Stencil images airbrushed on clay surfaces have given way to enameling on copper. 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 symbolic imagery, applied across two very different mediums. My thought is that the most frequently absorbed imagery around us should be planted in place with an intention to uplift. The talismanic use of an everyday object can apply to art, a garment, your favorite drinking vessel or necklace. If these are heavily laden with meaning, then they serve to reaffirm an idea about who we are every time our eyes pass over them.
Getting acquainted with a starter set of Thompson enamels.
Could the object act like a visual reminder of a guiding principle in your life? Something non-religious but spiritual, perhaps? Each image or symbol corresponding to planetary, elemental, mathematical or scientific meaning, 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 theory has been proven already. We gravitate toward the known and fear the unknown, if we see representations of the unfamiliar more frequently, we start to accept them as a matter of course – for better or worse.
My goal is to use stencils, but also to draw on the enamel, or scratch it away.
It takes thousands of words to describe one concept embodied in one symbol. Most of human history is documented only through visual patterns in folk art. We intuitively understand pictures more than words, extrapolating implied information much more than we are aware. For this reason, it has always seemed strange to me that we don’t have the right to refuse to be advertised to. Bombarded with a constant flow of icons, logos and emojis, can we use the same kinds of symbolism to reverse the flow of commercial influence? When the objects we surround ourselves with are used with intention, there is an energy in the using them that feels empowering and magnetizing.
Absorbing an image is like charging it’s battery – the more attention and acknowledgement it receives, the more powerful it becomes. By that argument, we can deliberately starve spaces of certain symbols to avoid their influence, or 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 worldview, exploring a holistic rather than linear concept of self.
I’m interested in making talismans and warding tiles imbued with specific intentions, for the patron to charge with further energy toward a given end. I want this to be a collaborative working, where I produce the physical touchstone to support your efforts at personal growth or positive social change. It’s all been done before, of course, but we’re always in need of a contemporary take on ancient truthsaying. If I can be one voice in the choir, I’ll be pleased to sing along.