06 May 2013

Rusty Bits Challenge :: Lies They Told Me...

"I am still standing there waiting for you where you left me. I hope someday you will come otherwise I will remain like this forever. I was there but you were gone leaving all those glimpses of memories." ~ Sushan R. Sharma

It all started with that hunk of rust I pried off the bottom of my car.

A few weeks ago I saw a picture on Brenda Schweder's wall about a piece of rust that she found in a parking lot. Sweet rusty serendipity! It looked a lot like mine so I asked her to share what she would make of it. That is when Brenda threw down the rusty gauntlet and issued a challenge.

Make something with the rusty bit and share it with the world.

Intrigued. And you know I never shy away from a challenge.

So, despite all the things that I had going on this month - including being called for jury duty (but haven't had to serve...yet) - I thought "heck, yeah!" I would take her up on that challenge.

I stopped by a local art gallery on my lunch break called the Riverfront Art Gallery to get some inspiration. They happened to be showing an exhibit of local artists using repurposed or recycled materials called Re-Art in honor of Earth Day. I had a little personal tour from the director, Nancy. Man, do I wish that I had seen that call for artists! This is totally in my wheelhouse!

One of the most intriguing and dominating pieces was a coffee table sized hollow piece that was made of steel with all these tubes and gears around the outside. It was all welded together and had a pebbly surface with the most amazing steel-green patina. There was also recycled glass from the dorm they tore down on campus fused in some top secret process to create this porthole effect and a whole piece of art made from wine corks. A whole flock of talisman dolls were actually re-purposed Barbies that had been embellished in a very interesting display that said a lot about women's image and domestic abuse. I hope they do this exhibit again.

{images I took of art at the Riverfront Art Center Re-Art exhibit, April 2013}
One of my favorite pieces in the exhibit was a departmental mail cubby from the University that was made into a Cabinet of Curiosities. (Those are just two of dozens of cubbies in the top middle picture). Broken stems from wine glasses, the type balls from a Smith-Corona typewriter, pencil nubs and snips of maps, parts of rulers and tiny animal skulls... there was so much to look at! I have to go back and take a closer look at each of the cubbies. I would love to come and see where he stores all these treasures! A great commentary that nothing is ever wasted, that even in those broken bits that others would discard there is beauty and intrigue. That piece is part of what is inspiring this new series that I am embarking on.

As I was working with the rusty bit, which I sealed with a metal sealer (no use needing a tetanus shot just to wear the rusty bits), the idea that I had was to make a sandwich of metal bits with the micro screw set that I got last summer at the Richard Salley class. However, as I was cutting the rust, the more fragile pieces with the raggedy edges was falling off. To me those were most interesting! The center of it is more sturdy and I can still do something with that, but this was causing me to stop and re-evaluate my plan. It will still be something I come back to when I have more time to engineer it, but since I started at 10:30 pm and had a goal to be done by midnight, it wasn't in the cards.

I had a heart shaped bezel sitting out where the rusty bits were falling. That gave me the idea of making a Cabinet of Curiosities sort of series. If you know me at all, then you know how I feel about hearts. I am not the sort that likes the traditional pink and white lacy hearts. Hearts are not perfect like that. We all have ours stitched together Frankenweenie style with exposed cogs, battle scars and old flames.

I looked in the dusty corner of my studio and saw a large sheet of this perforated metal. That looks sort of like lace, but I just liked the texture. If I had been more awake I might have tried to color it or patina it or maybe even torch it (I got the torch out to play this weekend finally but never did anything more than set it up on the kitchen island). I trimmed a small piece to fit inside and then found a rusty bit to add to it. I drilled a little hole through it all and added the clock hands with the micro screw set. I still might add resin to this piece, but I am not sure how that would work with the rust, and I don't want the great color to be obscured.

I knew I needed a more industrial looking chain than what I had in my stash. Miss Brenda was kind enough to send me one of her innovative Now That's A Jig kits to play with. I have wanted one of those ever since I read her book Steel Wire Designs (love it!) and found out that she pioneered this new tool. I wanted to use it to make my own chain, but considering that I started this after most {sane} people's bedtime, I knew that my brain was not up to the task of learning a new tool. So I will save that for a future installment. I went on a treasure hunt and found a box of E-clamps and Retaining Rings. I discovered about six different chain possibilities for these little retaining clamps. I will be buying more of those in the future!

The remaining parts with the pearl and chain were just defunct pieces in my studio that I have repurposed. So I would guess that this might qualify me to enter the next Re-Art exhibit at the Riverfront next year!

I am calling this series LIES He  They Told Me...

And this piece is called "I'll only be gone for a minute." The clock has stopped on their love. Frozen in time.

I think the next one will be called "She is just a friend."

Hmmm... I wonder what rusty bits will show up in THAT one!


Thank you Miss Brenda, for intriguing and inspiring me!

Please go and check out what my friend Miss Brenda Schweder has created.

Your turn...

I have actually never had much experience (thankfully) with lies of this sort. 

What phrases would you suggest I tackle for this series? 

I just came back from a walk and talked to a local boutique owner who wants me to create a line of these called LIES They Told Me (rather than He) so now I will make a few more in this series and see what comes of it!

Erin Prais-Hintz invites you to go on a journey of inspiration at her blog Treasures Found :: Inspiration is Everywhere. You can view a gallery of her work at http://www.tesoritrovati.com/ or purchase her popular line of 'Simple Truths' in her Etsy shop.


Marie Cramp said...

It's not you, it's me
That is one I have heard too many times in shows or from friends. I may have even used it myself once or twice ;)

Love what you created! I think it even has a steampunk feel to it!


lynsey said...

Goodness I think I would have been stumped at a challenge like this, but you have really risen to it. Really love what you have created.

Karin Slaton said...

Here's a line we've probably all heard: "Nothing's wrong. Everything's fine!"

I seriously love this first piece in the series and can't wait to see more. Now I'm off to find some retaining rings!

Michelle Mach said...

Wow, love this piece! Everything works together, no, wait, it SINGS together. I like the chain, too. Very creative!

Dawn Doucette said...

Erin, this is awesome beyond words. I love the feel and theme of your rusty bits. I really like the new style for photos. I think it shows the nuances of the rusty shades better. Great design and fabu inspiration!

Alice said...

What a fun challenge. I love the piece you created and your theme makes one pause and reflect.

Cece Cormier said...

Oh yes. Love it. Especially the retaining clamps. So cleaver.

Ema Kilroy said...

I saw this challenge but didn't have any rusty bits to work with. And as you know I do have some now! Thanks for the inspiration! Your piece is beautifully done.

Deanna said...

Found you through art jewelry elements. Love your blog, your creativity and sense of humor. Also the fearless way you attack a challenge.

How about "I have to stay late at the office"

Oh and retaining clips = genius!

Sharyl said...

What a terrific challenge! Great idea!

Anonymous said...

Love your thoughts behind this piece and cannot wait to see more in your series of pieces.

Lies, like rust, are corrosive in relationships...so appropriate.

Ann Schroeder said...

How about "You're not good enough" or the many versions thereof. I LOVE this piece. Great work!

Honey from the Bee said...

I wonder if we all have those bits of rust?! I've got one, too that I've just stored in a drawer waiting for inspiration. I love what you did with yours. Something very poetic about it - still beautiful but seen some wear. : )

Cindy said...

Erin, what an incredible way to use a bit from your piece of rust - a bit of rough and romantic mixed together in the heart pendant. Making it a timepiece adds another mysterious layer - and the chain is amazing as well! This series is a success already! Your white-background photography really shows off the piece so well.

Kristina said...

The timing of my finding this post is perfect. I've gotten into the habit of picking up pieces of metal (washers, wire, etc) off the ground when walking my dog. Most of it is rusted and some of it is bent beyond normal use. I had a thought of using the pieces in jewelry somehow, but the tetanus thing was a concern. Not only have you answered that question, but given an excellent example of rust jewelry.

stacilouise said...

Wonderful! I just love reading your stories and inspirations! Your jewelry has such depth and thought in each piece, I swoon. I can't wait to see what other piece spring forth from this series.

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LoriF said...

Wonderful piece!! I'll ditto the "You're not pretty enough for me". That one stuck with me for a long, long while.

The Crafty Mama said...

Erin, I love the story behind this piece and the way you worked with the theme. The chain is awesome, and oh, how we could all work with the Lies They Told Me theme. After a long day of parenting, I was thinking that Lies My Parents Told Me might be a fun one to experiment with, too. Your posts always get me thinking. Thanks for the inspiration!


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