Sunday, September 9, 2012

What is Chucho?

Chucho.  I have been thinking about the fact that my work ranges around quite a bit and trying to sort it all out into style consistency. It's consistent for me, but honestly, anything I make is dictated by its ingredients and what they may say to me, so it can be wide-ranging. Lately I have been thinking "chucho" -- it would cover that sort of urban ethnic-amuletic-tribal-post steampunk-space gypsy- found object assemblage thing. Imagine curanderas on the corners instead of Walgreen's, commutes on foot, laughter instead of blaring horns, making do; I could go on and on with the idea. It's irreverant, ironic, iconic, magical realism, and above all, really human, and so kinda tough. Here are some things I've done that define the idea:

Carmel Ripple, whatever, every flavor is divine at Our Lady's Ice Cream Parlour. The focal objects are very old paper sample spoons that I have waxed for preservation, vintage pictorial holy beads depicting the Blessed Virgin, Civil War era bone buttons, and some well worn gray mother of pearl buttons. The assemblage is light weight yet long enough for dramamatic impact; they're 3 and a half inches long, and make a whimsical statement sure to get you into some interesting conversations. Irreverent reverence, for starters.  Available at my Etsy shop.

And since all things are impermanent, and the paper ice cream sample spoons moreso, these earrings will be just as crazy chucho fun when they drop away from the assemblage.

Chuco is impermanence, survival, another chance at life, reincarnation, resurrection, inevitable loss . . .

Save the Gypsy Ta-Tas! Recycled and redesigned bangles in juicy pinks and lavenders carry the theme, save the ta tas, now, not later. Each charm is an original, small bit of assemblage art, starting with the vintage toy plate suspending the iconic pink ribbon and a Mexican milagro of breasts. Ten bangles in all. Wear them all at once, combine with others you have already, or wear a few at a time, the choice is entirely yours.  Chucho is recognizing you have choices when you're feeling cornered.  Also at my Etsy shop.

Chucho doesn't blink at the wretched truth, but accepts it with an ironic shrug, sniffs it for magical possibilies, and ambles on, looking for new mischief. Think Trickster Coyote.  Deceptively flea bitten and very powerful because we always collaborate in our own destruction and resurrection.  What does that say about innocence?  Chucho is guilty until proven innocent?  I mean, you're alive and kicking, you must be guilty of something, right?

Chucho is also things you at first think are garbage, but on close examination they turn out to have a unique and rich beauty. Unintended, uncontrived color and texture. New formal combinations unexpectedly pop out at you, and you laugh at things that scare you. Memento mori, you know. I love these little terracotta skullies, rusty horseshoe nails, old hinges, smooshed bottle caps that end up looking like mandorlas. The earrings went to live with Mary in Wisconsin, and I suspect they're not just for Dias or Halloween anymore. The pendant is assembled from bottle caps, rivets, an old lucky horse shoe blingy brooch with a stone missing in exactly the right place, a wooden rosary, and it's still available in my shop, too.  Chucho is bricolage, found objects, the patina of generations of long, dusty journeys.  It's spiritual; it's archaeological; it's anthropological.  Ai, viva Chucho!


  1. Awesome! (if I'm allowed to use that word)
    Chuchos it is. I'm all about that. I was about to post some of my bottle cap earrings just now but got sidelined by your post. that top pic is amazing. Is it OK if I pin it to Pinterest?
    Love this post!

  2. Ai, viva Priscilla!!!!!!!!!! Cha cha cha!!! <3

  3. Gloriously Devine as always ms P. love your use of words and the way you put a sentence together...

  4. Gotta love those skullies and booby want. Great work and such an inspiration