I finished the piece I’ve been working on since December of last year, incorporating the different parts of baby gates and familial debris. The first two were done months ago and have been sitting in the attic. The last piece used the baby barrier that used to be between our kitchen and the rest of the house. All of kids learned how to climb over it, so we figured it wasn’t serving any purpose, except occasionally for a Bey Blade Battle Arena. (Don’t know what Bey Blades are? Tops. That’s all).
The last panel was large and square and started with several pieces of my youngest’s water color artwork that were kicking around the floor, plus wax and the usual book parts. Then I added shells from one of our chowders, pencils from my husband’s high school that my mother in law had been hoarding for 25+ years and decided to send us in a box, together with various of my husband’s childhood craft projects and similar memorabilia. The larger additions at the bottom of the piece include a bit of a bee hive, the useless plastic bubble cases that the even more useless rubber squinky toys come in, a book cover and a piece of vintage cookie press packaging. Oh, and some stickers that I’d been saving for no apparent reason for 15 years or so.
Then I wasn’t sure about the next step, although it didn’t look done. I put it out on the front porch where it sat and gathered dust for nine months, exposed to sun and moisture (although not direct rain). The surface warped and got a little flaky. At some point during those months I picked up some beads from goodwill, and did a couple of other pieces incorporating the “empty space,” so one day I figured out what to do.
I used the modgy stuff to create two circles, one of silvery beads and one of gold thread and tied them together across the shells in the middle. I like the “sun and moon” suggestion and it fit with with my original idea of calling the triptych “Married with Children”. The execution was a bit of a struggle because getting something to stick to the glue and not my fingers is tough. But I managed to get it to the point where I’m satisfied and get mounting wires on all three pieces. Now it’s in the attic. I still need to figure out the best adhesive for these sorts of project, but I like how it turned out.
The previously finished panel includes one of my children’s socks a favorite mug purchased at one of the Asian groceries in Ann Arbor, a tile spacer from a theater project in college, more of the children’s craft supplies and a picture of me taken for my visa when I was in Taiwan in 1987.
I hope they don’t pull out of the wall and fall.