of previous pages showing through. I find the gentle gradations of plum colour to be absolutely perfect and the curved edges remind me (for some odd reason!) of Ayers Rock !
The baking paper has wrinkled where the plums have been in contact and, while it is still strong, it has a crepe like delicacy. It is a beautiful book to touch.

A note about plum leather – I selected my plums, washed them, cooked them up and then pureed them and removed the seeds. The puree was spread onto two sheets of baking paper on a tray and it then spent between 12 and 20 hours in a fan forced oven at around 50 degrees celsius. The paper I have used here was the one directly in contact with the mixture. The second layer also had interesting markings but I realised too late that these were precious art resources!! I gave the stained paper a bit of a wash and dried it in the sun.
I now have enough plum leather to see me safely through several treks into Mordor and home again …and enough to clock up big bills at the dentist!

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