Sunday, March 10, 2013

Brake Disk Charger Part I: Large Applied Cottonwood Leaf Bowl with....

Large Applied Cottonwood Leaf Bowl with Brake Disk Charger
About two years ago, I found two old, rusted brake disks on the side of the road on one of my winter morning walks.

Much of my work revolves around found objects - usually organic found objects, but everything is of interest, if not for my own benefit, perhaps for that of someone I know. One of my artist friends uses repurposed metal in his creations and I wondered if perhaps he might be able to use them.

The brake disks were very heavy and I was only 1-1/2 blocks into my 40-block walk, so I decided I would pick them up, if they were still on the roadside, when I drove out of my neighborhood to run some errands. Which they were, so I loaded them into the car and took them home.

I was unable to connect with my friend, despite repeated attempts to contact him. The brake disks languished in my garage for two years, one of them briefly granted a reprieve when it was utilized as a soil compaction device when another friend installed an in-ground fountain he had made for me. Then it was back into the garage, to rust and languish in peace, surrounded by accumulating garden detritus.

The art center with which I am most active - the Grosse Pointe Art Center - has as one of its occasional themes a show entitled "Urban Edge". This topic had always eluded me, due to my work's heavily organic aesthetic. When this show was launched in 2012, I could come up with nothing to fit the description; conversely, when the "Green Show" occurred in both 2010 and 2011, I had a relatively easy time coming up with ideas.

It wasn't until August or September of 2012, while my massage therapist/fellow artist/designer was working me over during our standing bi-weekly appointment that it hit me: What if I somehow combined my organic pieces with those by-now very rusted brake disks? The holes in the center of the metal pieces could easily accommodate a pottery bowl and the tension between the organic pottery and the decaying machined metal.

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