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).

 

 

WELDING

snowfarm_logo

I recently completed a 5 day “Introduction to MIG Welding” Workshop with Bill Rhodes at the Snow Farm Crafts School in Williamsburg, MA. My first project, using scrap steel, was a piece entitled THE HALLOWEEN BUNNY (look for the new posting on Friday!). Of course, being me, I then explored the form by making two more similar ones before Bill politely, but firmly, suggested I try doing something else. However, I was very pleased, and somewhat surprised when I was asked to put one of “Bunnies” into the School’s auction of teacher’s and selected student work to raise funds for their youth programs. And I was even more pleased when it sold for $75.00, and now resides in a private collection in Somerville, MA.

BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS, a paper collage, is a follow up to SANDY HOOK: HOPES, FEARS AND THE NRA and was started after the Las Vegas shootings. Both pieces use the same materials (recycled paper and light cardboard) and tools (scissors, and a paper punch),  recognizing  that virtually nothing changed between the two events except the scale of the massacre which is reflected by the larger size of BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS. While I would prefer to stop with BIG CLIPS AND BUMP STOCKS, in reality, I expect this to be an ongoing series. Matted and framed to 18” x 24”.