Soul Speak Cards

The collage art I use for each New Moon blog is chosen from my Soul Speak Oracle Cards.
This is a 44 card divination deck and booklet that can be purchased via my website. (see link in right column).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Post #2 Now determined to make my own set of personal tarot cards I set myself to the task. My first decision was to start with "The Source" card. 
So what about the size of the cards? The SoulCollage people use 5X8" mat board. That seemed too tall proportionally. So I looked at my familiar Aleister Crowley cards and decided to go with a similar proportion, but larger--5  1/2 X 7 1/4. I can only suggest you play around with sizes and choose what feels right to you. 
I then decided to leave a 1/2" border of white (the mat board itself) around the edge of each card. I think this may be a very personal decision. I have worked with borders a lot in my art, particularly in the past, and just wanted to leave this option open. For now I'm just leaving each card with the white border and not doing anything else. I'm thinking at least the name I give each card will be printed there (later). 
There is no border on The Source card shown. It's just cropped off. Most people will extend their collage to the edge of the card. If you want space for the name you could leave the bottom 1/2" or so blank.
Onward. The next thing I needed to make was a frame with an opening the size of the collage. The material needed to be sturdy but not too difficult to cut and at least 1/2" wide. I cut my first one out of mat board and that was a real workout. Later I found a thin kind of cardboard material and used it for my second frame. Nice.
Anticipating the challenge of coming up with images suitable for The Source I decided to add to my collection before I started. Thus began a process that I am still engaged in, adding more and more images to my collage box. My greatest friends have been the library and the copy machine. Traditionally I don't put my originals into the collage, but rather I copy it, which leaves me free to resize. That way I keep my original for use another day (and some do seem to get a lot of use). I have an all-in-one copier in my studio and it's an important art tool, just like brushes and paint. So I can choose to copy from those library books at home or at the copy place in town. Economically speaking I figure it's a toss-up, and if the books are big and heavy (as are the best arty books) it's easier to use the bigger machines in town.
I recommend first choosing something for your card's background. In the case of The Source here's your chance to say that it's vast, mysterious, cosmic, if that's what you're sensing. You place this image behind/under your frame (which is sitting on one of those self-healing cutting mats) and don't even think of cutting it and don't worry yet about how it will be positioned. Next choose a few simple images that most likely will be cut out and positioned over the background. Once you begin to work with positioning remember you can now move your background as well. Spend as much time as it takes to get to a feeling of "yes, this is IT."
Now you can cut along the sides with a #11 x-acto knife (working on a cutting mat). To keep the pieces from shifting around at this stage I use removable tape. Also I place a metal ruler alongside the edge of the frame for a more accurate cut. Look on my Flickr page for some photos showing this phase. Next, these cutout pieces will be transfered and glued to your mat board card (I recommend cutting out several cards at a time when starting out so they end up the same size). I use glue stick.
In my next blog I'll discuss my thought-process in choosing themes for my cards. 

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