Friday, October 10, 2014

Some Assembly Required

Most of the time, I work in 2-D. I prefer to work in an art journal or to send artsy friends postcards, ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), or small art pieces. 

Recently, however, I signed up for a found object art swap as well as a fabric art swap, and these two pieces seemed to scream out for something tactile.

This is the piece I created for the found object art swap. The house began its life as a cheap key holder I found at a thrift store. The door was broken. I ripped it off. I also removed the row of gold hooks on which the keys are meant to hang.  Next I added to the inside square with numerous metal bits and pieces I'd squirreled away: an orphaned zipper, a key, a squashed rusty bottle cap, row of fuses, a washer, and even a feather. Some found pieces of metal were mysteries to me. For instance, the two metal strip around the bottom and right side....what's their actual job? And that square at the top...what original purpose did it serve?  Eventually, I added a photo of my grandmother as well as sheet music to the outside of the house shape.

This is the piece I created for the fabric swap. I decided to work in the inside nook of a photo frame--the part that normally faces a wall. The frame was covered with a black, cream, and gray fabric. Next, I crated stripes with duct tape and fabric tape. Then I created the two girls and made their dresses by winding embroidery floss around the dress shapes.Their little heads suggested the entire color scheme to me. I rummaged around in my stash and found two old spools of thread that continued the color scheme. Finally, I created a cascade of different types of flowers. Several of the flowers were cardboard or paper. Two were made of felt.

I made the two largest pink flowers. This is a process I learned well while making decorations for my wedding last year. It involves cutting several different circles of a rayon-like fabric and then using a candle flame to melt the edges into ruffles.

Final touches included a vintage clock face, some pink beads and the whimsical lettering to spell "Create," which seems apt, considering that the piece is being sent to one of my artsy and creative friends.

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