Quite awhile ago I bought an old dog show trophy at my favorite local junk shop. The trophy was topped with this figure (an angel? Greek goddess?). In fact, there were no dog figures or images on the trophy at all. So how did I know it was a dog show trophy? A plaque with the following was attached: "Winners Bitch: Quincy Kennel Club May 16, 1976." Ha ha...
Anyway, this gold trophy topper became my inspiration for an assemblage. She appears to be taking flight or perhaps escaping from something. So I gathered the following items and got to work.
Some rusty bits and pieces: a chain off a fishing stringer, some decorative end pieces from an old curtain rod, and what I believe to be the base of a light fixture (I think it held a glass globe of some kind).
I found this in an antique shop in my home town, and I envisioned it as perhaps a backdrop to a free-standing assemblage. As it turns out, it worked perfectly for this assemblage. It's a piece of decorative woodwork (probably once stood atop a window or doorway) from an old house.
Here's a picture frame that's made from iron. My wife found it in a gift shop a few years ago. She grew tired of it recently and put it in the take-to-Goodwill pile, so I rescued it. To me it had potential (not only because of its texture, but also because of its heft) as a base for an assemblage. The picture to the right shows it attached to a piece of MDF, which I used to screw the backdrop onto.
Finally, I used this ceramic hand, which I bought in a junk shop in downtown Ames, Iowa. It's hollow and originally had a hole in the palm; perhaps it was used as a small vase or a pen/pencil holder. Anyway, I used some Apoxie Clay to fill the hole. My first attempt was to give it the rust affect shown in the below photo. I didn't like this, so I changed it--which you'll see farther down in the images of the finished piece. This item worked well in this particular piece of art because it appears to be reaching up--which factored in perfectly with the aforementioned angel who's attempting to "escape" something.
Below are shots of the finished piece (approximate dimensions: 5" width, 6" depth, 13" height), which I've entitled "Ascend."
I don't know what I like more: making art or searching for junk? Okay, I love making art--but rummaging through piles of junk can be a lot of fun. Ever since my art took a new direction to assemblage, I've devoted quite a bit of time scouring antique and junk stores, flea markets, garage sales, and the like for assemblage fodder. A vintage photo of some matronly woman from the turn of the century? A bucket of rusty nails? An old, heavily-textured frame? A box of porcelain doll heads? Frankly, I never know what will "call" my name. This weekend I took a trip to What Cheer, in Southern Iowa, for the gigantic What Cheer Flea Market, which has been going on for over 35 years. It's held at the local fair grounds and thunderstorms had pounded the area the night before, so needless to say, the ground was a muddy, puddily mess. Nonetheless, I managed to find these "treasures."
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.