How to turn Rubbish into Splendor.....

22.08.2017

I never thought I had the bandwidth to create a blog, much less talking about my artwork, since the process of creating art itself and everything that is tied to it, never left much room and space for anything else, but the sandwich making, the dog walking and all the other mundane stuff, one has to deal with in this meritocratic world....

And especially, I never felt confident enough to write in a language that wasn't my mother tongue. So please, disregard my imperfections with English.

Since life stroke a sudden new path, which had given me enough time to create my new and pretty extensive website, I finally decided to surmount it with a blog as well, including little story tellings of the things I like to do most, for whatever it's worth.

 

Clients and artist-friends always asked me:"How do you create your work?". The answer I found, was never simple, or at least, I could never find the right words to explain my process. 

 

But a picture is worth a thousand words, they say......

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I can't help but to work with what is already there, or right here within reach.

...and there is an abundance of things already here. In our world of consumption and redundancy, I have always found it lavish and wasteful, to acquire newly shiny things, all packaged up a tenfold and travelled for exaggerated miles. 

Objects and material, I can find anywhere, in your garage, in the kids room, in the woods, on flea markets, on the train tracks, in the alleys or in vintage shops. It doesn't really matter.There is a use and function I see in almost everything. So be aware if you ever invite me to your home!

 

A broken handle of a cup, a shabby coin, an antique dish, a damaged doll, an old machine part or a piece of a comb can do a lot of things for me. If you see my workshop, you understand what I mean. And NO, I am not a hoarder. I might be somewhat compulsive, but the way I collect and gather is very organized and structured and primarily necessary for the execution of my work.

 

Between the bigger sculptures and assemblages I create, I love to potter around little treasure chests- that's how I name them.

Since a few years I have been producing metal jewelry, and as accessory parts, I started tinkering those jewelry boxes made in the same manner as my assemblage work. Of course these jewelry boxes can be used for anything, hence the name "treasure chest".

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The brainchild came into being in my travels, where limitations spurred the elaboration. On the road, I only had a few tools, and the remaining materials just needed to be found: on the street, in second hand stores or antique markets. Because I was far away from my workbench at home, I had no choice but to create in a small way, improvising in the guest room or on family's or friend's kitchen tables. Compromises where made and the idiom "necessity is the mother of all inventions" came to full unfolding.

 

The following found objects, a metal drawer handle, old silver jewelry, a small ashtray, an amulet, little wood and toy parts were all arranged together and attached on this recycled old wood panel; then a layer of primer added (see picture to the left).

This piece serves as the lid which is placed on top of the treasure chest, soon attached with a little brass hinge.

 

The box itself is made from wood and cardboard. I carved four circles into the top sheet and added yellow primer. 

 

Also the top lid got its first layer of metallic copper paint, which you can find in the picture below.

 

Now you can see how the concave circles at the corners are filled with gold leaf.

 

 

Then I added craquelure paint and

a layer of verdigris paint to give it a distressed old look.

For the most part I use acrylic paint, aside from natural

pigments, 

coffee and

tea stain,

chalk, wax and gouache. 

 

 

The devil is in the details, therefore I added some wood elements to the sides. 

I'm not sure what these wood pieces actually are, but I assume they are some sort of kitchen supplies. Maybe finger food sticks?  

Four square holes cut into the bottom piece with wooden cubes embedded, serving as feet for the treasure chest.

 

 

 

Then some red rusty tones are laid down, and once dry, a teal and cobalt blue patina effect through dry bush technique is applied to some parts of the lid. That is my favorite part, as it gives the whole thing an oxidized copper look (picture below).

People always ask me, "..do you do metal work?"

No, I don't - I just fake it! And yes- I do, as I do create metal jewelry.

Though in my assemblage work, I only care for making something look like an old neoclassical relief sculpture,

or a cast iron renaissance piece.

It is what challenges me the most: to make something out of nothing, and then make it look like what it's not. The trickster's or magician's work. 

"I don't know how to turn metal into gold, but I know, how to turn rubbish into splendor."

Here you can see the last bits and

pieces come together. 

Some additions to the interior,

then the added hinges, 

and more layers and washes of paint.

Some more gold leaf applied for a more archaic impression and some hebrew lettering enclosed;

the mystical and symbolic relevance:

"Hod"-meaning "Splendor".

 

The final step:

varnish.....

et voila, after few days of tinkering, this treasure shall be completed. 

 

And not to forget my red sigil on the back. 

This piece, I named "Splendor".

It measures about 6 1/4" x 10 1/4" x 2 1/2 ". The interior recession measures a little bigger than 2 1/2" x 4". 

And if you are interested in one of my treasure chests, then it is

soon to be found, like all my other shippable work, on my online shop here, which I am still building, but alternatively on Etsy (just click on it).

For personal commissions, please contact me at thenautilusstudio@googlemail.com

 

 

Thank you for reading and hopefully you enjoyed it!....

 

 

 

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