For the past year Jessica Burko has been creating sewn paper quilts. She uses her own photographs, vintage photos, and collected paper ephemera found at yard sales, flea markets, and in trash bins. Let’s take a look-see into her studio.
I began creating the quilts as an experimentation in using the many gathered paper items I had amassed in my studio – waste not/want not, right? I felt that before I make more prints, or buy new supplies, I should see if I could find a way to work with what I already have, and the paper quilt was born. I’ve sewn paper in the past and incorporated stitched elements into my work for several years, but never before had I attempted to use the paper and sewing as the only components on my work.
My South End studio is a great place for me to work. The space is ample for my needs, and is already covered with decades of artist materials so there is no need for me to be careful about splashing wax on the walls, or getting paint on the floor – anything that drips from my brush just adds to what is already there. I keep a portable record player in the space and when my hands aren’t too gooped up I listen to old tunes from Aretha Franklin, and various big bands, but when I’m working with wax on some of my larger pieces I tune in to NPR and Emerson’s WERS.For the four years that I have been working in the space I feel like it has become a second home.
All images courtesy of Jessica Burko.