Now through June 1 you can experience the work of Joey Rice at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. Cloud Cover is located on the third floor of the museum. Regular visiting hours are 9:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Saturday.
The paper I make reflects a very definite sense of place. This current series, with evocative imagery of clouds making their way over water with a distant horizon line, references a fragile landscape. I am reminded that its permanence is balanced by its inconstancy. Changes may take the form of hurricanes, fires, toxic oil spills that alter the fabric of horizons and lend awareness to how precarious is this environment and our position in it.
I started experimenting with an idea that began on the morning I noticed cloud-like formations of fiber drifting across the surface of the watery paper pulp. I wanted to “catch” that image. The work developed in equal parts frustration and exhilaration, as I attempted to seize an arresting image of the constantly shifting sky- not as a record, but as beauty to be shared and honored for its intensity.
I discovered I could work on the paper before it is pulled from the vat by manipulating the surface of the water, allowing shapes to form before using a mold and deckle to pull the image out. I work in a large industrial sink that has been out-fitted with a heavy-duty garbage disposal used to grind torn pieces of cotton linters.
My challenge as a papermaker has been to use this technique to offer a fresh way and see and think about our place in this world through the language of color and movement and texture-not merely copying but interpretation the natural world around us.
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