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Mental Gymnastics

Our minds tend to wander when we perform boring or repetitive tasks. This tailor is so engaged in her daydream that her body is no longer seated at her sewing machine but is instead deep-sea diving. The velvet fabric she sews morphs into the dark blue ocean into which she dives. A cobalt and white necklace segment serves as the trim to the fabric she sews and the transition between her fantasy and reality. Found objects — shells and sand — complete the fantasy.

The diver's drysuit has been painted to match the color of the Murano glass beads. The sand in the bottles comes from the beach on Assateague Island near my studio; the shells come both from there and from our oyster farm. Materials include fabric, found objects, freshwater pearls, citrine, sandpaper, acrylic paint, metal, paper, wood and a realistic miniature model of a diver..

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): 14 x 21.5 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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