I heard about a wood workshop in St. Pete that designs and creates custom wood pieces, and longboards. They were about to open up a shop and gallery on Central Ave. and were looking for artists to choose a blank board to create artwork on. I was really interested, and one of the owners and woodworker Jon had me come to the wood shop to choose a blank that I liked. It was a tough choice, but I went with the one that caught my attention. Once I had it home, I thought of a design that would be unlike any other that would be shown. I knew there would be a lot of skulls and masculine designs, so I was going to go for a more feminine design with a Folk Art twist.
Here is the finished board with my sweet puppy Nikita peering out from the studio.
I included some low relief wood shapes I cut on my new reciprocating saw to lend a little visual interest. The hands were painted and gold and silver leafed canvas that was glued into the surface. The custom cut glittery sticker leaves were supposed to serve as a stencil and peeled off. But I liked the dark edge around the now subdued leaf, so I kept most of them on.
Here is the finished piece hanging (upside down, whoops!) at the opening of Local Longoard Company in St. Petersburg, FL
I am VERY excited to have been selected to participate in an art exhibit that has an edgy theme. A fellow St. Pete artist, and lady whose artwork and style I admire, Laura Spencer, is curating a show with the theme of all things sex. Since this is an edgy group of participating artists, I can be sure there will be lots of genitals, bondage and kink. The venue is Station Number Three, which is my favorite spaces in downtown St. Pete. It used to be a fire station, and in the years has been abandoned, which makes for lots of blank walls, peeling paint, and different sized rooms. Check out a few pics of the space below...
Below are some in progress pictures. I knew I wanted to make a wall hanging, which is my forte, but that meant constructing some sort of display first, then the ceramic work to fit the wall piece. I used some extra fence and other wood I had in the garage, painted and distressed it. I made 2, one for the male and one for the female, and they are heavier than heavy.
I knew I wanted to make a male and a female figures, and I have really been into African fetish dolls for a couple years now, so I thought why now put the two together, with a sexy twist, and make them Sex Fetishes. I built in a slot to put written sex dreams in the wooden wall hanging, which goes along with the participatory nature of the show. See the progress of the ceramic and found object sculptures below.
The hardest part for me when I make ceramic and found object sculptures, is how to attach the pieces. For the female, I planned on attaching her to the wood with thick wire around her waist. For the male, I took the more intrusive route and will have this dowel holding him up from the inside of his hollow center.
The human face and form are not one of my strong suits, in 2D or 3D, but the more I attempt them, the more I will learn and improve! I was looking for some texture on these fetishes, and that came by way of distressed and antiqued ethnic fabrics and beads.
The texture I added to the male fetish was with teeny nails and glass beads that I sunk into the tiny holes that I stuck in the pre-fired clay. I had never tried this before, but I really liked it. The nails and beads reminded me of genuine nail fetishes
Close up of an African nail fetish
XX Sex Fetish : Mixed Media and Ceramic Wall hanging : 2014
XY Sex Fetish : Ceramic and Mixed Media Wall hanging : 2013
I also wanted to make something smaller that was a more affordable by donation artwork that could be taken home that night. I had done this before with linocuts in a local coffee shop using different prints, and it worked out well. I made these male and female in the style of Mexican tin milagros. I built a special box to hold them, that included a slot to put donations in. I styled it after something you would find in a Catholic church. These were printed on nice heavy card stock and turned out great!
Above you can see the inspiration for the linocuts. Below are some shots of opening night, which was fun.
I got a good shot in front of my artwork at the end of the night!