Friday, January 15, 2010

Collage Icon

This small collage on a 4x5 ready-made canvas sat around my workroom for such a long time, feeling not quite done.

It began with a haunting face from Wisconsin Death Trip, by Michael Lesy, a wonderful book that continues to inspire.

She's the beautiful daughter of an exopthalmic family I sketched in charcoal from an antique photograph.

The other day I realized she is iconic, so I treated her that way, adding a frame of antique blue tatting (by Mrs. Hogdahl), a carved bone earring from the past, and two old grey mother of pearl buttons, collaged with eyes you may recognize --  I wont tell who, you have to guess.  Behind the rose is a dried fungus from a recent woodland hike with the words "the quick eyes of a lover" collaged onto it, backed by tea stained crocheted lace.  And the sides feature really old (at least early 20th c. possibly older) beaded soutache.  Now I am happy with the piece, so off she goes to Etsy.

The remaining collaged parts, which you can't see here, are pages from a book from the 1800s back even before newsprint was in use and things were printed using metal type.  It is a demented moral tale, entitled Blue Stocking Hall, written as both a romance and a lesson to young ladies of the inevitable dangers of overeducation and too much poetry.  I really didn't mind tearing it up, although it is a true period piece.  Just the thing that would have caused the haunted look in this young woman's eyes.  Too much poetry, feh!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Make-Do Heart, La Coeur d'Bricoleuse

Pardon my French, but you get the idea, a battered heart held together with binding wire, a pendant with missing stones, an 1800s era gilded shoe button, a 1920s era brass chain, et voila, something for Valentine's Day that says it all.  Our hearts may lose their shine, their untrammeled contours; they get pushed around, but a repaired heart presents a grander story than an unblemished one.  Here's to mended hearts and courage.  (Coeur-age.)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tyger Tangent

It's soon to be the year of the Tiger, which has me remembering Blake -- "Tyger, Tyger burning bright in the forest of the night, what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?"  In Asia, the tiger remains deep in the consciousness of the people as a symbol of prowress, protection and nobility.  Most Chinese homes have a tiger in them somewhere, to protect them, especially mothers-to-be.  Remembering this, I am off on a Tyger Tangent, and have made a neckpiece to celebrate this new year that will bring great, positive change, especially lucky for the Horse, which is me.

It fell together from things on hand (synchronicity) in a nice way that tells me it's auspicious to celebrate the tiger -- a cancelled postage stamp from India veiled with a skeletonized leaf and iridescent powders, set in a frame cobbled from a piece of a tin can and covered with natural mica; trimmed with a cloisonne bead; collaged with hand marbeled paper and bits of an old kanji-script herbal and hanging from three strands of vintage bugle beads.  It's good to have a tiger close by for the new year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Recycled Sari Silk, Neo Renaissance Jewels

Wonderful, brilliant colors, and recycled, too -- A women's collective in Nepal recycles silk saris into delightfully frayed ribbons, and they are great for suspending my "neo-Rennaisance jewels" --

Here's one that is completely faux and still gorgeous -- iron wire, glass jewel, costume pearls, a Swarovski crystal drop, beneath a froth of magenta and blue frayed silk stripes.  It closes at the back with a hand made hook and chain and counterweight bead.

And another, with a Raj feeling -- a resin filled rusty bottle cap with a pith helmeted portrait, surmounted with vintage Swarovski rose monte, iron wire scrollwork with gold glass beads lashed on, an antique button, and another crystal drop.

All that's missing is the ballgown, train and dancecard (tasseled, of course).