Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cup of Care

I have been holding onto this vintage metal cup for some time now just waiting on the perfect assemblage.  I used the definition of the word care from a vintage Thesaurus and after coloring the page, cut strips of it and weaved the pieces into the nest that the little girl sits in.  She is caring for the eggs with a pretty serious look on her face.  As I usually do, I used the actual cabinet card instead of a copy.  I feel that this actual photo makes the piece more authentically vintage/antique.  There are many times when I will only use a copy of the actual cabinet card or photo.  It just depends on what I am making; an assemblage, a collage etc. 
This piece is going to be a gift to someone who has helped me and cared for me since the death of my son.  It's just too cute and too special to sell.  I think she will like it as much as I do and I love to give gifts of my art to those who I love.  Much better than a store-bought item, don't you think? 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Secret to a Great Assemblage

Almost every piece of my art has at least some vintage elements, but my favorite pieces to work on are those centered around vintage pictures of people.  The clothes that they wear, the way that they sit, their facial expressions all tell a story.  When using a picture of more than one person in the same photo, the way in which these two subjects touch or don't touch each other can be considered 'just a pose' until you look closer. 

The best example of examing a picture beyond the simple pose can be seen is this photo that I used in one of my first assemblages a few years ago.

At first blush, this appears to be a simple picture of a typical family.  But the longer I looked at each individual, I began to notice that each of them is touching the person(s) next to them, but only barely.  Not one of these family members appears comfortable touching another.  In fact, they each look as if they are more of an individual instead of one of a family unit.  What do I mean by that?  To see this more clearly, I couldn't help but circle the place where each family member is touching the other.  This intentional close-up was continued with the facial expression of each member by adding a square epoxy sticker to each.  Now it is easy to see each individual as apposed to the family unit. 
The story I could read after this close examination was a family that were not expressive with each other.  They obviously aren't accustomed to being in such close physical proximity to one another let alone to touch one another.  I see this as something that is passed along from a parent to a child and to their children etc.  Thus, this was their Family Legacy. 

So, at least for me, the secret to a good assemblage that uses a vintage photo begins with the subject: Who is he or she or they, what do you think they are feeling as this picture was taken, do they look comfortable in their clothes or in the position the photographer has put them in?  Once you can answer some of these questions, their story will come easily. 

My next step is the box or container that will hold my assemblage.  For me, once I have come up with the story of the photo, the choice of the container will then be easy because they will relate in some way, if not immediately, then once you have manipulated the box.


These brothers in the photo in my 'Brother's' assemblage told me a story as well and that is why the clocks. 

In this assemblage, the subject of the assemblage actually began as one of a large group but I cut her out of that group to use individually.  She looked so much like a reluctant participant (she was originally the flower girl in a large wedding party) that I felt she fit in the story of "Little Miss Potato" assemblage.