I remember the first time my dad went away to Alaska for business; finding the spot on the very top of a map tacked up to the wall of his office, almost off the print and onto the painted wall, and tracing my way back home.
I remember the first time my sister went away to Spain; searching online to figure out exactly how big the world was and mapping flights with my mouse, there and here and there again.
I remember the summer of junior year, when I started collecting dusty old atlases from a local thrift store. Piling them in my closet and taking them out to ponder over the new editions printed each year and how little and largely the world seemed to change.
I remember that same summer; crafting my own map from fabric and glue with the same sister I’d trace the flight pattern of before the end of that year’s vacation.
That was a good summer.
The Project: Canvas and Fabric Wall Map
The Inspiration: A variety of world map collages found on the Internet. Primarily this one:
The Materials: Pre-stretched canvas from AC Moore. A variety of colorful fabrics. Glue. Gold paint. Wax paper. Permanent marker. Scissors. Pins.
The first step was to create the world outline. An extremely talented friend drew mine with pencil directly onto the canvas.
Next came the tedious part. Using wax paper, my sister and I traced each individual country and cut them out. We pinned each to the different fabrics to be cut again. We went continent by continent in hopes that it would keep us from getting confused during reassembly. (It worked some of the time.)
Little by little, we glued each fabric country to the canvas using the pencil outline as a guide.
Once the puzzle process was over, we left the canvas alone to dry for a full 48 hours.
When it was done, we went in with a soft eraser and removed any visible pencil lines.
After the canvas was all cleaned up, I took gold paint and added a very light layer over both the fabric and the canvas to give it an antique feel. I used a rag in some places to remove the paint, while leaving it heavier in others.
48 hours, plus an entire summer and many memories later, I had a new piece of wall art to hang up in my bedroom.