Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Finding Rusty Things
Last week I wrote about my latest piece that incorporates rusty found objects into garden soil. The more I thought about the concept of memories and history under the ground, the more I wanted to expand the series and develop new compositions. That meant it was time for a treasure hunt! The boys and I first went to BIM, or Bloomington Iron and Metal. Sadly, they changed the rules since the last time we visited. The boys were no longer able to rummage through the piles of scrap with me. Due to insurance issues, even I had to wear a hardhat and gloves. Tommie and Jacob graciously agreed to give me five minutes of free time to look around. I saw and collected a lot of cool things, including six old bicycle wheels for the community art project at the Fourth Street Festival. This year the kids will be weaving into the spokes of old bike wheels. After the fair the creations will be displayed at Wonderlab along the B-line trail, which is heavily used by bicyclists (including us!).
Our next stop on the rusty metal summer tour was Auto Heaven. There we all searched in the front parking lot and turned up all sorts of treasures. We found hood ornaments, springs, nuts, bolts, and other small metal objects, plenty of which were rusty. These were packed up and taken home for a good wash, which turned out to be a bad idea in some cases. To my surprise, a goodly number of the pieces were stainless steel and cleaned up nicely. Never fear, though, because we’ll keep looking.
My main focus in the studio this week was to finish my first rusty object piece. That meant creating the tulip (neither found nor rusty) and attaching it to the bulb I made last week. I pulled the elements together and framed the piece, which means I’m a step closer to having a collection to display at Fourth Street. I will keep on the theme of making pieces containing forgotten treasures trapped in the ground, although they’ll most likely appear in next year’s collection as I develop new ideas. Right now I’m feverishly poking at lemons to complete my ‘When Life Gives You Lemons’ piece, and my pea leaves need some attention. On the bright side, my life will change next week when—wait for it—school starts again! There will be a big hole in my day when my boys are off at school. Tommie starts the sixth grade at the youthful age of ten, but he’ll quickly turn eleven. This year he gets to have different teachers for each subject and have a lot of moving around between classes. Jacob will launch into the fourth grade, hopefully following in Tommie’s path with regard to excellent teachers. I’ll have an extended work day in the studio, but I’ll miss all the summer adventures we’ve shared. It’s been a good summer!
Until next week,