Soldering with Sally Jean

Today I soldered with Sally Jean.  I'm not in it for jewelry making like everyone else in the class.  I like making charms to include in collage and assemblage pieces.  And, it's fun. 

Bracelet closeup

Aside from popping a very hot soldering iron out of a sal block and into my hand at one point, I'm pretty much unscathed.  And, I have this charming bracelet around my arm.


The little charms are tiny collages.  It's hard to get good pictures of them individually with my IPhone, but they are sweet and make a fun charm bracelet.  I'd like to do one like this with pictures of my children.


Art and Soul 2010

A little bit of down time seemed like a good idea, so I'm spending some time at Art and Soul this week, playing with collage and power tools in a series of classes and visiting with old friends.

Today started with a Michael de Meng class.  He is such a nice, encouraging teacher — it's all about messy and using power tools to cut stuff down to size, which makes for a fun day.  I have a start on a piece I'm tenatively calling "The Evolution of Sheep."



I spent the evening with Stephanie Rubiano — she kindly let me back even though I broke more jeweler's saw blades than anyone she had ever had to deal with in a class a couple years ago.  This class, which involved working over the edge of a collage with metal embellishments was lots of fun.


Ellie over the edge

Isn't Stephanie cute?


Both of these teachers are definitely people you should go out of your way to spend some time with.  Tomorrow, I'm soldering with Sally Jean, which means I'm off to start some collages now.


How to Knit a Bird’s Nest

Thanks to some inspiration from the good knitters at the PurlBee, I've knit a nest.


Isn't it fun?  Instead of stuffing, I've used dried lavender blossoms in my eggs.  This nest will ultimately perch in one of the walk in closets, perhaps the one where much of my yarn is stored, as a deterrent to moths.  These first two eggs are knit from Manos del Uruguay's Serena, a lovely yarn that would make a fantastic little baby sweater.  I'm going to knit a few more from Blue Sky's silk/alpaca blend.


Eroded Bundles

Today the Erosion Bundles came down!  They've been tied to a fence in the lower part of our backyard since New Years Day.

Frankly, they didn't erode as much as I would have thought.  Still, there is some fine potential for art here.

The "Art" bundle was inside of a hinged wooden box, and the colors on papers inside of it smooshed around nicely.

 Erroded art

One of the biggest surprises of the eroded "Canvas" bundle came when I turned the base canvas over and saw how nicely the frame itself had aged.  I can't wait to use this to house an assemblage piece.



The "Phoenix" bundle gave up a lot of good collage material — fabric and paper aged between the pages of a journal.


Although there will be lots to choose from in this bundle, my favorite was the subtle aging on a fragment of one of my favorite European papers.


The next step in this project is a collaborative project among all of the artists who let their materials erode through the winter months.  I'm looking forward to getting to work on it.


Erosion Bundle Update

It is *almost* time to take down my erosion bundles and use them for some collaborative art.  I've noticed that they been looking a little bit less perky lately, but a close inspection revealed that they have gone through a lot of erosion.


This bundle started out wrapped in denim, which has mysteriously migrated to another bundle (I'm guessing small children).  And, the box seems to have developed a crack at the top, so it ought to be pretty interesting to see what has been going on to the materials inside of it.


The canvas bundle has become the home for a rapidly growing vine, which has snaked up, underneath the string I used to hold this bundle together.  A little peek tells me that the artist's canvas that forms the body of this bundle, looks remarkably untouched.

I can't wait to take my bundles down and see what nature has given me to work with!


Erosion Bundles: In Place

It's cold; cold for Alabama, at least.  By the time I was done, I could barely wrap the gardener's wire I was using to put my bundles in place.

All three

I've wired all three bundles to some chain link fencing (a little rust from rain run off?) near the bottom of our yard.  Our dogs and cats observed the process with great interest and I'm watching to see if the squirrels and birds will get involved.

I've named each of the bundles to make it easier to follow their progress:

  • Art


  • Phoenix


  • And Canvas


Now it's just a waiting game to see what happens.  Cold is in our forecast — perhaps a rare Alabama snow later in the week.  I've placed them where they are sure to have tree blossom, nuts, and leaves rain down on them, hopefully leaving some dye marks on the outer wrappings, at least.  And some rust would be nice.  But there is no telling what the result will be.


Erosion Bundles

The idea behind Erosion Bundles is simple — take some items you want to use in collage or assemblage, expose them to the elements in a random fashion for several months, and see what turns up.  The idea seems to have been first adopted by a blogger named Seth Apter, whose thought was to “hang, bury, submerge, or just place” the bundle one made of one's art objects in the elements.

When Kris came up with the idea of a group of us setting bundles out now to use in a collaborative book later on this spring, I found the idea to be irresistible.  I've put together three bundles to set out in the morning — I'm thinking about wiring them to our back fence and subjecting them to the dogs and the seven year old, along with the rain and the mud.

The first bundle is actually a thinly constructed wooden box, hinged, that I have filled with some papers I want to use and wrapped in denim.

  • Bundle1
  • Partlywrappedindenim
  • Inthebox
  • Someofthegoodies
  • Papers

The second bundle has a linen canvas for its base.  I have tied a series of objects onto it, leaving them quite exposed.  The objects include a glove, a slide, a fragment of a ruler, some painted papers, mother of pearl buttons, and some silk fabric.

  • Bundle2
  • 2almostready
  • Itemsfor2
  • More items
  • Gloveandbuttons

 The final bundle starts with an old notebook — I found a stash of these in our local Storehouse furniture store when they went out of business several years ago.  I've placed papers and fabric and German scrap and other ephemera in between some of the pages before wrapping them in cotton sheeting and kitchen twine.  At the last moment, I stamped a small canvas with the word "Phoenix," anticipating that the items in the bundle will rise out of their exposure in a few months and have a new life.

  • Bundle3
  • 3
  • Bookwrappedinburlap
  • Page1
  • Page2
  • Storehousebook