Skip to content

Buried Treasure Awaits

February 10, 2010

Disclaimer right up front:  I stole this idea from my blogging friend Gina who wrote about it at length in her blog. It’s the process of burying art papers underneath a nice layer of decaying vegetation to achieve beautiful aging effects. You will see from Gina’s link that she offers assortments of these wonderful aged papers for sale. It inspired me to try some of my own just to add to my collage stash for future work.

First, I had to figure out where I could bury my papers in order to keep them away from my four legged friends out in the yard. I didn’t want to deal with dog pee.

So I decided I would put them inside my little garden plot that is now being prepared for spring. It is completely enclosed and the dogs can’t get in there. Here is a view of my garden with my compost pile right in the center. This plot is larger than it looks. It measures 9 x 20 feet, a good sized space if you plan well.

This is the corner of the garden where I’ve buried my papers.  I didn’t want them to be under the compost. I wanted the environment to be more natural, as if they were in the woods. This corner has only a thick layer of leaves and pine needles.

I chose some full pages from a road atlas which I tore into quarters, magazine pages, torn pieces of rejected paintings on paper, and some plain papers with nothing printed on them.

And here are my papers, buried under about 4 inches of vegetation. Since this spot is where some decay has already been happening, the earth underneath the papers is very moist and full of organic matter. And we have an abundance of earthworms!

The only thing I didn’t ask Gina is how long this may take. I’m sure I’ll be checking their progress over the next few weeks.

I’ll show the results of my experiment in a future post.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 6:49 pm

    What a great idea Martha (and Gina)… I am looking forward to when it is time to dig up the treasure. I would likely “check” on the process so often nothing would age as it should:)

  2. February 10, 2010 7:02 pm

    Great idea for natural variations that are not orchestrated by humans. And I do love to dig in the dirt…lol~
    Can’t wait to see your results, Martha!
    Come on, Spring!

    • February 11, 2010 8:06 am

      DJ, I love things that are naturally aged. Buildings, books, wine, compost, even people!

  3. February 10, 2010 7:19 pm

    Martha, just came from Gina’s blog. My post there says it all.
    Thank you for posting re Gina’s idea.
    You are wonderful and adored.
    Mwah! Hugs n Hairsmooches~

  4. February 10, 2010 9:13 pm


    I remember seeing that post too and since I have a number of vegetable plots that are not in use due to the season, i have been thinking about burying some samples and see what develops.

    Nice to see that Gina’s idea is spreading.

    Good luck with your pile.

    Warmest regards,

  5. February 11, 2010 12:17 am

    OH, so many comments about how humans have used pee through time have run through my mind right now! I’m glad you’re not trying yet another thing! 😉 Can’t wait to see how these turn out!

  6. February 11, 2010 12:35 am

    my my … cant wait to see how worms in america work ! … there is that perception that ‘down under’ everything is upside down ::: sigh :::

    if you are BURYING them they should not take long i dont think … especially if you are tearing them up …

    i lay mine in whole sheets and often thick sections of books ON TOP Of the ground .. but i wait months 3-6 depending on the thickness … the thickness provides the layering – so a chewing circle up top with half a circle below, overlapping down to a dot underneath (that is blue because of the ink on the magazine) … i babble …

    Yours will be just wonderful … coz thats the way nature works …

    you will find your own rhythm of checking and knowing …i look forward to hearing about it … – the scientist in me wants to know … the artist in me doesnt care …. 🙂 (i only want to know the time, not how the clock works) …

    appreciate your link to mine …

    i echo DJ’s warm thoughts >>> Gina

    • February 11, 2010 9:41 am

      Thanks Gina! Lots of good additional information here. I wasn’t sure (maybe I missed that part) how thick my bundles could be. I am going to do some today using your method, just to compare those with the rather thin spread that I did under the leaves. Will report my findings!

I love getting your comments, so please don't be shy! Your feedback is valued.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: