Saturday, April 18, 2015

aluminum can flowers (tutorial)

I'm always on the lookout for new ways to recycle in my art. Here's a fun way to reuse aluminum cans to make "drought resistant flowers." You can't kill them, I promise!
Here's how:

Start with a colorful can.
Cut off the top.
(this is surprisingly easy to do with your "good" pair of "crap designated" scissors - mine are old Fiskars)
Cut the sides of the can into 16 or so spokes.
(I start with 4ths, then 8ths, then 16ths)

Bend the spokes back as shown here.
This will be the FRONT:

Flip your can over and bend the spokes in half at a slight angle as shown here.
This will be the BACK:

Flip your can over again and fold the spokes in half at a slight angle as before.
This is the FRONT:

This is the BACK:

Now you need a large can lid and a bottle cap.
Into all three of these things you will need to punch a hole in the centers with an awl:

Now you need about 10 inches of wire.
Fold this in half, forming a loop at the midpoint, and twist a few times:

Wire the three parts together.
Bottle cap, flower, can lid:

Bend back your wire loop to hold the bottle cap in place and pull all three parts to snug them up:

On the back you can twist your wire over a bamboo skewer, or make a loop for hanging, or attach to some other creation. The choice is yours.

Here I'm attaching a bamboo skewer:
(I also add a bit of hot glue so it doesn't slip down the stake)

Experiment with your folding of the metal and come up with designs of your own. Have fun!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

what I know

These are some of the metalwork  nichos (shrines) I've made in the last 2 weeks. 
I love this "heart on fire" theme. 
It's a common mexican folk art image.
Milagro corazon - or healing heart.

Did you know our hearts have neurons too?
Not just our brains?
It is strangely comforting to know that.
It means that even in the midst of something I don't understand with my mind, my heart can know a thing or two.
How many times have you said,
"I know in my heart ..." -?-
I'm leaning on that knowledge these days.

(clockwise from top)

Love: matchbox, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin

Love Covers Us: Altoids tin, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin, gold foil, bottle cap

Don't Be a Hater: Altoids tin, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin, gold foil, tomato sauce can lid, bottle cap

Love is Kind: Altoids tin, aluminum flashing, aluminum pie tin, wire, Italian Florentine paper

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

word sieve

a useful tool I have discovered 
in managing worry/stress/anxiety 
is creating found poetry

when my thoughts are swirling I put them through a word sieve and see what comes out

I keep it simple (and small)
using cut up book covers as a foundation

I pretty it up with a painted border

and when I'm done
I have a little something to go on when someone says, "what do you think?"

it's not that I didn't know what I think,
it's that I didn't know how to say it

some interesting thoughts about found poetry:

“Happy poets who write found poetry go pawing through popular culture like sculptors on trash heaps. They hold and wave aloft usable artifacts and fragments: jingles and ad copy, menus and broadcasts — all objet trouvĂ©s, the literary equivalents of Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans and Duchamp’s bicycle. By entering a found text as a poem, the poet doubles its context. The original meaning remains intact, but now it swings between two poles. The poet adds, or at any rate increases, the element of delight. This is an urban, youthful, ironic, cruising kind of poetry. It serves up whole texts, or interrupted fragments of texts.” - Annie Dillard

"All writing is in fact cut ups. A collage of words read, heard, overhead. What else?" - William Burroughs

An Aside:

this duck walked right up to me in the park
he had such confidence
I had to wonder,
is it because he's tame?
or that he knows I am tame?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

a new tea

I'm trying a new tea today
and just had to take a picture 
(because she is so beautiful)

The Empresses' Garden
by Chai Diaries

had to drive to the mall yesterday
(the bane of my existence)
to pick up a replacement part for The Tall Guy's espresso machine
(turns out the shop sells tea too)

I Am The Queen

Thursday, March 5, 2015

just working

this week I'm making pocket poems
(repurposed book covers,  paint, book text)
last week I made crowns
this crown says "the queen of quite a lot actually"
sometimes I wonder


April is national poetry month
April 30th is pocket poetry day


the crowns are easily made with 36 gauge aluminum (or recycled pie tins)
my instructions for tooling the metal can be found in the sidebar under "metal-smithing"

Friday, February 13, 2015

love poem

In the past,
before I knew love,
my lips would speak of love.

But tell me now
And disclose -
speak and answer me.

Reveal to my heart
The secrets
The wonders
The ways of love.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Art supply rebel that I am -
expensive mats, frames,  and framing
are not immune to my rebellion

I prefer to do it my own way
These are all my latest photo transfers on canvas board.
With each one I've painted a border.
Copper tape, solder, jump rings, and a short chain finish them off.
I rather like the result.
You might say it borders on something ...