Quarantining

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

As we enter week six, (or is it seven?) of staying at home, sheltering in place or self-quarantining and contemplating the economy, the pandemic and the civil unrest it seems that the days are starting to run into each other in a kind of grey fog. Is today Tuesday? When was the last time I was out of the house? What did I fix for lunch yesterday? QUARANTINING is an emotional response to the current situation. Unlike SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST it is a minimalist piece using only six pieces repurposed from a couple of uncompleted projects and a drab palette. It may also be an unfinished piece with the potential, like life, to brighten considerably. (2020) (24” x 24” x 2”) ($150)

Motherboard

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MOTHERBOARD is a mixed media, found object, wall sculpture which incorporates the motherboard from a refrigerator, ceramic tiles left over from two backsplash projects, and three press molded and distorted images made from handmade and raku fired paper clay. An exercise in anthropomorphism, it is intended to put a face on and give personality to something that has neither. (2020) (19” x 8” x 1 ½”) (($195)

Aftermath #2

Aftermath #2 WM

AFTERMATH #2, like AFTERMATH #1, was seven years in the making. The main body of the piece is part of a tree limb shattered by Super Storm Sandy in 2012. The only work done to it was wire brushing it to remove dirt and evening the bottom. The base is unglazed bisque fired paper clay. While the original inspiration for AFTERMATH #2 was cleaning up after Sandy, the final impetus to finish it was the images of the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. (14” x 8” x 7”) (2019) ($225)

Aftermath #1

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

 

AFTERMATH #1 is a sculptural piece that is seven years in the making. The main body of the piece is part of a tree limb shattered by Super Storm Sandy in 2012. The only work done to it was wire brushing it to remove dirt and evening the bottom. The base is unglazed bisque fired paper clay. While the original inspiration for AFTERMATH #1 was cleaning up after Sandy, the final impetus to finish it was the images of the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. (19 ½” x 9” x 9”) (2019) ($245)

THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY in Reclaimed! Show

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

I am very pleased to announce that juror Bryant Holsenbeck has invited my welded steel sculpture THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY into the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County “Reclaimed!” Show, a show which is focused on the use of reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed materials. The “Reclaimed!” Show will be located at 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301 and will run from June 28, 2019 until August 17, 2019. This is THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY’S second visit to North Carolina, previously having been part of the “Menagerie – Wild and Wonderful” Show in Washington, NC.

GMO #37

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

GMO # 37 is a mixed media sculpture using a found object and hand built raku fired paper clay. Somehow, using a purely natural object (a piece of yew root), and something completely manufactured (paper clay), seemed the appropriate way to depict a “genetically modified object”. GMO #37 is part of a series of mixed media sculptural pieces I’m going to be concentrating on this year. For want of a better title, I’m calling it my “Look What I Found” Series.

Prelude

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

PRELUDE, part of my “Look What I Found” series of sculptures using found objects and hand built paper clay elements, draws upon my “Rim of Fire” series for its inspiration. The pieces in the “Rim of Fire” series use stained glass and paper clay fired together to depict the early moments of a volcanic eruption. PRELUDE, as its name implies, is of an earlier moment: the clouds of ash are rising but the eruption has not started. PRELUDE is composed of distorted Styrofoam, handmade paper clay, resin, underglazes, and acrylic and enamel paints.

ORACLE

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2019

 

In ORACLE, two High Priests seek guidance in a desolate place amidst a surreal mixture of the natural and unnatural. ORACLE is a mixed media sculpture: the base consists of handmade paper clay using rehydrated scrap clay and recycled newspapers fired together with glass tiles; the “tree” is a found object, part of a yew root from a necessary brush cutting; the “Oracle” is composed of a different type of glass tile than in the base, and the “High Priests” are hand built and raku fired using a different type of paper clay than used in the base. Underglazes, epoxy, acrylic paint and shellac complete the piece – as I said, a combination of natural and unnatural.  (11” x 13 ½” x 7”) ($325.00)

THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

I am finding that the more I become involved in creating art, the more I use found, salvaged, and recycled objects and materials as part of it, whether it be ceramics, paper making, print making,  collage, or in this case, welding. All of the welding I did at Snow Farm involved sorting through a large pile of scrap steel of various sizes, shapes and weights to find the makings of a sculpture. The HALLOWEEN BUNNY series started with a pair of hand shears which reminded me of a rabbit’s ears and face and were lying next to some small garden tools which reminded me of paws (well actually claws). This creative scavenging is something that I find very enjoyable and am hoping to continue. It’s not really practical for me to set up a home welding studio/shop so I’m currently looking for a local place to work (as Snow Farm is a 5 ½ hour drive away).