A "GUEST BOOK" FOR A LAKE TAHOE WEDDING.

 A friend approached me with an interesting concept for her wedding guest book.  She was planning a small wedding in Lake Tahoe with a theme of rustic elegance.  Since she liked PodArt, she envisioned one of my organic wall hangings as a permanent reminder of her and her husband's special day.  Excited about the uniqueness of her idea, I immediately began planning its layout:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am an avid recycler and user of repurposed things.  For the backing, instead of a pallet, I used a small redwood cabinet door.  I experimented with several different elements (cork, rice paper, etc,) as writing surfaces for the guests' signatures, but the reverse side of birch bark was my final choice.     

As you see in the above photos, I used foraged lichen covered bark and branches, pinecones collected my grandchildren and a sprinkling of star anise.  The latter is one of my favorite pods since it retains its scent for a long, long time.  I also inserted a beautiful yellow chunk of amber (2nd photo from the left) as a personal wish for longevity and good health.  This piece was truly a labor of love and, naturally, became my gift to the couple.  After the wedding, the bride texted me with the shot below:

Thank you, M.G.S., for the opportunity to make your special day even more memorable.

Blue Agate and Cork Bark

This rather intricate piece took 3 months to complete.  The sheer dimensions of it (2'x5') and the vast array of both foraged and bought components challenged both my creativity and artistry.  In the photo above,  the work is only 90% finished, pictures of the finished product will certainly appear in a future post.  What I loved most about this project was the free rein, the artistic carte blanche so to speak, that I was given by L.B., the best patroness any artist could ever wish for. 

The only stipulation for the commissioned piece was that it blend with the warm, earthy tones of the very large space it would occupy.  Since the combined living and dining spaces exhibited touches of sporadic blues, the first elements that came to mind for the piece were slices of blue agate.  They ended up providing little pools of clarity among the neutral hues of assorted pods, pinecones, acorns, cacti skeletons, mosses, cork chunks and birch bark sections.

The piece hangs above a rugged fossilized wood console table, and it's flanked by two large windows that reveal abstract art hung on the outside of the home.  Intrigued?!  More is sure to follow...

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Thank you, dear L.B., I loved working on this for your beautiful home.

Birch Bark & Lotus Pods

 

This was my second PodArt creation and my son's favorite.  One of the predominant natural materials featured in this piece was the lotus pod which also became the emblem for the website.  The sketch of the pod was actually drawn in ink by my mother, who is an artist in her own right (I will share her work with you in the future).  A little background on the Lotus plant:  it is an aquatic perennial and, under favorable circumstances, its seeds may remain viable for many years.  The oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lake bed in northeastern China.  This particular piece consists of birch bark, moss covered twigs, lichen, lavender buds, silver beads, peridot and, of course, lotus pods.  It's a graduation/layering of gray, green and blue hues. 

I'm often asked what I use as backing for my art.  Thus far, I've been [mostly] working with pallets originally used to dry grapes by California vintners.  They are relatively light in weight and I love their rusticity.  They can be purchased at the San Francisco Flower Mart.  However, as a good forager and acclaimed scavenger and recycler, I will utilize pretty much anything that can be repurposed.  Another frequently asked question by  people who have purchased my pieces is:  "How do I clean/dust it?"  Easy.  Use a hairdryer at its lowest setting.  Some buyers opt to frame the art under glass or encase it in plexiglass.  

As far as this piece goes, I'm not quite sure whether it was because it's Alex's favorite or whether it was because the moss withered, I reached the tentative decision to keep this piece.  It currently hangs in my study and I get to stare at it whenever I'm on my trusty Mac. One interesting fact about moss covered bark and twigs, if they're misted from time to time, they will retain their verdure.  This is valuable insider information for all you prospective buyers.

Sure hope there's a lot of you out there.  Chuckle.

 

HOW IT ALL BEGAN...

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About two years ago, my daughter-in-law and I decided to host a botanical trunk show.  We planted and placed succulents and bromeliads in all sorts of vessels.  Our motto:  the more original and unexpected the better.  We embellished the plantings with feathers, beads and assorted seed pods. 

For a few of the botanical arrangements we used Buddha nuts.  These split pods provided a unique, organic look to the arrangements.  Little did I know then that they would literally change my life.  After the trunk show, which was a huge success (Debra, we should host another one soon) we were left with unused pods, feathers and other unusual natural materials.  An idea came to me:  why not utilize the remnants from the event and create vertical, organic sculptures and collages with them? That concept quickly took shape and my entire family began foraging and collecting materials for me while hiking, camping or just hanging out in nature (something Californians tend to do a lot of).  In addition to the many organic finds and purchases, I began incorporating gemstones and metals previously used in my jewelry design into my work.  Voila!  PodArt was born.

My son, Alex, and my daughter-in-law, Debra, gave me this amazing website as a gift to pursue my passion.  Good Unlimited designed it for me and the rest is history (or soon to become history).  Hope you enjoy both the site and the art.  I'm feeling SO grateful right now!!