Gauche Alchemy, brain child and passion of co-owners Amy Wing and Heather Pearson, specializes in kits full to the brim of fabulous finds and artistic goodness; if your addiction is vintage ephemera, found objects, beautiful fabric, trendy paper, or unique embellishments, they're here to enable you. In the following interview, I spoke with Amy about their work.
ephemera: How did you become interested in working with ephemera in your mixed media?
Wing: I think that vintage ephemera is charming and nostalgic. It can also provide a political statement to artwork in the case of racism or genderism that were so prevalent and accepted in the past. Mixed media paper crafting and art were an interest I had been following for some time, and though I still feel that I am an amateur artist, I wanted to make available supplies that could be inspiring for both established artist and paper crafters wanting to emerge into a different, more edgy style.
ephemera: What challenges or obstacles do you encounter working with ephemera? How do you overcome these challenges?
Wing: The obvious challenges include the fragility of working with vintage papers. We pride ourselves on offering mostly original ephemera rather than reproductions. Many artists varnish or otherwise protect their finished project, which protects the ephemera.
This type of paper is neither acid nor lignen free, which is sometimes an issue for those using family photographs in their work. Of course, the lack of lignen creates an aged look which we appreciate. We also occasionally provide tips for protecting photos in memory books or art journals that include photographs. This might include layering a "safe" paper or object between the ephemera and photograph or reproducing the photograph.
ephemera: What are some of your favorite items that you've created?
Wing: I have created paintings with ephemera peeking out in certain areas, memory book pages with corresponding images appropriate for the subject of the page, and altered objects such as tins or mini-books. Ephemeral elements are usually combined with newer elements such as manufactured paper or found objects.
The "blogosphere" includes an amazing amount of creative ideas from both professional and amateur artists. Most blogs contain links to similar blogs - I literally have hundreds, perhaps thousands of such blogs on my blog reader. (Of course, I only dip in every now and then -- no one could read all those blogs every day!) Most people have some favored blogs they check on a regular basis. We have frequent followers on our own blog whom we get to "know" quite well. Many of them have been "champions" for us in spreading the word about the various inspirational ideas, projects, interviews, tutorials and artwork that we profile. There are many other blogs with similar content.
ephemera: Thank you, Amy.