Rhythm of the Rain is a paper ephemera artwork on an antique book cover. I love working with old books and papers. It’s almost like being an archaeologist, which was one of my dreams as a child. The idea of learning about the past directly, by digging up artifacts, always seemed exciting to me. I suppose that old books, magazines, notebooks, photographs, letters, ledgers, stamps, ads, postcards, packaging, and such aren’t really considered ‘artifacts’. They’re objects that were meant to be thrown away after use. But when I work with them, I do feel like I’m contacting the past directly. So much can be learned from these materials.
Many of the books have personal inscriptions, notes in the margins, and other ephemera tucked between the pages. I have a “memory book” that belonged to a girl who started at Wellesly Collage in 1911. She filled out pages ranging from “favorite classes” to “men I have met”. It provides a fascinating view into who she was and what her life was like. I found a Philosophy exam inside, which looked pretty challenging to me. It made me wonder how different the curriculum was compared to what students learn now. Another of my collages, For Emma, was inspired by a very touching poem someone named Emma had written on the inside cover of a book of poetry.
I like recycling and preserving these little bits of the past, giving them a new life in my paper ephemera artwork. This piece incorporates parts of a music book from the turn of the century. Old lace, stamps, and a piece of an old engineering drawing are among other bits and pieces. Torn book pages and stitching add to the antique character of Rhythm of the Rain.
This paper ephemera artwork may be the perfect accent for your home or office if you’re someone who enjoys the more personal aspects of history, or if you find the subtle shades of aged papers appealing.