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

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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”.

PASSAGE TO RIGEL

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

When I decided to change the base on COLLABORATING WITH POLISTES (the new “Polistes” piece is REVISITING POLISTES) I also decided that the old base was much better as a stand-alone sculptural piece. With its coloration, sinuous lines and small opening, the mental image I had was of deep space, the space-time continuum, “worm holes” and travel to distant stars, hence the title: PASSAGE TO RIGEL. Hand built and raku fired paper clay. 12; x 9” x 7”

THE ROOTS OF DANCE

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2018

THE ROOTS OF DANCE started out with me finding some driftwood on a lakeshore which when combined together (with minor trimming) reminded me of a pair of dancers from a recently seen contemporary dance performance. I hope and believe that my ROOTS OF DANCE comes close to capturing the grace, power and enthusiasm of the original dancers. Found objects on an artist-made wooden base. 12” x 9” x 6 ½”