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Elephant in the Sea

In the past few years I have fallen in love with the textures of materials. The vibrancy of encaustic paints. the luminosity of Venetian glass smalti. Each day I have set the goal to climb the stairs to my studio and exist within it. For 30 minutes. Once I am surrounded by the beautiful colors, textures and tools I can't help but immerse myself. I am inspired by my people, wanting to make something with my hands for them. This piece was inspired by my dear friends and the arrival of their little girl. Christian had reached out to me with his wish for their daughter's nursery to be adorned with the artwork of friends. I do well with a purpose, and with a deadline. So I found myself turning over in my mind the possibilities. The Jungle theme wasn't one I had ever really created artwork about. But my love of elephants provided me with many inspirations. My love of the sea even more. I came upon this gorgeous photograph of an elephant in the water, in a translucent sea, amidst gorgeous clouds. Wouldn't it be wonderful to combine encaustic and mosaic? I didn't know if they would want to coexist together, the heat of the melting wax and the cement holding the tile in place. Would it work? So I created a "sketch" from there my dedication to this new combination unfolded, slowly. I was caught with wanting to capture the light, and honor it calling me to experiment in iridescent stained glass.

In the process I reached out to create a post to cut smalti on, like the one at Orsoni. I worked with tile nippers, but craved working with the hammer and hardie like I did at Orsoni. I shared my wish. My phenomenal principal Z Gold wandered in the woods to find the right fallen tree for me. He cut it to size and soon I will embed the hardie in it. While at my brother's I eyed the pile of wood and slate he had had cleared from his property. Spying a post of about 10" in diameter long enough to stand 30" high. My niece Abby and I loaded it into the back of my car and brought it to Sag Harbor where her father might be able to cut it for me. I wondered what kind of tree it was, and my brother in law thought, maybe a telephone pole, to which I laughed in delight.

So the piece for baby P is done, and the studio continues to evolve.

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