Paper Trumpets #13: Land of Plenty


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Land of Plenty



Notes on this collage:

  • That turkey looks damn good but it was kind of hard to find. Wanting to find a good turkey image for this special Thanksgiving edition collage, it actually took me a while to find one that worked well for my needs. I don’t like finding images off the Internet (feels like cheating), so I spent some time looking through several vintage cookbooks at Powell’s and found this beauty in The Modern Family Cook Book (New Revised Edition) by Meta Given, 1958. The copyright page says, “Over 1,100,000 copies in print.” I’m always a little astounded when I see those kinds of numbers in old books.
  • The Goodyear blimp was found in a book called Famous Blimps and Airships. I almost used an image of the Hindenburg blimp but it was a little too small. Did you know the Hindenburg had swastikas on it? It’s because the Nazi party gave the German builders money to finish the airship.
  • One of the interesting bonuses of gathering old images for collaging, and doing this column, is that I get to learn strange things about history, people, and places (those are Oregon mountains, by the way).
  • Most turkeys, even uncooked ones, cannot fly very well. This must be a magical floating turkey. Those white booties are called turkey frills. They were invented to cover up the gross boney ends of the leg and to add a decorative touch. Do not cook the turkey with them on. You will start a fire.
  • The Paper Trumpets spotlight this time around shines on Belgian collagist Katrien De Blauwer. She was my favorite artist in the new Collage book published by Chronicle Books and I’m currently a little obsessed with her style. There’s something deceptively simple about it, but with a deeply haunting and emotional vibe. For some reason, her work makes me think of rural parts of the US Midwest, even though she’s never been there. The mood and look of the Terrence Malick movie Badlands comes to mind. She’s currently working on smaller “Polaroid-sized” collages that she calls “Scenes.” When asked about her process and the keen sense of balance in her creations, she tells me, “I select and roughly cut out a collection of images, and when I finally start, it’s like everything around me disappears. There’s only these fragments around me. I get in kind of a trance. At that point I’m not really thinking, like everything happens automatically. Time seems to stand still. By this spontaneous way of working I come to unexpected results. Sometimes someone points out something that I had overlooked at first: a line that fits perfectly, a figure that is almost connected in the two images or an unusual association between images. I need to make them, it almost became like breathing.” De Blauwer also has a book just out called I Do Not Want to Disappear Silently Into the Night.
  • Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I give thanks to you for reading Paper Trumpets and enjoying my collages.


Kevin Sampsell is the publisher of the micropress Future Tense Books in Portland, Oregon. His books include the story collection, Creamy Bullets, the memoir, A Common Pornography, and the novel, This Is Between Us. His work has appeared in publications such as Pank, Sixth Finch, Poets & Writers Magzine, Yeti, Fairy Tale Review, Tin House, Best Sex Writing 2010, and Best American Essays 2013. More from this author →