Wicked has certainly been a popular theme in altered art and mixed media projects (much like Alice in Wonderland) since the debut of the musical. I had another opportunity to work in a Wicked-themed book this month. The challenge for me was how to keep it fresh.
So, I'm at a church rummage sale and I'm rummaging through the piles and piles of clothing and what to my wondering eyes do I see? I almost can't believe it myself! It's a black tee shirt with a screen print of an old barn on a farm. You see where this is going, don't you?
I couldn't imagine my fortune when I realized that the image on the tee shirt was approximately the same size as my spread in the Wicked book. Now the cogs of my brain start to turn...I had been browsing through some of my altered art technique books for fresh ideas for a few of the projects that I have coming up. One of the ones that caught my eye was a spiral "pop-up." I had seen these before in handmade cards and always wanted to use this technique in my work somehow. Aha! This pop-up spiral could resemble a tornado. Yes, a Kansas tornado! Now do you see where I'm going with this thought?
I created a prototype to figure out the right size and proportion for my spread given the tee-shirt background. And just to test it out, I asked my husband to see if my pop-up spiral created the illusion I was going for. My husband was born and raised in Kansas (which may have worked to my advantage). He immediately recognized my crude spiral as a tornado.
I wrestled with how to attach a cut tee shirt image to a book's pages. I decided that I would place two pieces of felt as a backing and blanket stitch the edges all the way around. I ended up creating sort of a book cover or jacket that I could slip the pages of the book into anchoring my tee shirt background. It gave the edges a nice finished look. I was really liking how this was turning out!
Next, I created my pop-up spiral which is just 1/2" wide spiral cut from a 6" circle. I used glue dots which adhered the cardstock spiral to the tee shirt better than I thought they would. The mechanism worked beautifully, but my tornado seemed a bit sad. It was a little too thin to be the menacing tornado we see in the Wizard of Oz. So I got this idea to create two spirals going in opposite directions interlocking. This gave my tornado a bit more substance. I just had to be careful that the two interlocking spirals would still be able to lay flat so the book could close. With some coaxing, it worked.
While I was happy with the way my spread was coming along, something was still missing and it wasn't the ruby slippers. I toyed with the idea of writing in the sky "Surrender Dorothy" or the "Hate Kansas. Taking the dog. Love, Dorothy" or the "Hate Oz. Took the shoes. Find your own way home. Love, Toto" but none of these was just right. Since this spread is in black and white, what it really needed was a silhouette of Miss Gulch (aka the Wicked Witch of the West) riding her bike. In the end, I settled for the silhouette of a witch riding her broom across the Kansas sky.