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On the Rocks

Conceived in 2020, this assemblage is a metaphor for the disruption and chaos caused by Covid-19 and our inability to control our lives. Water overflows this bathtub even though the plug has been pulled. Fabric is sewn to mimic ocean waves as the many shades of blue — pale, teal, aqua, sapphire — reinforce the aquatic theme. It was inspired by a miniature crate of fish on ice and the phrases: “vodka on the rocks” and “a ship on the rocks”. Just like a ship on the rocks, we are at the mercy of nature. As the water spills over the rim of the bathtub, it carries with it a bottle of Absolut vodka on a raft of clear “ice”. The two items firmly attached to the wall — the miniature crate of fish and the cheery necklace segment — offer some hope of constancy.

The necklace segment is designed with freshwater pearls and Murano glass. Additional materials in the assemblage include dollhouse miniatures, velvet, porcelain, paper, mirror, and resin.

It was inspired by a miniature crate of fish on ice and the phrases: “vodka on the rocks” and “a ship on the rocks”.

Frame color: Silver

Size (in inches): 8.75 x 12 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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