D E V I N  ~  R U T Z


Cosmic Collage


Japanese decorative paper techniques using kozo fiber paper and sumi ink.

“Currently the oldest suminagashi sample dates from the twelfth century, although references to the technique go back to as early as 825–880 c.e. in the poetry of Shigeharu. Suminagashi is often translated as "floating ink." It has been used for various crafts including not only paper but fabrics, metal, and ceramics.”

- Jae Carey, The Metropolitian Museum of Art, 2014
I discovered this technique while between studios. Forced to create from home, this work gave me an outlet to regain the control I lacked in my life during those uncertain times; still settling into New York and hanging on by a thread during the post-2008 recession. Adopting a centuries old Japanese technique, I made prints by floating ink on the surface of the water in my bathtub and then layering paper over the surface. The resulting imagery was a fluid chaos that I meticulously carved out and collaged to form compositions that feel cosmic in origin. Something about lock-down during the pandemic reminded me of those first few years in New York and I felt compelled to revisit the idea, creating a new series.