inspired by an image in L.K. Ludwig's Collaborative Art Journals, which consequently has more projects that just journals, i started collecting shelves. i found a great huge shelf at a consignment shop and the small one and the one used for this project were both found at the wonderful and amazing Dollar Tree! i actually got the book from a second hand book shop for only $10. this was an amazing store1 almost any kind of mixed media or altered art or journal art books you would want for half the price! but of course, before i had a chance to go back and buy everything, it went out of business and the books were probably just thrown away. :(
the project used in Ludwig's book (below, i couldn't find an online image, and i don't have a scanner, so here's an awful picture of it i took with my phone) used a self portrait theme. each shelf contained a hand drawn image of the artist, photograph, personal artwork, reproductions of favorite artwork etc., as well as a ton of adorable little bottles filled with micro beads, itty bitty dice, rocks, or nothing at all! about a third of the shelves were left empty, some had only crayon scribbles. the entire piece came together nicely with good balance of elements and a busy color pattern that reflects the artist's personality.
so, inspired by this, after my search for wonderful shelves, i created this piece: Trapped in Time. time and death are an ongoing theme i have been working on, i have a few other pieces to post with that theme. in this piece, each shelf contains elements relating to time or death, as indicated by the clock parts, wires, skeletons etc. the smallest clear bottle is filled with micro clock parts, the larger bottle i actually found at a gallery opening, and honestly doesn't have much to do with the piece other than a color balance between that and the copper wire. my favorite part of this piece is the mesh wire that covers the shelf with the parchment. the parchment reads "time wastes our bodies and our minds", which again is an ongoing quote in this series of works. the bars in the center were made from rebar tie wire that was simply cut an shoved into place. the cogs and gears are set differently. the Tim Holtz cog was glued in place, while the white plastic piece was placed in a hole cut into the shelf.
another interesting aspect of this piece is the top middle shelf with the skull and, i have no idea the name of this, the clock dinger thing? the gold dome is a piece of a clock that makes sound when hit, like the bell thing. anyway....i placed these two items together because i liked how the clock dinger (as it shall now be referred to) gave the feeling of an electric chair when hing from the top with a small screw. so i placed the skull beneath it in order to push that feeling. i also enjoyed the texture of the brown paper bag and hemp string tied around the contrasting silver watch back.
the color scheme of this is reddish orange, or copper, and green. the piece of the clock in the bottom middle section (the rest of this can be found in the piece 2:18; Ambush) is used to balance the green screws found in the mesh sections and the gears section. what you may not be able to see in the picture is the small amount of very thing copper wire that runs from the bottom right corner, wrapping around the bars, and ending around the small bottle in the top section.
and finally, the thing that pulls this whole composition together for me is the setting. this is a plain shelf like the one above that is set in an old mantle clock base that i found in the trash (art schools at the end of a semester are the best places to pick up random awesomeness).
so that's what i've done so far, at least two more shelf projects are in the future. what work have you done with shelves? i want to see your ideas and inspirations, so share!