As I stated in my last posting, I am trying to get back to some bronze pieces that have just been languishing in the studio waiting to be completed. Two years ago I began a piece that involved the creation of 8 small (the longest is 5") carrying cases (see my blog posts for 1/24/16, 2/12/16, 3/30/16, and 5/12/16)...a suitcase, a rolling suitcase, a guitar case, an attache case, a "soft-sided" suitcase, a box tied with string, and a "paper" bag with a folded down top. After making the waxes, and casting them in bronze, I wasn't sure what sort of a base they should go on, so they were put aside while I worked on other projects.
Fast forward to 2018 and, lo and behold, a chance find on ebay provided the solution! I had been searching wooden boxes, thinking that something along that line might make a suitable base for the bronze baggage. Up popped an old empire style wooden box that immediately grabbed my attention. The size seemed to be right - it was 11" wide, 7 1/2" deep and 8 inches high, and it had enough age and character to make it interesting on its own. Once it arrived I assessed its condition. I removed the lid (it had worm hole damage that had been repaired with a light colored wood filler) and the hinges (I knew the weight of the bronze pieces would make a hinged lid impractical). I made a new lid out of a piece of Brazilian Cherry. I applied a light coat of walnut stain to make the lid color better match the base color. I also added a smaller piece of wood
on the underside of the lid to stabilize the lid in the opening of the box. I used a fine sanding sponge on the exterior of the box to even out the surface imperfections, and then coated the box and the lid with satin polyurethane.
The next step was to attach the baggage pieces to the lid. I arranged the baggage on a piece of styrofoam to finalize spacing and determine where holes would need to be drilled in the lid to accommodate the attachment posts on the underside of each piece of baggage. I used tracing paper to transfer the hole placement locations to the new lid, and then drilled the the marked holes to a depth of about 1/2". The final step was to attach each piece in the appropriate hole with 5-minute epoxy. I was very happy with the completed piece. The patina on the baggage gives it an aged look that goes well with the look of the box base, and I feel that the box serves as the last "case" in this composition of carrying cases. I won't go into all my thoughts about all of the "baggage" most of us carry around with us - the box will simply provide a new place to put it!
'Unintended Baggage' ..... complete
Gearing Up For Maine's Art Show Season at Saltwater Artists
Preparations are underway for the beginning of the upcoming art show season at Saltwater Artists Gallery in New Harbor. We will soon be setting up for our Memorial Day opening, and look forward to seeing our work displayed under the new track lighting that we had installed throughout the gallery over the winter. If you are headed to Maine this summer, stop by!
Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.