Sunday, July 8, 2012


Eventually all new co-workers in the office hear about my recycled art. After looking at me with great skepticism as I explain how I deconstruct soda cans, and weave the metal with torn fabric that I quilt on my machine......they usually say........"OK, well I'd love to see that some time." These conversations often start after I ask for their empty drink can. A request usually followed by snickers and laughs from veteran co-workers who unfortunately have to endure way too many conversations about colored cans. 

So about a year ago I brought some art in for show and tell and a friend said she would "love to have one" as a gift. I was flattered, but I honestly didn't think she was serious. Flash forward to this June and you can see pictures below of the piece I delivered to Susan as my first commission. Now I promise, it doesn't take 9 months to make a custom work of art; unless you ignore the request until the person tells you at least 3 times she is serious.

The purse is similar to several I've made in the past, but with custom colors. And I'm pleased to say that Susan was so happy she almost didn't give it away. The new owner I'm told is very thrilled and it's now hanging in her home.

What a special special point of personal pleasure it is to know your art is not only appreciated, but sought out as having value. I think it must be similar to the feeling an armature golfer has when she hits a hole in one. Or in my case, still using the gold analogy, when ever I simply hit that darn little white ball.
This purse is made from Fresca cans, woven with 1980s paisley fabric. I had the fabric from a dress I made for myself; and recently saw it again in an apron in a vintage shop in Falls Church. Boy that kind of thing sure makes you feel older.  The black trim bias tape while the handle is a black onion bag twisted with vintage/recycled necklace. Thank you mother Louise Wilson for saving and sending those plastic bags from West Va. The background is embossed scrap book paper; the first time (but not the last) I will use this touch. The broach is from a thrift store; it has fake pearls and rhinestones. And my favorite part is the vintage hankie peeking out the corner.

Here are a couple of other samples of similar pieces I've made for art shows.

Spritely Spring was the first miniature art purse I made. And it was the first work of art I ever entered into a public show. I created it for the Del Ray Artisans show What's Your Bag. It received a Curator's gold seal for being one of their favorite entries. The metal is from a Sprite can, the trim is cotton print I cut as bias tape. the hangle is twisted yellow onion bag and the clasp is yellow ribbon around 2 vintage buttons. The background is watercolor paper and the frame is a thrift store salvage without glass.

This miniature purse was also entered into the What's Your Bag show at the Del Ray Artisan gallery.  The silver metal is the inside of the soda can. The edge trim is polka dot ribbon and the clasp is a vintage red belt buckle. The handle is an aluminum chain; the background is water color paper and the frame is thrift store salvage without glass. In fact the frame was so vintage, I had to scuff it up to cover up that which I could not hide.

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