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

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.