Here is the collage piece I put together for my Mom's birthday. Art is kinda weird for me. There is always the idea in my head first. Sometimes they just randomly come to me, and other times I am inspired by something I see. In this case I was inspired by Atlanta artist Paula Joerling who was featured in an old issue of ME's Home Companion magazine (sorry I'm unsure of the issue). There was a picture I had clipped of small dresses Joerling had created from book pages, sewing materials, and then dipped in beeswax. I wanted to incorporate this element into an entire piece using the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary". Although my mom is far from contrary, her nickname for years has been Merry Martha and something in the merry/mary-ness of it all, it evoked this project in my head. The garden to me, being the children and grandchildren she has been so careful in tending.
I made photo copies of some poems that reminded me of my mother from very old poetry books I have. Then I set about cutting dress patterns from the paper and sewing them together. I then added some vintage trimmings I had in my sewing supplies. The lace is beautiful but not enough for a real dress so I was so excited to find somewhere to use it. Finally I dipped the whole sculptural piece in melted candle wax. I think I went a little overboard on the dipping. Next time I do one of these dresses I won't dip it quite so fervently!
And voila here is the finished project. Sorry I did not take any pics before I framed the entire thing, so the quality through the glass isn't the best, but you get the general idea.