"I am fascinated by sequence and pattern, the structures that make meaning possible; I am curious about where meaning comes from, and suspicious of what we ignore in our desperate need to comprehend the significance of objects and experiences."
So says Jim Cogswell in his artist's profile for RIVER TATTOO. His 8' x 86' vinyl mural is all about pattern and negative space. Shapes and lines intermingle, morph, collapse and soar within the 16 individual panels and as a whole. The nuts and bolts of translating Jim's mural from his head to the windows involves computers, graphic programs, a willing and creative printing shop, and worker bees like Katie and myself.
For each window panel the vinyl comes in multiple pieces cut by a computer and pieced, sometimes by hand, onto a sticky backing paper. A layer of semi-transparent paper is put on top so that the vinyl is sandwiched between the two papers. The vinyl has one smooth side and one side with strong adhesive. To apply to a clean window, we tape the vinyl, sandwiched between the two papers, to the window in it's appropriate place. The paper is lifted up and the bottom sheet is peeled away leaving the sticky side of the vinyl exposed. We spay a thin layer of water on the window and carefully lay the vinyl down using a small rubber squeegee to press the vinyl into place and to press out as much water as possible. The vinyl is left for an hour or two to allow any remaining water to evaporate and then the top layer of paper is peeled away revealing the adhered vinyl. Some sheets are big and it takes two people working together to put them up, others are easy for one person to handle.
Jim placing sheets of vinyl while others are drying.
Bottom layer of paper being peeled away.
Peeling the top layer of paper to reveal the applied vinyl.