Tag Archives: altered map

Threadworks 2013

Sunday April 28th was the wonderful day I received my award at the Threadworks 2013 exhibit of needlework at the Wellington County Museum and Archives in Fergus, ON, Canada. You can read about my entry here, But Will It Hold Water. The quality and creativity of the needlework was outstanding. And the show was beautifully hung in a lovely exhibit hall. I was thrilled to be included amongst such amazing handwork.But Will It Hold Water

Jenny & Ev at ThreadworksIMG_0109

Below the Surface by Laurie Lemelin

Below the Surface by Laurie Lemelin

Spring Thaw by Tracey Lawko, Free Motion Embroidery Award

Spring Thaw by Tracey Lawko, Free Motion Embroidery Award

Besides having my family and close friends in attendance, one of the many blessings of the day came in the words of one of the jurors, Judy Martin, a textile artist from Manitoulin Island. She spoke with passion about the life of an artist, why make art and the juxtaposition of thread, cloth, touch and water.

Award Winners with Juror, Judy Martin

Award Winners with Juror, Judy Martin

Photo credits: urbanspool.comIMG_7187IMG_7188

Altered Map Encaustic Bowl

Today I engaged in some dedicated time in my studio to experiment with new processes. I’ve always enjoyed working with paper, especially maps*. And I’ve done coiled basketry for years. I recently learned encaustic, basically painting with hot beeswax. I thought I would try to combine them all. I came up with an altered map encaustic vessel.

(If you curious to know why my globe is upside down read this post.)

IMG_6670I started with this flat paper National Geographic map of Florida which I found at a yard sale. Yes, I rip up old maps. Horrors you say! I rip up old books too which may make some of you cringe as well. Because I like recreating one thing into another beautiful and useful new object. (It’s alright to deposit old road maps, atlases and the like, on my front porch). 
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I ripped the map into strips and with jute macrame rope, coiled the paper around the rope and sewed up the vessel using a heavy duty stitched zig-zag. Shaping it is the hard part, like throwing a pot on a wheel. Keeping it from getting wonky is tricky. That’s if you want to keep it straight! My style is definitely not symmetrical.

Next I painted the entire bowl with encaustic medium using a hake brush. Layering and layering until all of the paper was basically covered. I suppose if I had done another couple of layers it could have been waterproof. My husband, funny guy that he is, suggested that it wouldn’t be a good idea to use it for his morning cereal. And it’s a whole lot too big for that.IMG_6665IMG_6677I like the thick, crusty wax parts and the drips. IMG_6674

A little buffing with a cotton rag and voila!  A bowl, substantial enough to easily hold something solid and smelling like honey too.IMG_6671

I suppose I should entitle this one “Florida Reimagined”.IMG_6673This is just a prototype so watch my Etsy shop for more to come.

Check out my encaustic board on Pinterest.

* This altered map is on the CBS sitcom set of Mike & Molly.

Looking at the World Upside-down?

Our son lives in Australia. When you look at a globe it’s always kind of hidden underneath. So I decided to rectify that.


Especially after watching this engaging clip from one of my favourite former dramas, West Wing.

The Peter’s Projection map was an eye opener for me too when I was first introduced to it whilst working for Ten Thousand Villages back in 1991.Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 9.25.07 AM

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Wasn’t Greenland nearly the same size as Africa? NOT

The ever-so Euro-centric Mercator map was all that was on sale when I was in school.

When my daughter found this cool old roll-up map to decorate her living room it brought the whole thing back into focus again for me. In fact this 1950’s map even shows the British Commonwealth and Greenland is enormous! Read about her map on her blog, Urban Spool.


Looking for the Peter’s Projection map I came across this one produced by a cheeky Australian in 1979. McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World. This is the write-up which accompanies it.

At last, the first move has been made – the first step in the long overdue crusade to elevate our glorious but neglected nation from the gloomy depths of anonymity in the world power struggle to its rightful position — towering over its northern neighbours, reigning splendidly at the helm of the universe. Never again to suffer the perpetual onslaught of “downunder” jokes — implications from Northern nations that the height of a country’s prestige is determined by its equivalent spatial location on a conventional map of the world. This map, a subtle but definite first step, corrects the situation. No longer will the South wallow in a pit of insignificance, carrying the North on its shoulders for little or no recognition of her efforts. Finally, South emerges on top. Spread the word. Spread the map! South is superior. South dominates! Long live AUSTRALIA — RULER OF THE UNIVERSE!! © 1979. Rex Publications. All rights reserved.Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 7.25.02 PM

Because our son lives ‘down under’ I’m thinking a lot more about maps, globes and the size of everything. That’s why I turned my globe over, in order to reorientate by brain.

What do you think?  Do different types of maps disturb you, shake up your worldview or cause you to think differently about the way you have been taught? Leave a comment.