WHATS IN A NAME?
The Frankensteins and the Can&Bowl Brothers- are robot like creatures that have evolved from cast off rusted, charming junk that appears to no longer serves a purpose. Up-cycled, recycled, steampunk, assemblage, altered art, repurposed, found objects, and vintage; Catch phrase terminology that touches on the process and materials, but not the spirit they possess.
PICKING UP THE PIECES
Finding the right pieces, sizes, shapes to make my creations can be a bit of a trick. Often it takes a while to find the missing link that makes the piece flow together and bring it to life. I do a bit of a balancing act trying stuff out together. I think of the process similar to designing a quilt (though quilters may disagree) in finding the right esthetic balance. Pieces often have to sit a while in order to complete the project and sometimes as if by magic they come together remarkably on their own.
Some smaller projects that are getting ready for the annual south town art walk.
Porcelain head dolls, with bullet legs, tea tins and key arms.
What to do with a lot of ashtrays when you don’t smoke.
THIS IS SO MESSED UP!
It is a very difficult task for me to stay organized. I start creating and soon my table becomes full with every tool and part that I recently used. I look to find something I need and it has some how disappeared into the pile. This is a constant source of difficulty for me. Having a head injury it kind of amplified my inability to remember where I put anything. I have begun labeling my shelves to help keep me, keep track of things. I think I will probably end up needing to do a map of my work room.
With random bits of stuff finding a strategy for categorizing can also be a challenge.
So getting my work space together has become a priority. I’ve decided to at least pull anything out of of my studio that I am not using with my sculptures.
I originally kept the scrap pieces of metal in dresser drawers but because of the weight of the items it would break through the bottoms. I started using suitcases which seem pretty much indestructible. I am not much of a plastic tub person. I think they are great but they just don’t offer the charm of the old pieces. I use an old bread box for some of my tools, and some old school locker baskets to organize meters, pool balls and whatever else that seems to be piling up. My work room is packed from top to bottom so its essential to keep coming up with ways to keep the space under control. This process is a continual work in progress.
ARE YOU AN INSIDER OR OUTSIDER OR STUCK IN THE WALL SOMEWHERE?
I’ve always been intrigued by outsider art. These artists are the ones that venture beyond the rules that some how define the art world. Art brut or raw art is defined by a French artist Jean DuBuffet in 1947 as “being produced by persons unscathed
by artistic culture,where mimicry plays little or no part. These artist derive everything from their own depths, and not from the conventions of classical or fashionable art.” So it appears there has always been some sort of line drawn between art or artists that follow an acceptable and – predictable view point versus one that challenges the conventions of traditions.
The art world has evolved passed the heavy oil paintings of seascapes I grew up with. Maybe in some towns these remain to be very popular.
I believe to be able to grow as an artist one must gaze upon their world in a different sense. Becoming aware of all the detail around you, by really taking a look, closely you’ll notice things in a whole new light. When I choose objects for my work, I never just look at it the way it’s suppose to be standing. I flip it, turn it, bend it to see all the possible forms and shapes it takes on. It transforms how it is perceived. It then easily can be seen as somethings else.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A SPICE GIRL?
Lately I’ve been enjoying making some smaller pieces. Most of my little pieces are made from the heads of old porcelain figurines and spice size tins. I do these in stages so when people ask me how long one takes to make, I actually have no idea. Apparently this is a necessary thing to know in terms of creating a business. It’s art- each piece is unique and can’t really be summed up to an exact amount of time. I usually cut off several heads of the figurines and get them in a ready position to be able to be attached to the body. (A spice tin) some will have tartlet skirts and various styles of arms and legs. Some times there might be one that is just plain difficult and takes a little longer to assemble. If I am not happy with the final outcome I’ll set it aside to rework later. So how would it be possible to account and figure out the exact amount of time something takes to make? I love the process. I love how the piece unfolds and takes on a personality. The exact amount of time each piece takes to make, remains a mystery.
INSPIRATION OR INSANITY
I use to think I had some special ability to see faces in objects. When we traveled I would often take many photos of faces. I found “faces”everywhere, in bathroom sinks, banisters, fire hydrants etc. I referred to them as “Lurking Faces”.( It almost has a bit of a paranoid ring to it.)
Apparently this ‘skill’ I recently found out is is referred to as Pareidolia . Geez is nothing sacred, does every thing need a label and a diagnosis? Yes-if you look it up you’ll find supposedly it’s common in neurotic people. If you look passed this labeling you’ll also find this trait common in altered- art and up-cycled artists.
The FRANKENSTEIN parts are always disassembled and cleaned before they are put together. I am not sure how so many pieces somehow are covered in grease or layered with the stickiness from old tape. Often they’ve been written on with sharpies by someone that doesn’t necessarily recognize what a cool tin it was or left out in the elements to rust. Tragic!
Goo-gone perhaps is my most favorite chemical. It magically removes sticky residue that possibly has been on the piece for years. Sometimes it has to sit for a while to kick in and take off the layers. Citra-solve I use for plan B. You need to be super careful because it potentially could remove more than what you anticipated. I need to stress the importance of using disposable Nitrile gloves. Any nail polish I had on, while working with these chemicals, was completely removed before I realized the importance of these gloves. This can’t be good for you. Grease can be removed with soap and water. It’s best to use those heavy duty paper towels to absorb the excess. Permanent ink can carefully be removed with rubbing alcohol and q-tips. This is also a little tricky because you don’t want to dissolve the ink and spread it to areas not affected. I spend a lot of time getting pieces ready before the fun begins. No one likes grime or slime.
I never considered myself much of a blog person or ever considered writing one. It’s interesting what direction a whack to your head will take you. Long story short, I had a head injury and as my old life’s routine changed, I also changed. My doctor put it bluntly referring to my accident as a life changing event. Its not necessary or remotely interesting for any tedious details but some times, something extreme has to happen to you to recognize you need to move along and do something else, a basic wake up call.
The FRANKENSTEINS AND THE CAN&BOWL BROTHERS started pre-head injury. I love old objects, graphics, your basic junk. These treasures are charming. I find pieces for my guys everywhere. It’s amazing what shows up. I feel my art is a bit of a tribute to the objects that managed to survive so long. They are usually damaged when I find them and are no longer wanted. They have lost their intended function. I love combining the discarded pieces and creating a new form.