Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Inspiration Behind the Pin

I’m often asked where I find inspiration for different things that I create. Usually, I don’t really feel like answering because the whole evolution of an idea to an actual, finished product is often a very intimate and personal journey.
But….there is always a rationale behind what I’m doing, and sometimes, I don’t mind sharing.
I’m frequently percolating a whole cluster of ideas that are in their own little orbits (yeah…it gets a little noisy and crowded in my brain), seemingly unconnected when all of the sudden…BAM…some of those ideas collide and I realize, “Yes…of course they belong together.”
This project began with three orbits.  
Over a year ago, I found this great album of black & white photographs at a flea market. I am slightly obsessed with old photos and felt like I hit the jackpot.
 Some photos have already been put to use in completed projects, some are in projects that are in a seemingly perpetual state of “hmmmm…I have to figure out just the right way to complete this.”
The rest sit, waiting for the right idea to surface.
Last month, I found this great metal dish at a local thrift store.
The pattern of cut-outs makes this an unusual find for me, and I immediately started planning how I would make my own cut-outs for different projects.
The lovely woman who was at the register said, “Oh, how pretty. You can get this replated and it will look like new!”
I said that I thought that was a great idea, but what I was thinking was, “Great idea….not for me, though.”

When I made my initial cut, I couldn’t help but imagine the section as bars, as in a prison.
  That made me think, “I have to think about this.”

A few weeks ago, I listened to an NPR radio program about rape on college campuses. Hearing that 20% of female college students are sexually assaulted left me feeling pretty heartbroken. A statistic like that exists only because those who have the power and influence to demand change choose not to.
The behavior of some students, even at respected colleges and universities, is alarming.
You can go here (Huffington Post article) to understand how's very disturbing.

I am very impressed by the courage that some other students have displayed in their commitment to speak up and use their voices in a loud, determined way, demanding more from their administrators in spite of becoming targets of vicious verbal attacks.

Those different topics came together, and I realized I had to make the pin that I was imagining…a photo of women from an earlier generation behind bars that are breaking down.
 A section of the plate was cut out with metal shears and all edges were filed and sanded.  A strip of copper was stamped and riveted in place.
 Using the section of the metal dish as a template, I cut a second piece of metal from a sheet of copper that I had etched last year and riveted a bar pin in place.
After I secured the photo, the two layers of metal were riveted together.  

Change will only happen when change is demanded.
Silence is not an option.


1 comment:

  1. Your process is so personal and I thank you for sharing it. Alone,without your story your work is stunning, with your story it changes everything. I’m humbled by your words.