Monday, January 28, 2013

The Edge (again)

"The Edge (again)"
"This piece makes me think and it makes me smile. 
The words make me think, and the frog makes me smile."
That is what a customer said to me when he first saw this piece.
I have to grin, because that is the same effect it has on me.

Tissue papers and vintage maps are over-layered with sewing pattern tissues to cover the wooden game board that is the substrate that holds the words to this piece. Mahogany chop sticks frame the quote. A 'shelf sitter' hand carved wooden frog sits on a vintage child's wooden block finish the piece.

"Come to the edge he said. 
They said, we are afraid. 
Come to the edge he said. 
They came. 
He pushed them, and they flew."
I absolutely love this quote, which is widely attributed to Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), a French poet/writer.  I have made other pieces using this same quote, and I am pleased that other people really like it too.  I got a call today from the Sebastopol Gallery telling me the piece was sold.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Fish's Life

"A Fish's Life"
Ah, the fish stories these lures could tell . . .

A multi-photo, collage picture frame holds 7 vintage  fishing lures, and a vintage wooden hanger from the McDougall and Cassou Company - Men's Outfitters Phoenix Ariz.

In doing my research for this piece I was not able to find much about the McDougall and Cassou Company, except for this short except about the company's founder in the Arizona-Who's Who from 1913  (don't you just love the Internet?)

The glass is held in place by 2 blue knitting needles, found at the flea market recently. The piece is ready to hang.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Girls, The Twins and The Sistas

"The Garcia Girls"
Three sweet girls, "Naomi", "Yolanda" and "Laura", from an unlikely source: all 3 made from one of these pictured above, right. You can tell they are sisters because of their eyes . . . (apparently this photo was taken early in the process, because I do not have one of their eyes)

Made from a Japanese toy called a 'kendama", similar to our 'cup-and-ball' game, consisting of a wooden cup with a handle and a ball attached to a cup by a string.

 "The Twins" are 'Glen" and "Glenda", one in the same. Stylish and fashion forward, both cut from the same cloth . . .errrr I mean foot roller.
Made from a wooden 'foot roller' like the one pictured above left.

"The Sistas"
Three singing nuns came into my studio as a broken ceramic music box (similar to the one pictured below on right). I cleaned and cut and dolled them up and they became the Singin' Sistas.

Left to right the Sistas are:  
"Sista Sam" The 2nd of the Singing Trio of Sistas.  Sam is indeed a musical wonder. Reminiscent of Debbie Reynolds's 1966 movie "The Singing Nun".

"Sista Delores Heart"  Delores Hart, a beautiful film actress in the 50’s, often compared to Grace Kelly, playing opposite Elvis in several movies.  In the early 60’s Delores at 24, decided to leave Hollywood to become a nun, taking her final vows in 1970.  The Documentary “God Is the Bigger Elvisis a 2011 film about Sister Hart. When the film was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Sister Hart was in attendance. 

"Sista Shay" first appeared on this blog last November. A patent leather belt, vintage metal hair pins for arms, and buttons for hands.  Coins (with hole) make up her shoulders.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wine Tasting

"Wine Tasting"
The inspiration for this simple piece comes from living in beautiful Sonoma County California, also know as 'wine country', and often called 'God's Country'.

Although it is structurally simple in design, this piece is complex on many levels, and it 'speaks to people in different ways.
  • Most find it humorous. 
  • Some find it deep with meaning and symbolism. 
  • A few, 'gasp' when they get it . . .
  • A couple have simply asked, " is that a clothes hanger?"
The scrabble tiles spell out the sentiment "Wine Tasting  Everyone Welcome" . . . . begging the question: Are they really? 

A couple of years ago, I made a similar, smaller piece also titled "Wine Tasting".  It was so much fun to make, I wanted to do it again.

A resin plaque featuring the last supper has been cut to fit inside a game box lid. Vintage wooden hangers and rulers frame the scene. The lid box is covered inside and out in vintage decorator papers. The piece is signed, dated and ready to hang.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Little More Than A Foot


"A Little More Than A Foot"
This piece has been on my work table (and in my head) for a year or more.  But for some reason, I was not able to finish the piece.
Several weeks ago I read an online article titled A Soleful Life, about a shoe repair shop owner named Guiseppe (Joe) Campieri. I was so touched after reading this story that my motivation to finish this piece was renewed.

  Photo by Adam Williams

This piece itself, is simple, yet complex on many levels. I love the idea of containing things in boxes. I almost always like to cover the boxes with in glass. But for some reason, this one stumped me. The shoe form is full of age earned patina, and surface scratches that come from a lifetime of useful service as a cobbler's shoe form or perhaps even as a shoe stretcher.
I really like the idea of allowing the viewer the ability to touch the nicks and 'scars' the piece has earned in it's lifetime. So I opted for no glass.
The shoe form is contained in a single bottle wine box from the now defunct Quail Ridge Winery. This was another reason I struggled so much with this piece (the Quail Ridge brand is owned by the same guy that makes 2-Buck Chuck wine and in the past few years the company has been involved in some pretty creepy labor and legal issues.)

The vintage shoe form is a G.E. BELCHER STOUGHTON industrial shoe form is made of wood and iron. On the top of the foot form, you can read the words "Oil All Moving Parts".
The inside and back of the box is covered in text from a vintage encyclopedia. I overlaid the back side of the box with pattern tissue. The back is embellished with a found metal roof nail cap, used to hold the shoe form in place. A skirt marker frames and finishes the front of the piece.

I love the richness of the wood in this vintage shoe form, and the stories it can tell.