Memory of Stones is a collage novel for children loosely inspired in The invention of lithography written by Alois Senefelder. This uncanny story is the personal account of an impoverished printer who by chance hits upon the technique of stone etching. One day in 1796, whilst researching cheaper alternatives to copper engraving, he was asked by his mother to write a laundry list, that he scribbled with grease on a stone. He later came to realise that with acid he could activate the chemical process of oil- water repulsion behind stone lithography.
I found the book at the Frans Masereel Centrum whilst learning the stone lithography technique. It is considered amongst the printmaking community as one of the most difficult techniques that I, with no previous training in the field, had to contend with. I felt like an outcast and a disappointment as I made mistake after mistake until some image finally came out of the stones. During this practice I had to grind the workshop’s stone slabs to erase images from previous users and these would reappear on the stone’s surface as memories of past stories that came to haunt the printing process.
The book is a sequence of 16 collages with ink sourcing material from outdated printed magazines I carried in my suitcase to Kasterlee to use during my residency at the Centrum. It is structured in a double-side leporello fold and printed in two large stones, 8 pages each. The accompanying text is a free flow association that complements the surrealist collage, none of them attempting to cast light upon the stone transfer process but rather revealing the demons that memories are challenged with.