This powerful vessel is another work I created to commemorate my late father, Richard Myers. He was a small family farmer and also a full time mechanic, commuting for over 40 years to work in the steel mills "up north".
This vessel really exemplifies my work. It explores materials and their power to convey conceptual intent and my improvisational approach to construction techniques that are usually fiber related, such as the loom woven section of corn husks and the stitched and lashed together other constructions. Nearly all of the materials including washers, rusty lids, and other salvaged materials came from the "forgotten corners" of his farm and the place I grew up. The charred wood came from his barn that burned down one night in a freak lightening storm. The honeylocust branches with their powerful thorns came from trees also on his property. The various sections of the work capture the varied facets of his personality. To date, this is one of my personal favorites...
42" h. x 22" w. x 18" d.
The concepts of the totem and "Goddesses", across cultures and time, are both ongoing sources of fascination for me.
I experiment with the power of vertical forms as I combine my love of design, process, and materials to explore my world.
I wonder about what issues a Goddess for the 21st century might address and the varied forms she can take...
Here are some of my explorations so far:
Farm Goddess Totem is assembled from salvaged objects from the forgotten corners of the family farm, lashed together with waxed linen cord. Coiled and woven corn husks with wild turkey feathers gathered on my farm create her persona. She is conceptually "elevated" with a thin brushing of gold gilder's paste and sits on bed of sand. This Farm Goddess honors small family farms from earlier times that were self sustaining and bemoans their contemporary industrial replacements...
42" h x 18" w. x 16" d.
Goddess of the Woods
This form was a synthesis of opportunity.
It was created during one of my favorite annual events I attend, an art retreat for members of the Art Education Association of Indiana held at Saint Mary of the Woods College. Each summer for 4 days, I gather with about 30 of my beloved colleagues to make art day and night. We share media and techniques in formal and informal workshops.
This Goddess commemorates my 2016 experience by combining a number of media and processes we explored:
a special paper-mache clay to form her body with sticks, pine cones, and pods gathered on my journeys to the dining hall; a clay pedestal that explored slip soaked fabrics and notions to create textured surfaces, and a copper neckpiece, commemorating the copper jewelry workshop I conducted. She is also honored with a layer of gold gilder's paste.
Roadside Totem: An Apology to the Great Spirit for Our Throwaway Society
This older work was created from random found materials--a fabulous blue piece of broom found alongside the road that had broken off a street sweeper; corrugated tin blown off the old farm shed; other rusty pieces I happened upon combined with other local natural materials: red osier dogwood, turkey and pheasant feathers, and more. This form and its concept grew out of the materials.
60" h. x 30" w. x 26" d.
Little Farm Totem
A playful form exploring process and materials: a gourd, corn husks, corn cobs cut on a chop saw and stitched together sitting atop coiled, dead lily leaves from the flower bed, carefully scaled pheasant feathers, dried okra and willow twigs. Salvaged corrugated tin, a favorite material cradling soft fleece inside, and several other interesting found objects embellishing the form.
about 28" h. x 9" w. x 9" d.
The Original Farm Goddess Totem
This sculptural assemblage combines some amazing "finds" from the family farm and other local locations: a huge vent off a downtown Rensselaer building that had been abandoned behind Campbell Printing after being replaced,\; a bucket with an incomparable patina and other fascinating finds from my parents old barn that I created a mane in back by rya knotting corn husks from Indian corn (the purple hued ones) and local sweet corn and a handful of turkey feathers collected on walks on my farm.
She is assembled on site (top form, balanced on the bucked, balanced on the vent) and then surrounded with a site specific installation using my collection of natural and found materials.
Conceptually, she honors the small family farm of my family and many others in the 20th century.
about 6' h x 6' w, x 6' d.
Totem for Niches
This is a special sculpture and installation created to celebrate the 20th Anniversary Exhibition of the Niches Land Trust, held at the Fountain Gallery, Lafayette, Indiana in March of 2015.
The Totem in the middle depicts nature "winning" over technology: willow twigs swallow up an orb made of barbed wire with a victorious topknot made of ancient blue stem prairie grass coiled into a form, holding a red osier orb as "joyous" grasses explode from the top. The site specific installation included mostly natural materials with a few selected "human-made" objects. The ceiling has an installation of dried leaves that flutter above in celebration. Other small installations of sand activate other areas around the gallery.
Totem for Dad
This is a work created to commemorate my late father, Richard Myers. He was a hard working small family farmer and full time mechanic in the steel mills "up north" where he commuted for 40 years. He was overall a fairly serious person who could be kind but could be "prickly" just as often.
The black charred body is made from a piece of burned wood salvaged from one of his farm buildings that burned to the ground early one morning from a freak lightening strike during a storm. I remember his crying "we lost the bank barn last night"... It was filled with obsolete farm machinery and long forgotten items but still cherished by a man who grew up during the depression. This collection of meaningful objects and materials captures him well...
Recent assemblages from natural and salvaged materials (from rusty washers to burned out kiln elements) exploring materials, form, and the feelings they can evoke...
The fabric backings are about 15" high x 12 " wide (ish)...
By far the largest assemblage to date (and quite heavy), this wall piece, 36 x 36" x 8" d. exemplifies by love of design & materials.
Earthscape detail 2
Can an artist have a hobby? Creating jewelry is mine.
From natural materials and sweepings off my studio floor, to sheet metal and glass beads, I'm having such fun!
Here are some examples of the range of my play for now. If you see something you like, send me an email to purchase or place a custom order.
"Place" Stone Pendants
"Place" stone pendants, encircled with copper wire netting on a copper ball chain.
Brooches created from barks, other natural and salvaged materials. Each brooch has a dedicated fabric covered backing that allows the brooch to be removed, worn, and then replaced. It hangs or the wall or can be placed on a small easel.
These are about 4" x 3".
Examples of my simple copper work, forged, folded and torched.
My first large order ready to deliver.
My first attempts at riveting and brazing. Fun!
"Organic" rivets :)... but I love the turquoise element with the plaited bezel wire.
A set of simple copper and brass earrings ready for carding. My hand forged ear wires enhance the simple forms.
"Seeing Red" series, a four wrap bracelet with a hand forged button purchased at Feast of the Hunter's Moon.