Thursday, December 03, 2020

Altered English Pub Trays

(Above:  An altered, English pub tray.  12" circle.  Collage of antique prints and letters clipped from various ephemera.)

The other day I was deep into an experiment, using artist-grade epoxy and unraveled thread.  It was exciting, especially since it worked out perfectly. (Blogged HERE.) Yet, I did something else at the same time.  Why?  Well, artist-grade, UV filtering epoxy is expensive.  A two-gallon kit runs almost $120 plus shipping.  As such, I never want to waste any of it.  When setting up an epoxy pour, I always have a few things on hand for any excess epoxy.  The other day, I knew I wanted to pour at least a little dribble over the white-lined sphinx moth that I found on the way to Nevada and used for a program called "Art in the Dark" while an artist-in-residence at Great Basin National Park.  That specimen was perfect and found at a most serendipitous time.  I brought it home in a plastic container and have ever since been meaning to affix it inside a porcelain container with epoxy.

(Above:  The white-lined sphinx moth ... set with epoxy in a lidded, porcelain container.  To read how it figured into the "Art in the Dark" presentation, CLICK HERE.)

Both the moth and the container were in a back room used to store "stuff" ... lots and lots and lots of stuff that I've purchased over the years from Bill Mishoe's estate auction.  This is the bulk of my found art object stash.  When I went to retrieve them, I found a small stack of English pub trays.  They weren't with the larger stack ... a stack numbering more than fifty.  At that moment, I vaguely remembered collaging antique and vintage images cut from magazines and books into these trays.  This was done well over a year, perhaps two years, ago. It occurred to me that epoxy was under consideration at the time ... but I never did it.  I grabbed the moth, the porcelain container, and just one tray ... assuming that I wouldn't have much more excess epoxy (and I didn't).

The next morning, I was almost surprised to see how nicely the tray turned out.  Later that afternoon, Steve and I poured another small batch of epoxy for the remaining seven.  They are not perfect ... but like any good experiment, I learned how I might do better in the future. Whether I do more or not doesn't matter. I learned something. I have drawers full of other antique images and at least forty more trays.  It wouldn't be hard to get more "metal appropriate" spray paint for the base.  There is, however, never enough time for all my hair-brained ideas!



Catherine - Mixed Media Artist said...

oh WOW - that is certainly a change from stitching down objects - but also fun to hear that you've got another 40 trays waiting for you!

irene macwilliam said...

I love the tray with the eyes

Ann Scott said...

These trays are really neat. Have you ever punched holes in them and stitched through the holes? I'm so glad you get "hair-brained" ideas and it is really cool the your husband is so supportive and often hands on.