Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Music Without Words"

“Music Without Words”

 “How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter,
 our fears, our highest aspirations?”        Jane Swan
 Our head is full of words and music. Where do we put it all?  Music is art, words are art . . .we put it out there, and in doing that, what you see is the WHOLE of who we are.  

Vintage sheet music and pages from a vintage book were used in this piece.  A metal skewer is altered to hold silver chains and a silver belt buckle hat. The mannequin head sits on a wooden platform covered in green tissue

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Blaze" the Carousel Horse

"Blaze"the Carousel Horse
I think it was Dale Carnegie who said
“One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy 
is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” 
Not true for this horse.  Blaze is ‘ablaze’ with bits and bling.  
 If you don’t dress to impress, why dress at all? 
Wooden carousel horse 15" tall, covered in several layers of papers and embellished with new and vintage buttons, bells, bits, bling, and other hardware.  The wooden base is covered with a piece of copper and lined with perforated Erector Set strips over the copper sheet.  Topping the carousel bar is a vintage glass dreidel. 

Oh yes, and the name . . .  is a horse from a Sherlock Holmes short story. . . . 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chair Family (the Others)

I love making these 'smalls'. They are fun to make, and they make people smile. The second wave of "Chair People" emerged today. The oak chair used to make most of these 'relatives' was found on the side of the road, broken and abandoned. Oak is HARD wood, that is all I am going to say about that.

First up is "Gladys" dressed in purple acrylic and green bling.  
Her arms are chandalier crystals, and her legs are skewers.  
Her head is the back part of a shoe stretcher.
Her hat is made of two painted "found" washers and her eyes are metal screws.

 "Harley" is dressed in a Cargo  cosmetic tin lid.  
He has drill bit legs and small wrenches for arms. 
His goggles are a vintage aluminum number 8. His mouth is a tiny clock gear.  
Oh yes, and his head a sweet salt shaker I found at the flea market last weekend.

"Lucille"s head is a grape cluster top cork bottle stopper. 
At her neck, 2 found washers. She is dressed in ribbons and beads. 
The flowers at her hands are vintage birthday candle holders. 
Her base is a bicycle axle end cap.
(I think she needs a face life? or maybe more of a neck?)

This is "Pierre". French for sure. He wears a red beret (wooden toy wheel). 
His face is a vintage glass bead with a silver band across it. 
To make his arms, I drilled through is body and inserted a metal skewer and bent it. (kool!) 
He is wearing a colorful metal strawberry, and his legs are parts of a piano (hammers).

"Ralph" is decked out in his alarm clock bell hat. Eyes and mouth are brass screws. 
His arms and hands are metal washers, with vintage metal gym locker letters.  
His legs are wooden corn cob holders.

 All are ready to hang with, what else, an aluminum pull tab hanger on the back.
These and the Chair People posted last week, are for the new show at the 
 Sebastopol Gallery opening next week.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chair People

This next group of assemblage pieces are lovingly called "Chair People".
The image above is part of the chair leg I used to make the sweet dolls below.

This is a group photo of all 7, they are between 5 and 7" tall, and all are ready to hang, some can stand on their own.

 "Dottie" is made with a wooden drawer pull for head, glass bead- eyes, red acrylic dots, and silk flowers for bodice and hat.

"Armando" has a tequila  bottle stopper head, with silver bead eyes, and silver chain neck. His arms are vintage bottle /can openers, and the metal lid of a  'Copenhagen' (snuff) tin front. His foot is a vintage wooden furniture wheel. sold

"Windsor" has wooden drawer pull head, brass BB's for eyes.  His arms are chains, his hands are metal washers, and he is holding a tiny brass fish.  He has a marble belly button, and tree limb legs He is wearing a silk ribbon bow tie, and a tiny leather hat. sold

"Ike" wears an alarm clock bell for a hat. He has brass washer eyes, and small ignition wrenches for arms and legs, his belly is a clock spring. He wears a silver star on his chest, and a single jeweled earring on his neck.

"Lacy"  wears a lace hat with a pink bottle cap top.  Green bead eyes, red bead lips. Her arms are tinker toy parts and her hands are tiny vintage keys.  Her legs are soft metal livestock ear markers and her feet are vintage keys.

 "Stan" wears a read measuring spoon hat, and bicycle reflector vest.  His right arm  is a link of a bicycle chain, and his left arm is the metal pocket clip part of a ball point pen, his legs are 2 dull drill bits. His eyes are brass washers attached with brass screws.  Sweet!

"Sister Shay"   She practically made herself. Her dress is a patent leather belt., her arms are vintage metal hair pins, her hands are shell buttons.  Coins (with hole) make up her shoulders.  She wears a small rosary. Her ceramic head is the result of a broken music box with 3 singing nuns.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


    Last year, my nephew Joe who lives in Dallas, found this vintage Coke case at a garage sale. He bought it and sent it to me, with the idea that I 'could use it in my art work'. I loved the case, but I had to admit, it was a much larger format than I normally work in . . . so I cut it down. Oh what a mistake that was. . . only because these old wooden cases were made to exact measurements, and the slats only fit a certain way. . . . putting it back together was no easy task. (and it's not square)
    The pieces of wood sat in my studio for months, and a few weeks ago, I got inspired . . . Recently, my next door neighbors (both in their 90's) found the need to move themselves into an assisted living facility. Soon their kids came and started 'cleaning' out the house, in preparation to sell. I saw, tons, (I mean tons) of stuff being thrown into a huge dumpster. (my favorite).
    I couldn't help myself, I asked permission to go through some of the stuff, of course they said yes. There were many things of interest to an assemblage artist like my self, but mostly, I loved the letters. 
There were hundreds of them. Hand written, vintage stamps, airmail envelopes, photographs, newspaper clips, christmas cards, easter cards, birthday cards.  A real treasure trove. I started going through them and realized that here was "evidence of lives lived".  
    This piece, "Secrets" has little to do with secrets, but rather it has to do with the lives we all live. Happy, productive, sometimes sad, creative and giving. Most people live their lives quietly, not boisterous or tumultuous, or with a lot of fan-fare, but simply, with dignity and with content. Such were the lives in
these letters. 
                                                                                  . . . .
    This piece begins with the letters, a stack of them, cut precisely to fit inside the cubby hole. Other things include a book, crayons, the colors of the rainbow, a ceramic black baby eating a watermelon, a bird and a book titled "Secret Squadron". 
    In the 2nd  half there is an abacus, and wheels that spin. Followed by a world globe that hangs and twirls, a king frog sitting on a golden book, and some comfortable shoes.  All very sweet.