Monday, September 16, 2013

Crafty Week, Day #1 -- Gathered Art Project

 I'd been thinking about this project for about a year now, ever since we went to Alabama to visit great friends and go to the fabulous Kentuck Art Festival in Northport.  (You should go -- it's always the third weekend in October.  I'd be glad to accompany you.)

Held in a beautiful wooded park, The Kentuck featured beautiful pottery, photography and painting, plus unique artists, like the personable letter-press expert who let everyone who bought one of his prints use his press to print their shopping bag -- just maybe my favorite stop.  There were musicians, fiber artists and jewelry designers.  And how could I forget the hands-on iron works from Birmingham?  You could carve your own mold and have an iron piece cast right there.  Awesome.

But there was also lots and lots of found/recycled/gathered art, which I found inspiring.  I love to make something out of nothing.

The gathering for this project took place over many months.  I started out in our junk drawer, and picked out a few things that had been in there forever.  Game pieces, barrettes, abandoned keys.  I started to place them around on an old bulletin board and quickly realized I didn't have nearly enough stuff to make it interesting.  So I added long things:  a pencil, a paint brush, knitting needle, chopsticks, a kitchen knife and a shrimp fork (why did we have one shrimp fork?)  Skimpy.  Many little religious items our kids received from school -- that's a rosary rounding the lower right corner.  Little tack pins from my jewelry box.  Still skimpy.  So I added trash:  bottle caps, broken zipper pulls and pop tops.  Then I filled in with buttons.  Always buttons.

All this stuff was in our house, here and there, in drawers, toy boxes and sewing kits.  Thirty-one years of junk.  How the heck does this happen?

I secured everything with hot glue.  (I have a love/hate relationship with hot glue.  Do you know you should keep a little bowl of ice water handy when you are hot gluing?  I know this, I just forget until it is too late, and then hot gluing transforms from a fun crafty adventure into a curse-filled occasion of sin and blisters.)

(I wish I could take a straight picture.)

I liked it, but it needed something.

Spray paint.  Oh, how I love spray paint.  So I sprayed the whole shebang off white.  And sprayed it again.  And once more, just for good measure.

I had originally planned to use this to display my letterpress posters from the Kentuck, but sometime during the project, I was Pinterest-ing and pinned a Union Jack dresser onto one of my boards.  I wondered about the German-worded poster hanging over the dresser. After looking up the translation, knew it was perfect.

Das leben is eine wundertute = Life is a goody bag

Sometimes you get a chocolate bar, a bouncy ball and a deck of cards, sometimes you get Smarties (ick) and plastic toys that end up in the trash.  Or the junk drawer.  Or the next art project.  

I just printed this sentiment out on nice paper with the computer printer, but how cute would this be in letterpress?

And now it hangs in our living room, right above the computer, to remind us even when the party's over, it's not really over; there's always some fun to take home, whether it's candy, a bit of spicy gossip or a happy memory.

Life is good, and filled with surprises.
And a little junk.


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