Like many others who do not live within walking distance of the beach, I am taking the opportunity to work with my existing collection of found objects. I like the idea of making jewellery but also making art in the form of jewellery. Some of my finds are rusty or delicate and some hold the secrets of untold years in the sea, sent to my bit of coast from who knows where. And some of these pieces are not suitable for wearing so here they are presented as if they could be.
I have recently attended a couple of Alumi days at West Dean College. They have been excellent – two tutors Kate Boucher and Mark Anstee have guided, assisted and otherwise inspire a group of us whilst we work on our own projects. The day starts with a statement of intention and closes with a look at how each of us have got on achieving those objectives – a great opportunity to work with a group of like minded people all working on different projects in different ways. I hope that we have many more opportunities to do this at West Dean.
I have already posted about the first of these days. On the second day, I wanted to explore gesso so started by preparing a host of postcards by adding gesso. This was either left to dry or was scratched and scraped into first. Once day, I added ink and wax and scraped and scratched some more. Here is an example of the outcome:
At the end of the day, I was set two challenges – firstly, to try (for the first time) working with oil paint and the other was to think about working both very small and very large.
I decided to start with very small and an idea was borne! Next year my husband and I will exhibit at the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester. As he is a photographer, I decided to set about creating a body of work responding to his photography by working in my own way using mixed media but utilising photographic equipment. To date, I have acquired two ancient cameras (the box brownie brings back childhood memories!), a hundred plastic slides, several hundred slide holders and some lovely vintage spools. Paper slide cases are on order and I shall have fun deciding how best to work with all of these. Whilst the objects are not found, I like the ethos of re-using vintage items in a new way. Here is a taster of what I have in mind:
I am creating a quantity of similar pieces to display in groups.
The next challenge – oils. I have just three tubes of oil paint and some cold wax medium. Should be fun!
I plan to experiment with working big at College in July.