This is one of those rare smaller pieces that I made a few weeks ago where I used none of my usual vintage photos...until I decided to move it into a larger cigar box and re-work the idea a bit.

The cigar box...lid removed...covered with old mapping paper and sanded.

I've been "partitioning" much of my work lately.

Adding the inside balsa wood "borders" that the glass will sit upon (the same mapping paper is also glued onto these little border pieces). 

An old hostess button as well as some photos glued (clear silicon) to the bottom of some glass lenses...
I grabbed this bag of cheap plastic magnifying lenses at a thrift shop some time ago...enough to last me a life time.

Getting everything positioned and glued (and screwed) into place.

The final piece...multi-layered and covered with glass...a shrine to hostesses everywhere.  

Mano a Mano

Another project moving one of my small, recently created assemblage pieces (from a few weeks ago) into a larger wooden box...with the addition of another vintage cabinet photo, plastic doll hands and a cheap plastic frame.

A Little More Mona

I created a small assemblage project using the back part of a vintage camera...the part that would have once held the film.  There was just enough room to build a small boxed space, adding a vintage photo, etc. After having this piece sit on my worktable for the last few weeks, I decided that I wanted to do more with it (as often seems to be the case).

I dug out one of my old wooden card catalog drawers (that I had recycled from the city dump a couple years ago).

The camera assemblage was destined to be a most perfect fit into the drawer.

Gluing it into place, I then created a cardboard divider toward the other end of the box...wanting to use that space for something more.

I lined the box (as well as the cardboard divider) with some of my old mapping paper.  I also glued into place a balsa wood "lip" that runs around the inside edge of both compartments...a great way to position and glue glass into place.

A somewhat creepy porcelain doll's head seemed to be screaming..."Pick me!"

I sanded down the back of the dolls head (with an electric rotary sander) to make it flat...easier to glue into place upon a wooden "floater."

Adding a small metal frame over the face  (this cardboard/frame piece glued onto the inside "lip"), the piece was almost complete.  

With a final cutting of glass and placing it over the camera assemblage (also glued onto the "lip"), the piece is now complete with multiple layers and dimensions.

Anatomy Of A Box
How To Cut A GREAT Circle

My direction for this project was to move one of my smaller assemblages (created in one of my cheap white cardboard boxes about a month ago) into a larger box...I like the added dimension and layering. The larger box is a cigar box covered with dictionary pages that have been sanded and dyed

Wanting to add a vintage "cabinet photo" to the mix, I needed to drill a hole into the photo with one of these circular drill bits.  These bits are fantastic!  They come in different sizes and are a great solution to your "circle cutting needs."  They will cut through wood, cardboard, old photos, etc.  

The circle is a little rough around the edges at first.

It can easily be gently sanded around the edges for a nice effect.

I just happen to have some of these metal "washers" which happen to fit perfectly over the circle (glued on with  silicon), but the sanded hole looks great with or without this washer.

I wanted an old medicine tin displayed under the photo to show through the hole.  I've also added little wooden "floaters" on the sides to lift the photo up off the floor of the box...the tin fits perfectly.  

Each side of this piece is covered with glass.




A few photos from the opening reception of our group show last night at Gallery 6 PDX :
Many thanks to Leo Michelson, curator of the show, who invited me to be a part of this group...and to  Liz Cohn, owner of the gallery, for her work in making this show such a success!
Check out the gallery's website for more information on show times this month.

Big Show



My group show at Gallery 6 PDX officially begins tomorrow with the First Friday reception.  If you live in the area, come and join us...most of the artists should be there-everyone eager to chat about their work. Some of artists are new to me...I'm really looking forward to meeting them.   I haven't actually seen the  show myself yet, but I did get this little teaser from the owner (and artist) Liz Cohn.  I'll take more photos from the reception tomorrow night (5 to 8 pm)  and post them here in the next few days.

Mini Box



For most of my projects, I continue to grab images from my collection of vintage "cabinet" photos.  They provide for such great visual (assemblage) story telling opportunities.  So, once again, I tend to view my work as little shrines to those forgotten/unknown folks who left us long ago.  Their images have survived, and I've stepped in to create a new story for them.   A small sampling from my collection:

I've just completed a couple new assemblages, both of them using an assortment of these kinds of images:
I went into a New Jersey high school classroom last week via Apple's Face Time for some "assemblage" video chat with the art students (see the original blog HERE).  I just received a few photos from art teacher, Mrs. Carradori, of her class working on their own original assemblage pieces...have a look:
There's lots of very inspired work going on here as you can see, with a seemingly wide variety of materials being used.  I really enjoy seeing the "process" of these kinds of projects.  Nice job, New Jersey!
More puppy play...Gracie, and her best friend Henry (the neighbor's puppy), take full advantage of their afternoon romps every time they get together.  Today was no exception.  Even with all those flashing teeth, they seem to know enough not to actually hurt each other.

Trash Talking Artist

Yes, folks, it was two years ago that I began my "gleaning" art residency with four other local artists, digging for six months through the mountains of trash at the Metro Transfer Station (the city dump).  I often continue to make reference to my own experience, and I continue to follow each new group of select artists who make their way into the "belly of the beast" to dig for materials that can be re-visioned into art.  The five new Portland artists for 2014 have now been chosen, and they've begun their own adventures with can read about them HERE and follow their blog.  They will have a group show in mid August, showcasing their work that was made entirely from the garbage of the Transfer Station. 
I continue to use many of the treasures in my own assemblage work that I uncovered in the trash a couple years ago.   I've shared much of it with other artists, and have been on a continual path of needing to reorganize it often so that I can have easy access to all of it.  In those six months of residency, I brought home more "stuff" than what I would probably ever be able to use in a lifetime.  The city dump is a place of untold treasures for any mixed media artist. 
There is a similar "artist in residence" program at the San Francisco Transfer Station.  I also follow their website for the latest information on artists and projects, etc.