Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Personal Shrine Project - homage to my mother

I've been fascinated with the idea of personal shrines ever since I got the book Crafting Personal Shrines by Carol Owens. After my mother died, I decided to make a personal shrine in her memory. Of course it took me a year and a half to be able to do it.

My idea was to include images and items that remind me of my mother. For example we drove from Texas to New Mexico with Mom years ago. Every time she saw cows, she would cry out, "Cows!" It was the first time I knew how much she loved cows - makes sense growing up in Texas. Now my daughter and I both say "Cows!" whenever we see some.

When the urge to make this project NOW came over me, I looked around my studio to see what I could use as the basis and found this vintage cigar box.

Then I got out my newest toy - this small Dremel bandsaw. I love this baby and I got it for next to nothing. I was at a huge church yard sale near the end of the morning. They announced that a bag or boxful would cost $5. I had been eyeing this saw that was priced at $20. I wasn't sure whether this would be allowed in my box, but I filled a box with some great books, a cool necklace for my daughter, a vintage wooden sign from a ferry, the saw, and a coffee maker with built-in grinder (which couldn't begin to fit in the box). Walked up to checkout and asked how much - $5!!! So I basically got the saw for free. Love it. 

I used it to cut up the lid and make internal dividers for the shrine. Since these are things that my mother loved, I thought I would call this 'Chambers of Her Heart'. And the box has four chambers, get it?

Here's the piece after the first day. Aren't you impressed by my fancy clamps? I have chambers about:
  • Learning, language, dictionaries, and Shakespeare
  • Wildflowers and insects
  • Texas and cows
  • Beauty, grace, and elegance

 I am very ambiguous about the piece right now. In general, I find that when I am creating something I get very unsure about my results when I am midway in the project. I usually find that if I keep adding elements, it will all work out in the end. So I am going to try that. But I am unsatisfied with the colors in the upper right chamber. They look too cold to me. 

Recycled materials I have used so far:

Pages from a vintage textbook
1940's letter that I marbled
Pages from my mother's college English notebook
Cigar box
Vintage dictionary pages
Vintage yardstick
More vintage book pages

I will be adding lots more recycled materials when I add the three dimensional bits inside each chamber.

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