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The Treasure Chest

The mental image of a pirate's booty is a chest buried to hide its contents of gold, jewels, and other riches. This assemblage instead represents the moment that treasure fills the trunk. The "treasure" here is a cascading necklace designed with pink seashells, apatite (a semiprecious stone), freshwater pearls in several colors (teal, peach and plum/magenta), and Murano glass beads. Counterbalancing this waterfall is an elaborate depiction of lilies, petunias and other plant life rendered in lilac, cobalt and green against a rich gold background.

While working on Pavonia, I came across a set of four elaborate depictions of flowers against a rich gold background. I originally thought I would use one of them in Pavonia but that sculpture went off in a different direction. I constructed this artwork around one of them.

The lilies, petunias, and other flowers feature lilac, cobalt, magenta, light green and dark green while the necklace features pink, plum or magenta, teal, and aqua. Without matching precisely, the colors of the flowers and vegetation nevertheless blend well with the colors of the necklace against which they are pitted. Inspired by Necklace SH 11.

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

Frame color: Silver

Size (in inches): 12 x 10 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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