Friday, March 20, 2015

Freeform Friday: Antique Ephemera

Read about my previous Texas inspiration from January 2013... 
This past week I was in Austin, Tx visiting family. I adore travel, and I love the heightened awareness that I get when traveling. The DE-TX route is one I do a few times a year; even though my sister's and my parents' houses feel like home - the travel awakens me. I am more alert, tuned in to my surroundings as they are familiar but different. I am almost guaranteed to be inspired, and rejuvenated to return to the studio. This trip it was a day trip to Georgetown, TX and a few fabulous antique stores...

The loot from Gatherings. 
Rosary cases for mixed media necklaces? 

We were having a bit of show and tell over a glass of wine - and my Dad was incredulous that I was SO excited over this little pile of ephemera. But I have big plans:

This leather rosary case joins a leather coin purse in my tray of treasures. I see them with grommets to allow for a secure attachment that won't damage the leather. I imagine personal treasures inside: pictures, notes to one's self, a small object to wear close to your heart...

The Optometrist lenses are a classic component of mixed media pieces, and I admit I find them lovely to use. I like to collage on antique paper, worn thin and translucent. The resin does the rest. I think the layers reveal and conceal words and images in a way that engages the viewer. The resin lens shown was one half of a pair of spectacles. As the the buckles - I DO have a stock pile of these. I like to use them as frames, enshrining a word or image. The piece below was created in tandem with my artist friend Betsy Mortenson, the shapes and words play off the images in a giclee print of hers.
Optometrist lenses and an antique Mother-of-pearl buckle. 
This one may look familiar? Another buckle on the top right... and a look back at the mixed media COM's from January 2014! I'm pretty excited - I'll be teaching this mold making/polymer/mixed media class at Bead Fest in April
Buckles destined for Mixed media; like  I am teaching at Beadfest! 
And last but not least, a flock of feathered friends in the form of cigarette cards. Popular from the 1870's until the early 1900's these advertising cards decorated and stiffened soft packs of cigarettes. They are quite collectible, but at $1 each I don't think these corvids and owls are in high demand.
Cigarette cards - a company of corvids. 
The sales woman asked me what I was going to do - I think the phrase mixed media artist piqued her interest. I had been sketching shrine pendants in the airport already - so here are a few excerpts from my pages:
From my sketchbook... 
The cards are a bit large and I may have to trim them. My basic idea is to create a copper and mica sandwich, or alternately a copper and plexiglass sandwich. The piece would be attached with rivets, microvolts, etc. I could even do a peyote stitch ribbon around the piece, ( sketch on bottom left) to circle the poleax and sit flush between the copper pieces. Hmm. SO many ideas!
What will these be? Time will tell... 

And last but not least:
Antique watch crystals, some tiny and some medium. I am going to keep these a secret for now... but I am SO excited about these! They were in a Mason jar! So many, I was sorting through them, tempted to buy more!

I have a studio day planned today! Mixed media, metal, polymer, and perhaps a few hares... it IS March. Until next time... 



  1. Some great finds there Jenny - love the rosary cases.

  2. Oh can't wait to see what you do with those watch crystals!

  3. Love the little leather cases! Can't wait to see the finished pieces.

  4. Such intriguing finds! Can't wait to see them after they pass through your creative hands. And thanks for covering for me today. I'm starting to feel better now.


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