Stay on the Book Beat Floorcloth / New Jersey July 2006 / vinyl, newspaper, Modge Podge
This summer I took an online "design-aerobics" course from DesignBoom. The course was called:D.I.Y. do it yourself the past, present and future of making your own surroundings
Our first project was to used recycyled newspaper to make a piece of furniture or a home furnishing.
This floorcloth, "Stay on the Book Beat" uses pages from the New
York Times Sunday Book Review and a checkerboard pattern turned on the
diagonal (the checkerboard or diamond shape is a classic floorcloth
pattern). I like to think it will inspire me to read more.
Floorcloths were very popular in this country as a floor covering until the Industrial Revolution made mechanical replacements in the form of things like linoleum cheap and easy. A well-constructed floorcloth is very useful and will provide years of wear. They are water and stain resistant and a great way to express yourself artistically.
To make the floorcloth, I started with a black vinyl fabric (this
eliminated the several coats of gesso and the black paint that I would
have needed to apply to the heavy-weight cotton canvas which is
frequently used to make floorcloths). In keeping with DIY-aesthetic I
spent very little money, paying only USD $1.30 for one piece of vinyl
fabric that I cut to make two floorcloths; I had all of the other
materials in the house. I taped off my boundaries and cut images and
text from pieces of the New York Times. Using Mod Podge (a white glue
used for decoupaging) I glued the newspaper pieces to the cloth and
then coated the whole thing with another coat of the glue.