Tarot decks first saw use as playing cards from at least mid-15th century Europe. In the 18th century, some of these cards were adopted for cartomancy, where each card was assigned a divinatory aspect. Subsequently, custom decks were developed specifically for occult purposes and so the practice and the mythos grew.
Recently I discovered an old pack of plain index cards I had bought from Japan some years ago. Each 200gsm card measures about 90 mm wide by 55 mm in height. Drawn to their accessibility, I started to use them to test fabric, sewing, stitching, and colouring, their hand-held size creating an unpretentious uniformity. Yet their highly individual content and potentiality also remind me of the weight of a tarot deck. The story of their development is somewhat divinatory, directing the next course of creative action.
Left: coffee, tea, cotton thread
Centre-left: beach charcoal, tea, cotton thread, acrylic fabric
Centre-right: coffee, tea, teabag, iron mordant, cotton thread
Right: coffee granules, tea, iron mordant, cloth, beach charcoal, cotton thread