I have always loved the patinas of time, it gives a certain kind of 'weight' to an object and makes it have more 'presence' . mostly I guess, because of the time it has been around and seen the world go by, ever changing yet remaining the same. As King Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun" but those things that are truly interesting , I believe, will always remain so.
I have been collecting pictures for awhile now of objects I like and studying them to discover what their main attraction is. I have realized that shape usually is the first thing noticed, then to be followed by the finish or color. Shapes that are pleasing to me are always organic in form but the colors I like also emanate from nature or from time spent in nature.
Of late I have realized I have an affinity for the patinas found on bronze sculptures, and ancient coins. That is why I have been experimenting how to translate that into my work with organic botanicals and I think I have finally gotten it! I know this is only the beginning but I am so pleased with the results I just had to share.
I have had some requests for more switch plates, something I have always enjoyed making, both with my newest venture in organics in clay as well as my Judaica pieces, like this one found in my other etsy shop Almost ARTifacts. So I have decided to get going with them as well as another item that has been on my drawing board for awhile, Buttons.
Buttons were the very first thing I made when I discovered polymer clay over 20 years ago. At that time I was just re-discovering sewing and that it wasn't as bad as I had thought. While in Home Economics class in high school I remember not doing so well in the sewing semester , mainly because the teacher had unreasonable expectations of me because she knew my mother had majored in HomeEc in college ( but had switched after only a year to the field of Special Ed) and was always nagging me about my work. So when I started to sew years later after getting past that, it was with great fervor as it was a wonderful way to make something useful as well as artful at the same time.
After trying some quilts I grew tired ( to come back to these later in a much smaller proportion after a car accident) of them and switched to clothing. I decided my husband needed a vest wardrobe and proceeded to make him one. I used all kinds of interesting things for the buttons to go with my themes, but when I made one of the vests with textured strips of every color of the rainbow and crazy quilt stitches to join them, I realized there didn't exist any buttons that would be in the same artistic vein as the rest of the work and I would have to make them myself.
Somehow I stumbled upon polymer clay at my local hardware/art supply store and created a suitable buttons for that vest. But I soon disregarded them as a vehicle for art and moved on to 'bigger and better' things. But now I have returned after a long absence to the button to rediscover what a useful and wonderful little canvas it can be for art. Even the most mundane of articles of clothing can be skyrocketed into the realm of ' artistic couture' when adding one of these little beauties.
So without further ado, I present some pieces from my newest series, The Bronze Age. This is my first switch plate/or outlet cover. For the first in this series I choose something that I cataloged into my inventory of molds recently, Bok Choy. Most people only know it as the filler in their Oriental dishes and don't really know what it looks like whole unless they are amateur chefs who love to experiment. Bok Choy is a member of the Cabbage family but much milder, and has a crisp crunch like celery, while pleasant to the palate and marries well with anything you want to cook with it. It doesn't have much of a flavor of its own, nor many calories, but what it lacks in those departments, it more than makes up for in the texture department.
This plate was done using three different stages of leaves. From the very heart of the plant ( the whole plant except for the shallow roots is eaten) where the baby leaves emerge, a fingerling one ( seen on the right bottom of the plate) that could be used for crudité, to one of the larger outer leaves that have the best veining, varying from large to more delicate. The veining and texture remind me of the human bodys ventricular system which I studied long ago when I was persuaded to go into the medical field. I think my combination of clay and paint, along with sanding and buffing to look like a 'worn with age' sculpture or coin help to complete the imitation of time. I am very pleased with the outcome, and even more so on my first ( after a long time) re-visitation of buttons.
I've also been continuing my ongoing struggle with photographing my pieces. I long for the old days with my SLR, but then again I didn't have the instant gratification of seeing them immediately and the frivoulousness of tossing the bad ones out without wasting any money.
So. I think I am more than happy with the outcome of the Buttons, which are also of Bok Choy, as well as the new set up to photograph them, which involves, oddly enough, two of my pot lids for diffusion of the lights!
Here is a set of ones I made with some organic Carrot tops. I love the look of these as well and will have a hard time listing these on etsy to sell as I have been dreaming up all ways to use these myself!