Over the next several days the subject of my posts will be the anatomy of a box...well, not any box, but one of my boxes. I've talked about these narrative art boxes, schemed and dreamed about them for well over a year now. Of course I am influenced and find inspiration from the work of Joseph Cornell and, more recently, Mariko Kusumoto. Her box-like sculptures are Asian influenced and beautifully crafted and can be found at Mobilia Gallery in Massachusetts.
The idea of the box was my solution to being able to flesh out a story. I think I am a story teller at heart and while my jewelry has given me a canvas for storytelling, there is not always enough surface area to pull it off. With the ability to etch surfaces both inside and outside of the box, I now have plenty of room to tell the whole story, always being careful, of course, to leave some things for the imagination of the viewer.
For me it all begins with an image...although a word or a phrase is sometimes the trigger. I've mentioned in a past post how much I enjoy working with vintage imagery. There is something so visceral about those old images and the life led...a life I will never know anything about. I feel compelled somehow to create a life for them...to put their face back out into the world so they won't be forgotten.
The etching process that I do requires very high contrast images...a lot of vintage images just aren't. I spend quite a bit of photo shop time getting the images ready to etch. Many are faded or slightly out of focus and most are stilted in a way. The subject had to hold perfectly still for long periods of time in order to capture their image on film. To find a good vintage photo of a subject actually doing something is rare. I'm always looking for interesting hand positions and for how that can help my story along. I was lucky with the above image...with his right hand resting on the table (to steady himself for the photo) I have a perfect fist just waiting to hold something. In this case it will be a suitcase because this young man is THE TIME TRAVELER. Check back over the next several days and see his transformation and story evolve.