Thursday, September 17, 2009

A chat with Jane Davies, a trash walk through my studio ...

I just got a lovely email from Jane Davies, author of Collage Journeys. She and I have been chatting a bit about using recycled items in one's work. I told her that I would tell her a bit of what I have done, but I thought that you all might enjoy the conversation too. The photos that I will be telling you about all come from a work entitled Prayers II which I did in 2006.
This view has one of my favorite uses for "reconfigured trash". There are three letter beads caught in what I keep calling bubble packaging - plastic packaging that is blown out to generally conform to the shape of the item inside. There is usually a flat outer rim which is perfect for sewing, or gluing, onto one's art surface. This bubble was around a short camera battery and I must not have liked the color of the torn off cardboard because here I cut a rectangle a little smaller than the outer shape, clipped the corners and turned the fabric under making a reverse applique hole for the bubble to fit into. I sewed it all down with size 11 seed beads.Next there were some polymer clay fish cut from a pancake of bits and pieces left over from another project. That center blue diamond is very carefully stitched foil that once graced a rather nice chocolate. :)


Sorry about the fuzzy focus on this one: between some more reverse applique I sewed little tiny bottles of the chopped up purple plastic of a raisin tub top. What if one could buy little bottles of LOVE from the apothecary? I wondered... These bottles came from stampington.com

Here is more of that purple top cut to fit the applique and blend nicely with some more beads. Above the triangles are more leftover clay buttons. Very marvellous how a bit of faux gold leafing classes them up.


I hope that you can see these well enough. They are water bottle tops over the little world maps that are printed on those fake credit cards they used to send us in the mail.

More chocolate wrappers cut to echo the shapes that I had sewn. Those are little blue birds settling in made of shrink plastic. DID YOU KNOW that #6 plastic (a very brittle plastic often used for bakery and deli foods at our local grocery store) is shrink plastic?? Depending on what you buy at the grocery store, this could be good news.More shrink plastic ... I drew the hearts and borders in gold marker and it kind of bubbled up as I heated/shrank it. Interesting.Here I put in two dollar coins with a shisha stitch and a cancelled USA stamp. The purple cardboard had been another piece of junk mail.And lastly an image from an old Tibetan incense box. In China two fish mean "abundance". Is it the same in Tibet

In Prayers II I put 24K goldfill beads next to plastic beads and real coins next to trash, but cut and framed by cloth, and thread, and bead, it all starts to make sense. Just like prayers.

Did you enjoy this little walk through my studio? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear what you are doing with your reconfigured trash.

11 comments:

nanke's stuff said...

Thank you so much for the tour with the explanation of how you did all of it. I would love to see a photo of the entire piece. The snippets you've shown us are so beautiful, creative, and interesting! Also, I couldn't figure out how you used reverse applique to affix the little bottles. nancy

Robinsunne said...

Sorry, I worded that badly: I meant that the bottles were sewn on (around the neck of each bottle) and were placed on the quilt on an applique. Also, crummy photo. I will try to make them all clear next time. And there will be a next time: tune in next Thursday for another look at my world of reconfigured trash.

lori said...

I'm sooooo impressed with your trash! its just incredible that it can be so beautiful, I agree with nanke a whole picture of the piece would be great.
lori

Robinsunne said...

Hi to Carol - for some odd reason I couldn't respond to your email. So here: #6 plastic (aka shrink plastic) is indeed that stuff, hard and crinkly, that muffins are often packaged in. I actually went to the grocery store last night and there were those little triangles with a 6 inside to identify it. I have also gotten a salad at a fancy market that came in #6 plastic.

And hi to Lori, I will put a whole quilt photo in next week's post.

Laura Bray said...

Great post and project. Thanks for letting me know about it. Here's what I did with cardboard tubes recently: http://katydiddys.blogspot.com/2009/09/totally-tubular.html

susi said...

If this is one piece - would love to see a photo of the whole thing! Very imaginative with what you used. I have been saving bits and pieces of stuff, but I'm afraid my family will refer me to the new show "hoarders". Non artists just don't understand!

LisaC said...

Wow, what an inspirational piece! I too would love to see a "whole" picture. Who knew trash could be so beautiful?!
Lisa

Lois Maher said...

I love how you combined your re-cycled elements with beads and blocks of fabric. I look forward to your photo of the entire piece.

Dianne said...

as they say, one person's trash is another's treasure, and you have certainly created treasure! I am throwing away a lot of possibilities...thanks for the inspiration. I love your combinations.

ArtPropelled said...

Great post and fantastic art! I love seeing how artists recycle trash.

Stacy Gates; Manchester, VT said...

small world - Jane Davies is a good friend of mine and I am working on some pieces for the latest book that she is working on. I've just finished a pretty little purse from fused grocery bags. I'll post it to my flickr page today.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Prayer I and II art quilts. I also am having fun combining mediums and finding new uses for old things. Hope you'll take a look at my flickr page when I fix the link on my blog.
Happy November!