20 December 2011

a destructive experiment

Okay so this is the post where I reveal the mystery around this past week's Where I Stand Sunday photo (although you guys are all pretty savvy, I'm sure you picked up a little bit of what kind of idea is marching through my mind.)

I've been reading a lot about fiber artists that leave their work outside to watch the elements have their way with it. I'm pretty fascinated by this concept. Jeanne Williamson has been doing this for a quite a while with two of her pieces, you can read more about it on her blog as she documents it on a regular basis. Plus she's begun doing quite a few outdoor installations of new work, very fascinating stuff.

Much of my fiber work is destined for deadlines and shows so I don't have much of that that can be spared for experiment. But what I do have is a couple of assemblages kicking around and I got to wondering what would happen if one of them spent the winter outside.

In Michigan. With snow. And generally abusive weather.

This poor little assemblage is the one that is being subjected to the trials of winter:

Dooley isn't sure what to think of the idea, his expression is full of doubt.

I don't expect anything good to happen to it. Although I did make an effort to give it a fighting chance - I put it on the middle rung of the fence that runs along Dooley's patio.

(Yes, we like yard chackis.)

Let's creep up on it, shall we?

We have our fair share of critters around here, there is a squirrel that has his home in the two trees that hang over our patio. (He is Dooley's arch nemesis, taunts him something terrible. Always chattering and flicking his tail at him, devil squirrel.)

So it will be interesting to see how much of it actually sticks around for the winter experiment.

Just to document this proper and take a look at what's there as it stands at the beginning of it:


The little pictures of the houses are paper collage and the paint is all water based acrylic. The orange frames are wood and the blue branches are actual branches from the yard (they seem happy to be home). The bird is resin that I've painted and the nest is faux wood with sytrofoam eggs. The bottom of two of the boxes and the tops are decoupaged with pages of an old book. The knobs on top are glass and the buttons on the edges are plastic. The wood should hold up decently and the entire thing is held together with weld bond glue.

Why am I doing this? Dunno. Just curious. I have some pieces that I get attached to and can't let go but for the most part, I'm willing to torture my work. I'll post periodic updates on how its doing  - should be interesting! :)


Took said...

I will be watching this with much anticipation! (I love the creeping up on it photos!)

Approachable Art said...

I can't wait to see updates about what happens to this piece, I'm fascinated with decay, myself!

A couple of years ago, I stuffed a squirrel feeder with chopped up bits of my hand-dyed fabrics. Today, that feeder is about half empty (the critters love the shreds for their nests) and the rest that's left is faded and probably filthy, but still has tiny bits of bright color peeking out here and there.

Melly Testa said...

I am looking forward to seeing what happens too.

Jeannie said...

This will be interesting! I think the squirrel will pick up a few accessories for the nest. My squirrels took all of the prayer flags I had hanging in the pergola. I guess they needed them more than me.;) Dooley, you had me at hello. xo

Rayna said...

Never gamble with more than you can afford to lose:-). You're a brave woman!