Inspiration can be mysterious … or it can pounce into your mind in an “ah-ha!” moment. In my case, it’s always a pounce, driven by a song, a poem, a dream, my kids, or the excitement of finding a new weird object. Like a mop bucket, a harvest basket, or a vintage cast iron wheel. And when I see that object, like many artists I see the finished work, with an aura: a life.
Enjoy the inspirations here.
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This piece is based on an eighteenth century poem that I’ve had in my head since I was a little girl.
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.
Here, our fine lady has white horses on her skirt. She’s got the rings on her fingers — with this doorknob as a diamond. Cool! And I put Christmas sleigh bells on her skates. And of course, a bird. Her skirt is a mop bucket. Because after all, how could a piece inspired by such a beautiful poem have anything other than a mop bucket as a body! But she does! Her head is a heater and her back is a fan.
It's Raining Cats and Dogs!
It’s raining cats and dogs! And it’s just fun. You’ll see that I used glitter paint to make the cats and dogs shine. And she was made during the winter, of course — that’s probably what brought the whole piece on.
Again, I’ve used a mop bucket with the wringer in it for the body. Bicycle sprockets for her flowers, and she’s got a pulley neck and roller skates. And she’s noisy when the wind blows.
This piece was inspired by Chris, my son. Now in his thirties, he had a Superman cape since before he was three years old. And he was so into it that the neighbors used to drop off Superman capes on my doorstep, or tuck them in my screened-in door to leave them for him. Once when I washed one of his capes and put it on the clothesline, I looked out and see that he’s literally hanging from the line because he wants to get his cape back. I had to sneak capes out to clean them.
Of course this Superman piece is multitasking. While saving the world, he’s also holding flowers. His cap is from a motorcycle. And his feet are from a laser cutter that I named “Lucille,” from the Kenny Rogers song. This laser cutter would just quit in the middle of cutting. And I just kept thinking, “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille!”
Chris now works as an arena rigger in Northern California. And he's still a Superman.
Moon and Stars
The celestial theme has always been part of my life — my daughter’s name is Summer Star. My interest has always been with the celestial, and on almost every other piece here you’re going to find stars. The moon and sun was the first piece I designed. It was easy for me to draw, but as I got better it got more intricate, and I put more design in it.
This whole piece was created around this French harvest basket, which is worn belted around the waist. I bought the harvest basket at the Sacramento Flea. So I got its history from the seller. It’s just a really beautiful piece. Its use is beautiful, its shape is beautiful, and after I bought it, I’m thinking on the way home, “how am I going to use this?”
I built the body and when I got to this point, she just wasn’t complete. So I went to my cutting table and quickly drew these wings. At that point she wasn’t yet the French Angel but she was still talking to me. You can see that this piece is also very celestial. And also, no color … isn’t that interesting? Except for the bird. She is one of my favorite pieces.