Wednesday, November 26, 2014

City of Wonder

"City Of Wonder"
What can I say?  I am onto something new, here . .  .

BACKSTORY: A few months ago, when the building where my studio is located was undergoing remodeling, I asked for and was given 3 foot long pieces of scrap 4"x4" wood by Rogelio, the construction supervisor on the site. When he gave them to me, I could tell he was confused as to what I was going to do with this leftover pieces of wood.

A few weeks later, the construction work ended, and Rogelio moved on to another site, and I was not able to show him the finished piece, but you can see it HERE. I titled the first cityscape "Aspires".
I think Rogelio would have been pleased.

All that to say, that I have really enjoyed making these 'city scapes' so much that I am currently working on my 4th in the series.

This one, "City of Wonder" is #2 of the series.

"City of Wonder" is smaller that "Aspires", but just as interesting. Scrap wood, magazine images, including altered images using National Geographic and CitaSolve, and metal embellishments, make the 'city' come alive with activity. (a dangle earring, a crucifix, a wrench and a small hinge are mobile).

The 4 'buildings' are contained in a small wall shelf that has been turned upside down and braced on the back side with a vintage wooden hanger from "Wonder Dry Cleaners" (hence the name)

Here are individual images of each 'building', for a closer look.
                                        (small hinge - lower center)

                                      (wrench)                                                    (dangle earring and small crucifix)
My husband said this one looked like a cathedral, so I added the crucifix.

Is this a city you have traveled to?  Or maybe someday?

Stay tuned.  City Scapes #3 and #4 will soon appear on this site.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vegas, Baby!

"Vegas, Baby!"
This is the third 'dancing dice' pieces I've made over the past few months, (see here and here). There is something exciting about the sound dice make when they click together. I've been to Las Vegas only a few times, and always on business. 
Although I never got into the gambling madness that Vegas seems to be, there is an excitement to that city that is very much "Vegas".

  All that aside, being the collector that I am, dice are just one of the the many things I collect. 
At one time, I think I had over 1000 dice in a glass jar on the studio shelf. Like marbles, or other game pieces in my collection, I just love the way they look, all together, in separate jars. 

Over the years, the dice collection grew.
This piece started out with 2 identical picture frames. I picked clear 'red' dice for this piece because they are beautiful to look at. I added a few odd colors, to add interest. As I was working on the piece, I realized that most of the dice were from Vegas Casinos (hence the name). 

Originally, the intention was to have this piece 'hang' in a way to let the light shine through. But because the piece is interactive, and meant to be 'played' with, I thought it might be better as a table top piece, so I constructed a stand out of 2 vintage wooden clothes hangers, and a barrel stave. (the hangers are from Pasadena and Barcelona not Vegas - oh well, you can't blame me for trying . . .)

If placed near a window, one can still enjoy the translucency and beauty of the clear dice.
When I worked in the 'corporate' world, I spent most of my day on the phone. I think this would have been fun to have in my office, to play with while waiting or on hold.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Men Of War

"Men of War"

Today is Veterans Day, an official United States holiday observed on November 11th, that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans Day coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (World War I formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918).

Having said that. I don't know where I was going with this piece. I think the overall influence came from the current state of our world: War and conflict. Death and sadness in so many places. That is all we see on TV, what we read on-line, and what we hear on the radio.

It's not just ISIS and the whole middle-eastern 'thing', but what about the 40+ students kidnapped and murdered in Mexico, the Ebola epidemic in East Africa, global warming and our politicians in Congress in full denial mode. . . .

I guess the days I worked on this piece, I was feeling all of it coming down at once.

All that aside, the finished piece is actually fun and whimsical.  You can pick it up, take it out of it's cradle and play with it.  The sound of the BB's rolling around is quite soothing.

 When you lay the piece flat, the BBs will spread out on the bottom of the frame.

They are beautiful to look at, aren't they?

Two identical wooden frames covered in vintage dictionary pages. The front frame contains a glass cover, the back frame is secured with a thin piece of wood.

The toy soldiers, an estate sale find, I was told are from the Vietnam era. 

The red beads are actual plastic AMMO!  (I found whole jar at a recent garage sale) 
They are beautiful, aren't they?
The stand is made from a wire cassette tape storage unit, cut in half and inserted into a piece of scrap wood that has also been papered in text.

I would really like to know what you think about this piece.
How does it make you feel?  
Does it conjure up unanticipated feelings?

Thanks for stopping!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ace - The Flying Pigasus

"Ace - the Flying Pigasus"
I am reminded of Pigasus, the flying pig, used by John Steinbeck as a personal stamp with the motto in Latin “To the stars on the wings of a pig”.  The pigasus symbolized Steinbeck as "earthbound but aspiring"…”with not enough wingspread but plenty of intention".

A flying pig suggests an impossible event coming to pass. Truth be told, I believe that if enough thrust is applied, any pig is capable of flight. Ace”, however, has wings and wheels . . . so off he goes!

I found this vintage wooden pig toy on a wooden cart when I was in Seattle during the Phinney Ridge/Greenwood Neighborhoods Garage Sale Day last year. When I found him, he was painted PINK, and his pull string was BROWN

He is now covered in text from a vintage encyclopedia and embellished with 'Bits' and 'Bling". His wings are nickel and brass reflector fishing lures. His tail is a wine cork screw.

Ace gets his name from his bottle cap hat . . . Ace Hard Cider, made right here in Sonoma County.  

 All in all, Ace is a pretty cool pig!