Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Three more Found Object Mandalas

(Above:  Mandala LXXXIII. Custom framed. Hung as a diamond: 23 1/2" x 23 1/2"; as a square: 16 3/4" x 16 3/4".  Found objects hand-stitched to a single block of a vintage quilt. Found objects include: a green valve; felt covered piano hammers; brass screw eyes; keys; Tinker Toy connectors topped with brass anchor buttons; casino chips; inlaid wooden backgammon pieces; palmetto tree charms and ribbon holds with the word "commerce"; round prisms from a chandelier; four faux coins; and buttons. Click on any image to enlarge.)

This past week I finished three more, small mandalas.  These will go with me to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Nov. 5 - 7.  I think I am stitching more just to remain calm.  Shows like the PMA Craft Show are expensive, and this will be the first time I've been in a booth with just my mandalas.  Sure, I know people like them, but will some of them find permanent homes?  Will I "make booth rent?"  Will I "make expenses"?  Will I "bomb"?  It's kind of crazy but stitching is my way to relax.  So ... I'll just continue making more artwork!

(Above:  A composite photo of me dismantling a piano with a broken sound board. Photos taken by my friend Dolly Patton, the new executive director of the Arts Center of Kershaw County.)

My search for unique found objects took me to the Arts Center of Kershaw County. Sure, I was also there to look at the exhibition space where my Blues Chapel installation is currently on view, but I got to dismantle an old piano with a broken sound board.  It was such a cool experience!

(Above:  Me with the parts of the piano I most wanted!)

The Arts Center kept the black-and-white keys, the piano framework (for its potential to be made into a great desk), and other parts.  I got the part with the felt hammers ... exactly what I wanted for my found object mandalas. 

(Above:  Mandala LXXXIII, detail.)

Around the inlaid wooden backgammon pieces are brown, plastic rings.  I don't know what they were once used for.  I got them at YLI in Rock Hill when purchasing a very large cone of very strong thread.  YLI distributes all sorts of thread nationally but I needed super strong thread similar to buttonhole thread ... but on a cone.  I use this thread for all sorts of things ... including stitching my found object mandalas to acid-free foam-centered board during the mounting process ... but also for wrapped, wooden thread spool Christmas ornaments that will be available at the PMA show.  The nice owner took me up and down several aisles at YLI to look for a suitable cone.  In the process, I found a box of these brown, plastic rings.  He didn't know what they were for either ... so he gave them to me for my mandalas!  I am so grateful for all the people who are helping with my search for unique objects!

(Above:  Mandala LXXXIII, detail.)

I am still using some of the Department of Commerce Awards donated to my stash by Sonoco Recycling.  The little palmetto tree charms and the ribbon hangers with the word "commerce" came from this donation. 

(Above:  Mandala  LXXXV. Custom framed. As a diamond: 23" x 23"; as a square: 16 1/2" x 16 1/2".  Found objects hand-stitched to a single block of a vintage quilt. Found objects include: a glass circle that was once part of a table lamp covering a clock gear; dominoes; felt covered piano hammers; the tines of eight silver plated forks; hinges from the Department of Commerce award boxes; four wavy curl metal curlers; four shower curtain hangers; sewing machine bobbins; vintage capacitors; four English pennies; four eyeglass lenses; and buttons.)

On Mandala LXXXV, I used some of the tiny hinges from the Department of Commerce's award boxes along with more of the felt covered piano hammers.  The fork tines came from Bill Mishoe's auction.  Apparently, someone consigned the remains of a short-lived craft life. Whoever this person was, he or she used the handles for jewelry.  I didn't even purchase the lot.  I got a plastic bag with these tines from the flea market dealer who did purchase all the jewelry supplies and tools!  I just wanted the tines!

(Above:  Mandala LXXXV, detail.)

The wavy curl curlers also came from Bill Mishoe's auction.  They were on a table overflowing with never used salon supplies.  I didn't purchase the lot. I made an offer to the flea market dealer who did buy it all.  As a result, I ended up with 240 of these silver, metal curlers.  Obviously, there will be more of them used on future mandalas.

(Above:  Mandala LXXXV, detail.)

As far as my husband Steve is concerned, it is his contribution to this found object mandala that is most important.  Steve recently got new lens in his eyeglass frames.  He found an even older pair of lens from an older pair of glasses.  Proudly, he said I should incorporate them.  They are really great and add a unique feature to this found object mandala ... transition!  Yup!  When I took the photos outside, the lens turned dark.  Back inside, they are clear again!

(Above:  Mandala LXXXV, detail.)

I'll be going to Bill Mishoe's auction again tonight.  Maybe I will find new "found objects"; maybe not!  I guess it doesn't matter as long as I have generous friends who give me things locally and generous cyber friends who mail things to me!  (If you are thinking of doing this, my address is 2123 Park Street, Columbia, SC 29201!)

(Above:  Mandala LXXXIV. Custom framed. As a diamond: 16 1/4" x 16 1/4"; as a square: 22 7/8" x 22 7/8".  Found objects hand-stitched to a single block of a vintage quilt. Found objects include: a glass ring from a table lamp over a clock gear; four, orange plastic circles cut from a six-pack beer yoke; keys; laminated Tampa Nugget cigar bands; vintage slot machine tokens; laminated 2-cent stamps; silver-plated spoons; blue water bottle caps; eight brass shower curtain hangers; four Samuel Adams Octoberfest bottle caps; brass screw eyes; four inlaid backgammon pieces; eight, very well used blue-handled paint brushes from the Mad Platter; and buttons.)

Margaret Neville is another, very generous friend of mine.  She owns the Mad Platter, a studio for painting ceramics, fusing glass, summer kids camps, and adult parties (plus more)!  Margaret saved all the paint brushes that were so well used that some had no bristles at all.  She saved them just for me!  The handles are triangular in shape and therefore lay perfectly flat. I have more of these too!  For this series ... there's no end in sight!  They are keeping me sane as I approach the PMA show!

(Above:  Mandala LXXXIV, detail.)


Catherine - Mixed Media Artist said...

just love hearing about the objects you "find - given - other"

Ann Scott said...

You and that piano... you are too much. Such a fantastic way to stay sane! Your mandalas are going to make another wonderful display - I hope many find forever homes.