Stencils sprayed in under glaze on clay seemed like an invitation to crossover into vitreous enamels on copper and brass. What I’d read is that it’s one of those things, you can learn in an evening and master over a lifetime. So, I chose a color palette to play with and hit order. Now, I’m easing into incorporating this new finish into a coherent body of everyday surfaces. My thought is that the most frequently viewed images are those that are commonly on and around us; wall art, a garment, your favorite cup or necklace, etc. If these are heavily laden with meaning, then they serve to reaffirm something of that sentiment every time your eyes pass over them.
A very old piece I found after recently acquiring a starter set of Thompson enamels.
Could they act like a visual reminder of a guiding principle for you? Something non-religious, perhaps? Each speaking to a correspondence; planetary, elemental, mathematical or scientific – it doesn’t matter which ‘magic’ it’s pulled from, just that it resonates powerfully with your highest self. Could esoteric images circulated more frequently, hidden in plain sight, serve to advance enlightenment by osmosis alone? I think the operating principle behind this has been proven already through market research. We gravitate toward the known and fear the unknown, if broadcast, the power these images once possessed is renewed as well as demystified in the public eye.
It takes thousands of words to describe one concept embodied in symbol. Volumes of information are communicated via patterns, we speak in pictures more than we are aware. Strangely, we don’t have the right to refuse to be advertised to, it’s not even a topic up for debate. Bombarded with a constant flow of icons, logos and taglines, can we use the same kinds of surfaces to reverse the flow of influence? When the objects we surround ourselves with are used with intention, there is an energy in the using that feels empowering and magnetizing.
My thought is to use stencils, but also to draw on the enamel, or scratch it away.
Absorbing an image is like charging it’s battery – the more attention and acknowledgement it receives, the more powerful it becomes. Can we selectively avoid taking in certain imagery toward a particular end? Or deliberately flood an area with counter-symbols to ward-off an undesirable effect? This doesn’t have to be based on a political manifesto, it could just be reclaiming freedom from the normative, embracing your own unique theatrical process, exploring a holistic rather than linear concept of self. There is a lot we could learn from the 1960’s and 1980’s, here.
The lesson to be extracted is in the pith of what was going on at those times. It had to do with how it was expressed, not in the outer trappings, which have already been co-opted again and again. We need to develop a new aesthetic that echoes the intention, but not the same devices as then. This is a long way of saying that I’m interested in making talismans and amulets imbued with real intention, and that the wearer charge them with further energy toward a specific end. I want this to be a collaborative work, one in which I get feedback on how it’s working along the way.
Does sound interesting??