Thursday, November 6, 2008


Apron Strings. Copier images and chine colle.
Image size 17x22"

Strong emotional feelings about a subject is a great stimulus for creative expression. (This is true for writing as well as in creating images. At the point in life when this image was made, I was torn between the role as housewife and mother, and another desire to pursue a visual arts career. I had to work much harder, for longer hours, and still keep up with my housewifely chores in order to be an artist. In some ways working in an office and visiting homes was much less physically demanding. I traded it in for the personal satisfaction of being creative.

The shoes represented the two competing roles. The boot was worn in my print studio, while the low heeled shoes were worn at my previous job as a social worker. The two aprons represented the two different worlds, as well. I pretty much gave up the decorative apron for the practical printmaking apron.

As I worked, these symbols evolved in my mind and demanded to be pictured in a comment about my conflict. I saw that it was not my conflict alone, but one that was quite relevant for other women as well.

The piece was executed by using the copy machine as a camera, and then collaging the parts into a still-life sort of montage, which was re-copied in two parts on rice paper. The toner remained stable when the paper was dampened. The two halves were then placed face down on a blank zinc plate, flour paste applied to the back, and a damp print paper laid over that. The press rollers applied enough pressure to cause the rice paper to adhere and bond to the heavier print paper. (Chine Colle was described previously in The Homecoming.)

Images and Writing are the sole property of Ruth Zachary.

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