Friday, March 21, 2008
I found this image of a man and his horse at a flea market. The original is tiny...just 1.5 x 2.75 inches...it is slightly tattered and cost me a whopping 70 cents. This little image is like gold to me because of all the questions it stirs. Who was this man...where had he been plowing...what was the name of his horse...who took the photograph...was it a long walk home?
The neckpiece I made from this image is photo-etched sterling silver with a copper roof. It hangs from a sterling silver snake chain and measures 1.25 inches wide x 2.5 inches tall and is just under .25 inches thick.
The back shows an etching of moon phases which, for me, not only represents the passage of time but also are symbolic of planting and crops. Perhaps, after a long day of plowing, the man and his horses walked home under a canopy of stars.
This is the original. I've owned it for several years and am still moved by the captured image after all this time.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
AFTER THE HONEYMOON is the second box that I exhibited at the DOOR show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts. This is from one of my favorite vintage images...I've used this image in different art mediums for years. It's classic...the great car...the problem with the great car...the honeymoon and love affair with the great car being tested...the wonderful angle of the leaning man, his arm and the hood. I can't help myself...I would love this image even if it weren't my dad on his honeymoon. It was a 1942 Chevy Coupe that hauled my newly married mom and dad to Sequoia National Park from Hot Springs, Arkansas for their honeymoon. They had car problems on their return trip just outside of Salt Lake City on the edge of the desert. I think my dad said that a belt broke and he had to replace it with the belt that held his pants up. My mom was the photographer...I think she did a great job capturing the ordeal. Click on this image to enlarge it.
The other layer of this box is about crows and counting them to divine the future. There is an old traditional rhyme...
ONE IS FOR BAD NEWS
TWO IS FOR MIRTH
THREE IS A WEDDING
FOUR IS A BIRTH
When the car door is opened, three surprised crows peer out...THREE IS A WEDDING.
The box is 12.75 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall by 2 inches deep. The back wall is photo-etched red brass and the car and crows are etched nickel. The door is hinged and really works. The box itself is cherry with an inlaid strip of flying crows in nickel. There is a thin layer of mica on all the windows of the car.
Here is the original photo that inspired this piece.
Friday, March 7, 2008
I can't remember a year when I've looked more forward to the arrival of spring. It's not that it has been a hard winter...it's been mild here in Port Townsend...it's more about the light and the sun and some signs of hope. At my house some of those signs include the early morning songs of birds...a pair of chickadees checking out one of my birdhouses...rough skinned newts migrating across the road toward the water...pussy willows about to burst open...and just a general lifting of the spirit.
Tonight at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts is the opening of a show called DOORS. I have two pieces in the exhibit...this one is titled WATCHING FOR SIGNS OF SPRING. It is 2 x 5.75 x 10.75 inches. The front of the house is photo-etched red brass and the back wall, door, roof and the vintage image of the woman is photo-etched nickel. The framework of the box is cherry. I was determined to make a house that was not a rectangle. It's been many years since I've taken geometry and figuring out all the angles and making tight joints was a real challenge. It's hard to tell in the photo but there is mica behind the window and just beyond that a small bird on a nest. The swallows on the inside of the door are a traditional symbol of spring and the hands on the outside of the door are symbols of welcoming. The woman is holding a large bouquet of spring flowers and represents that place within the heart that longs to dig in the dirt this time of year. You can tell by the original photo that she is someone who long loved flowers and birds and rough skinned newts and all the hope that comes with spring.