Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Epoxy and Wall of Ancestors

(Above:  My studio ... hung with The Wall of Ancestors!  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

After hanging The Wall of Keys at Mouse House, my home/business, my husband Steve asked what I planned to do with another installation.  After all, we were trying to clean up for a SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) "Meet and Greet" that is actually happening tonight ... at Mouse House ... and both of us knew that Mouse House needed a bit of tidying before people arrived.

(Above:  My studio hung with The Wall of Ancestors.)

I absolutely loved making every piece in this installation.  Vintage photos were collaged with clipped letters to say things like "I Was Someone's Mother" and "Ladies Man" and "Best Friends Forever" and "We Died in the Flu Epidemic" and "Self Made Man" and "Committed Suicide" and "These Were Our Glory Days".  Together they appear like a wall of family photos ... but each photo depicts some anonymous person.  The images were all bought at auction ... unknown people staring out from forgotten days at unmarked locations.  Bittersweet memories that have faded away leaving only facial features frozen on flat paper.  It seemed totally wrong to keep them all boxed up ... further forgotten ... especially when I had a big wall in my studio that was bare.

(Above:  My studio hung with The Wall of Ancestors.)

Why was one wall bare?  Well, that's where The Wall of Keys used to hang ... before going off to The Festival of Quilts in England and then being installed at Mouse House.  I had a problem though.  The Wall of Ancestors needs more space than a single, large wall.  So ... a cleared more space and hung on all the walls.  I love the fact that the coming weeks, months, and at least the next year will be spent surrounded by this imaginary family of ancestors.  

(Above:  Me ... in a tyvek suit with plastic bags tied to my feet ... ready to pour epoxy!  Please note the small items along the edge of the cement.  These are the six, small "curiosities" ready to go!)

Recent blog posts have shown installations being hung, moved, exhibited abroad, etc. ... but please don't think I'm slacking off and not making art!  That would be an untrue assumption!  I've been busy MAKING art too.  In fact, I poured a gallon of epoxy this past weekend over two, new art quilts.  I'm not ready to show them (as they haven't been photographed) but I am ready to share six little works that also were created during this outdoor, epoxy pouring event!

(Above:  Curiosity I - VI.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

When pouring epoxy over an acrylic sealed art quilt, much runs over the edge.  There's always a little more epoxy in the stir buckets.  It seems a shame to waste it ... when I could use it as the bonding agent to create small, found art objects that suggest passing time, aging, memory and all my other "usual" concepts.  Thus, I assembled six little groupings and, after pouring the two art quilts, spilled as much of the leftover epoxy into these containers.

(Above:  Curiosity I.)

The first piece uses half of an old Super 8 film canister filled with tiny sea shells placed on a wooden plant stand or vase footer ... and topped off with one of the shriveled up leather gloves that I made while at my art residency at Wormfarm Institute in Wisconsin.

(Above:  Curiosity I ... a second view.)

I don't have specify reasons for the combination of items in these objects ... just a vague sense of passing time, of museum relics ... of CURIOSITIES!

(Above:  Curiosity II.)

This is the other half of the Super 8 film canister ... filled with white, plastic clock hands and old gears of wrist watches.

(Above:  Curiosity III.)

This blue-and-white china cup-and-saucer might have been a collector's item but it was chipped and there are several hairline cracks.  It was perfect, however, to be paired with a few clock parts, a handmade nail, and a set of rosary beads.

(Above:  Curiosity IV.)

The antique eyeglass case was filled with a few religious trinkets, a pin from the UK, and a piece of costume jewelry.

(Above:  Curiosity V.)

This metal container that once stored attachments for an old, probably treadle sewing machine was filled with old bobbins, thimbles, a pattern marker and a cloth tape measure.

(Above: Curiosity VI.)

Perhaps these metal hands were meant as a way to distribute business cards.  I'm not at all sure what else they might have been intended for ... but I filled them with more clock parts and old keys.  I'm really pleased with this little found art objects.  They seem to speak volumes without uttering a word.

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.


Sandy said...

These are very 'quaint' in a good way.
Have fun with hosting the meeting!

Margaret said...

I remain amazed by how your mind works...! Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

The inclusions are so well chosen to create these little vignettes - so much to see and provoke reflection in each one.

Shannon said...

I love the description of your wall of ancestors! And I'm excited to see what an epoxied quilt looks like once you're ready to show it.

Teresa Duryea Wong said...

Your mind is an amazing thing. You never cease to amaze us. The Wall of Ancestors is such a beautiful capture of moments of our past... and the expoxy, well, interesting. Really can't wait to see what it looks like on your art quilts.