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Home Invasion

Here, a jumble of marine snails — known as "oyster drills"— tumbles out of a bathtub onto the bathroom floor. This particular kind of snail feeds on oysters. We find them all over our sustainable oyster farm. No matter how hard we try to keep them out, they find a way into the oyster cages. At least their shells make nice found objects.

I release some of my frustration with these snails by pushing their tendency to invade to an extreme, imagining that the oyster drills have managed to travel through the water pipes into our home. One even finds its way onto the top of a candelabra. Hanging on the wall is a portion of a vintage advertisement of a clipper ship. The framed portion was selected for its depiction of the sea, which corresponds nicely with the green marble “tiles” throughout the bathroom and the peach "tiles" on the wall. The snail shells have been painted to match to color themes of the sculpture.

The necklace segment tumbling out with the shells was designed using Murano glass, mother of pearl, freshwater pearls, and shells. Additional materials include dollhouse miniatures, wood, resin, plastic, metal, and paper.

Custom framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Frame color: Black

Size (in inches): 9.75 x 25.75 x 4


Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages. 

The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.  

Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.  

As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.

Assemblage silver frame model.jpg
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