Collaborative Process

Process_chocolate_Orvieto2We are compulsive collectors and makers, like bower birds. Our home/studio is as much a cache as it is a place to live and create. We are intensely interested in how things are made, and in the history of the ordinary and discarded things along the road. Paul collects and produces photographic images as a way of remembering details, moments and travels – close and far. Carol transforms fiber into cloth, and combines objects, ephemera, and Paul’s images in stitched and beaded collage. We strive to live locally, wherever we are.

Our process is to work independently on a piece, a series, a new technique, a project, while consulting together about logistics, aesthetics, material sourcing, travel itinerary. We encourage the other’s independent practices. We admire the technology and good fortune that provides needles and fine thread, looms and tools to weave cloth, and the intricate machines that enable recording and printing images.

The collaborative works show the most evidence of passing the work back and forth between photo collection, material arrangements, and final presentation. We usually work in series, trying out variations on a photographic image. Bridges, roadside architecture, gardens, and ruins are themes we return to. Observation of change, by returning to the same places is important. We also return to buy certain kinds of chocolates, saving the foil wrappers for use in artwork later.

Making these works is a spontaneous, intuitive, and also very methodical process. Twinrocker handmade paper is the support for many of the smaller pieces, and Arches 300 pound watercolor paper for the large ones. Sometimes Carol makes the paper, pressing cloth or lace into the paper pulp to create texture with a sense of archeology. The grid for the beadwork is decided at the same time as arranging the collage elements. The paper is pierced for exact placement of the beads. The hand-stitched beads create a pattern anchoring the work and emphasizing the passage of time.

© Copyright Brower and Berry - site by GBA Design