Friday, June 15, 2012

Ball Bearings thru Cables, an altered book


(Above: Ball Bearings thru Cables, an altered book. 14" x 9" x 2 3/4". Discarded library tome, old cables and ball bearings, clipped letters from vintage sheet music, found paper, engraved plates, wood, plexiglass, screws. Click on image to enlarge.)

A couple of days ago I receive an interesting invitation from a local artist Doni Jordan. She is spearheading an upcoming exhibition at a new Columbia gallery called Gallery V. The show will be called Volumes: 12 Women Bound by Art. A discarded 12-volume set of Thomas Register of American Manufacturers Products and Services will be transformed into altered book art. I picked up my book, "bearings thru cables", on Tuesday afternoon.


(Above: Ball Bearings thru Cables, an altered book with the cover shut. This is how it looked both before and after the "alterations"! Click on image to enlarge.)

It has only happened once before in my creative life that I was given an instantaneous vision of a completed artwork. It happened before I pulled away from Doni's driveway. I've sort of been playing "catch up" to my own idea ever since ... working fast to capture the vision. Making this was pure joy!


(Above: I scored ball bearings ... thank you Columbia Welding and especially Precision Trucking on Bluff Road!)

Of course, I really didn't know exactly "what" ball bearing are ... that part of my "vision" was a little foggy. I asked on Facebook. Industrial shops along Bluff Road were suggested ... and I headed there on my moped! Yes, the manager thought I was strange. It isn't every day that a middle aged woman pulls up on a moped asking for spare ball bearing for art! I already have an extensive collection of assorted "cables" for another art idea. I raided that stash.


(Above: Ball Bearings thru Cables, an altered book. Click on image to enlarge.)

The pages of the book were removed. I collaged the inside cover with an old lino-cut purchased at auction and with letters clipped from vintage sheet music. The words read: Known as the "Big Green Book", the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers was first published in 1898 by Harvey Mark Thomas. Internet searches eroded the printed volumes' usability. Publication ended in 2006. The database was moved to www.thomasnet.com. Along the inside spine is: Altered book by Susan Lenz Created for Volumes: Twelve Women Bound by Art 2012.


(Above: Ball Bearings thru Cables, an altered book. View from the side. Click on image to enlarge.)

My statement is simple: Susan Lenz seeks a partnership with her materials, their purposes, values, and familiar associations. Ball Bearings thru Cables presents the transformation from print to Internet of a vital, industrial resource.

2 comments:

vwmret said...

Your imagination always overwhelms me!!

Rhoda

Elizabeth said...

Great timing fro a fabulous project!! You are quite an amazing artist and I m so glad that the vision presented itself in such a timely fashion! great to find such a close source for the materials. Will you take the piece in tot he shop to show them how you used their discarded bearings? Might be fun!