Posts Tagged ‘Homemade ornaments’

For the last four years I have been making images and objects for the holiday season from Falls of the Ohio materials.  How would you like to wake up on Christmas morning and find salvaged Styrofoam under or on the tree?  I would wager it wouldn’t be on the top of many people’s lists…but I have been surprised before.  The cards, however, seem to find a wider audience and I like the whole writing a note and actually putting a stamp on an envelope and trusting that it will arrive to whom it is intended kind of thing.  Placing pen to paper is also a more intimate and personal experience and something working online can’t duplicate in the same way.

The first several series of holiday images were figural.  About two years ago, I started making “abstract” ornaments from found materials and “posing” or “decorating” parts of this Falls of the Ohio landscape and photographing the result. The trees in this landscape are just as worthy of aesthetic consideration as the one you may select for your parlor.   The picture above is an image of ornaments I made that are decorating a sycamore branch.  A buffalo trace once existed in historic times not too far away from this view.

Two views of two separate ornaments.  I call these forms  “Ice Blossoms” and they are made with found Styrofoam and river-polished glass.  Many of these round foam forms were originally Christmas ornaments to begin with and I have rehabilitated them to their original purpose.  The glass,  I find along the riverbank.  It’s mostly bottle glass.  The interaction between river and sand polishes away the sharp edges and creates the “frosty” appearance. Also,  some of the foam balls I use were originally fishing bobbers…they are smaller and usually have some flourescent color on them.  I add an eyehook (if necessary) and found wire to finish them.

The ornaments work on a number of levels.  Some seem to emulate seed pods while others have an animal aggressiveness to them.  Photographing them against the fossil beds that were once a primordial marine environment, brings out their urchin-like aspects.  Can you imagine some of them creeping across the floor of an ancient ocean?  I can also “see” these being the  crystals of some strange silica-based mineral.  What do you see?

Locating these baubles  in different contexts is a way of interpreting the “sense of place” I feel is important about the Falls of the Ohio.  I never tire of seeing this spot as being one of the unique intersections of time and space in the history of life.  What I’m doing here continues that tradition in an albeit more modest way.  While the past is a big part of what this place was…it is, however, still very much alive in the present and moving on.

Currently, there isn’t much that’s still green around here.  I did, however, find this prickly briar vine and thought it was a good way to show off two bobber-type ornaments.  After I make the images, send-off the cards, I still have the ornaments themselves to give away as gifts.  Doing this puts me into the “spirit of the season” more than just about anything else.  That and staring at Christmas lights!  Here’s hoping everyone out there has a safe, peaceful, and meaningful holiday!

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