Well after a long hiatus I’m returning to working on art, jewelry and sculpture. Last year I spent 6 months cleaning up my Uncle’s house and what a treasure trove of scrap material it proved to be. One of the nicest finds was a few dusty, filthy boxes of vacuum tubes. They were / are so old many of the cardboard boxes were deteriorating and crumbling to dust.
So what to do? I’ve had some problems with my vision so I needed to look at a few options – and one day I thought: these vacuum tubes look like little robots. I was on chat with a friend and suddenly said, “ROBOTS”. It was literally one of those inspired moments.
On the weekend I had an inspiration on how to photograph them on various backgrounds. It took ages to figure out the lighting and backdrops, but I am quite pleased.
Relic – a found object and recycled art plate is based on the idea of religious relics. Bones of saints were often kept inside churches, preserved and worshipped, tokens of powerful healing, signifiers of the spiritual nature, objects of passion.
Central in the piece, Relic, is the bone of an animal place upon a bed of rusted metal. The piece can be interpreted in 3 sections. Topmost we find the industrial “heaven” where a propellor “drives” the gear below. This large gear was taken from a clock I dismantled. The central section has the Relic. In this industrial detrius world the bone of an animal (hip bone of a mink I believe) has taken on a religious signifigance – everything else is metal, scrap, and hard. The bone is a reminder of the Natural World.
At the bottom is the “church” of technology. A brass plate forms the central section, and two spires flank each side. The Rose Window – is windshield glass taken from the streets and mounted. Behind it is a very rare watch movement made of copper. I have taken apart hundreds of watches for my steampunk jewelry – but I have only ever found 3 copper movements. This is the inner heart of the “church” – a special movement – indicator of technology – and yet relic of the past. We no longer manufacture such movements – only expensive watches are now driven by mechanical, steel and brass workings.
Relic is part of the series of “wall sculptures” – these are on these fantastic ceramic tiles that someone threw out here in Toronto. No new parts were used in this – bits and fragments were taken from various machines. I carried home 6 of these wonderful tiles – and my hands ached for days afterwards – it was the middle of summer and the weight of them was difficult.
I adore the Toronto Brickworks and was thrilled to partake in the recent Maker’s Faire held at the site. Before the renovations it was a wonderfully creepy place to go explore – and many, many photographers would sneak in through the broken chain link fence and scale the heights.
summer in the brickworks before the renovations
I am only uploading smaller photos here – but if you would like to contact me about a print, please leave a comment or drop me an email.
I had originally been worried that all the amazing bits of the brickworks would be destroyed, but the renovations are fantastic. Evidently there was a push to get rid of the fantastic tags and scrawls done by urban artists – so I’m thrilled to see it is all still there.
The Vacuum Tube Necklaces are some of my favorite designs. They are the ultimate cyber-slick bits of old technology. I don’t always have them listed on my etsy site – simply because I like to constantly make new pieces of work – and I can’t always take the time to upload them. I will often custom make the chain out of recycled bits of hardware. recycled bits of hardware and new chain mix togetherAlmost every chain is different – it depends on what I have available and what I’m in the mood to create.
I do a lot of these as custom pieces, designing the length and discussing the various vacuum tubes I have available. I always have a few around, waiting for me to create.
These were in WIRED Magazine a while back – Clive Thompson wrote about them. It was a geek girl’s dream. Even better – Willam Gibson has one – though I understand his wife scooped it up, and quite likes it. 🙂