about my art
I love taking something (usually bound for the trash or recycling bin) and turning it into something functional and useful. I also love taking an item that has sentimental value to someone, but it is nearing the end of its life in its present form, and re-purposing it into something that they can continue to use and enjoy while preserving nice memories. I am learning how the process of making art helps us explore and process our experiences, and helps us integrate what we’ve learned. My art is a mixture of functionality and personal exploration.
Can’t get rid of your favorite pair of jeans? I couldn’t either, so I started making hotpads out of my worn out 501s. I also found it a good way to use old flannel shirts that could no longer be worn. I’m happy to give your jeans and/or shirt a new life.
I’ve always been intrigued with the way flour sacks were turned into so many other things: clothes, pajamas, quilts and tea towels. I often wondered “What is the modern day equivalent of the flour sack?” So many goods now come in polywoven bags, and I wanted incorporate them into a functional item, as well as keeping them out of the landfill. I came up with the idea of a “personal upcycled picnic blanket”. This blanket provides a moisture barrier from the polywoven bag, and the top is lightly quilted. I like the romantic notion of keeping it in the car, so that if you find yourself in a beautiful spot, you could pull over, enjoy the moment and set for a spell.
manly tea cozys
This idea developed when one of my friends told me that he wanted a tea cozy. But, he worried that this was not a manly thing to want. It just so happened that he had given me an old pair of his jeans. I surprised him by making him a “Manly Tea Cozy”, and it works great and he loves it. Now all the guys want one….
I started making these for friends, based on quotations that were meaningful to them. Musicians are often on the road, and I thought this might be a nice way to maintain a meditation practice while traveling. This meditation shrine (5”x7”x3”) is made from Virginia heart pine that I salvaged from an old house. The left side, which I call the “Hommage to Nature”, has a vase and a small shelf. I think that spending time in nature is very important, so I’ve created a space for small objects you might find on your walk- a feather, rock, flower, etc. That side also has a small corkboard and slips of paper for writing down what you are grateful for today. The right side is a small tableau that I created around the quote. The drawer underneath the tableau contains the objects for your practice: votive candle, matches, gratitude slips, and a small piece of worry wood. These are custom made. Look through the gallery of box shrines.