L’Art du Papier and The Jane Bowls
The Jane Bowls
In 2015, inspired by reading about an Italian collage artist working on glass, Collier McLaughlin dug into the storage of long ago wedding presents, and after experimenting on an antique pedestal fruit bowl, a new obsession was born.
Named ‘The Jane Bowls’ after her late sister with whom she shared a love of the arts and a store featuring local artisans, the Jane Bowls feature one-of-a kind collages of imported and handmade papers installed under the glass (working backwards). When the initial design is dry, a second, complimentary design faces outward, and is finished with 30 coats of varnish. The resulting art pieces are each completely unique, and utilize glass she ‘discovers’ in consignment and antique shops.
In March 2017, Kay and her master woodworker husband were invited to do a collaborative piece for a “The arts in the healing process” show at Arts Place in Lexington, KY- a first collaboration of their individual crafts.
L’Art du Papier
Collage work found Kay almost by accident, when her work as a design consultant brought her in contact with artist presenter Debra Hille, who utilized collage with found papers to create personal profiles; photographs of tulips taken at Giverney sent her searching for appropriate mounting paper, and collaborating with her sister and niece in a boutique and gallery found her utilizing her experience in newspaper layout in serving their business as merchandiser and window designer.
“I was surrounded by artists and artisans at our store, and I had to access many types of materials to coordinate and design displays. Then I walked into this paper store and found a whole world of imported papers, and everything I had experienced with Debra found me using any time I had for rest and relaxation from a very busy professional life cutting and pasting while bending over a footstool in my study.”
Fast forward a few years-and to a studio in her lakeside home where imported papers of every hue join her collages in a riot of color – something her work is known for. Her collages are “pure paper,” a rarity in the world of collage, which is most often associated with mixed media or found objects. “I was an early fan of Gloria Vanderbilt’s collages, and Matisse’s cut papers.” Additional influences include Picasso, Klimt, and Kandinsky. She has had one-woman shows, and exhibited extensively in shows in the Central Kentucky area.
A tryptich from her series “Homage to Music and Art: Matisse, Klimt and Kandinsky was selected as First Prize at the Stoner Creek Arts Creative Harvest show, and she has works in the permanent collections at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, KY. and The Church of Our Saviour in Richmond, KY. She has been commissioned to create collage for the Richmond Arts Council from which limited edition signed prints were sold for a fund-raiser, and was among Kentucky artists to have three works chosen to hang in the new University of Kentucky hospital.
Basically self-taught, she studies paper making with Kirsten Christiansen in Door County, Wisconsin in the summers. Among special techniques she has created and utilizes in her work are sculpted papers which stand on end to create particular shapes, and “stained glass” backgrounds created from minuscule bits of paper which she carefully retains in a big wooden salad bowl on her work table, which are then varnished, and against which paper figures are figural. When time allows, her paper collages are joined by fabric collaged on a line of jackets (“Magic Jackets” by KK, pillows , table toppers and lap quilts.)
“Thanks to a Grandmother and Mother who taught me to love fibers and needlework at a young age.”