About this time last year I bought a gigantic plastic storage container at Goodwill. It was filled to the brim with those wonderful plain wooden building blocks for kids. The old school kind that last forever. Rectangles, squares, cylinders, arches, and those cool wedge-of-cheese shaped blocks. I stowed them in the way-back of my 14 year old Subaru wagon, and didn’t really think of them again until the fates decided about 6 weeks ago that the Subaru’s time had come (I can’t complain: it hit the 250,000 thousand mile mark in June and had never, but never let me down). But it had to be cleaned out in preparation for moving to its new home, and the blocks came to light again and started nagging at me.
And then I needed a present for someone special. And this was born:
Inspired by a number of different projects, I pulled together various tools and decorated papers–monoprinted, stamped, brush painted, watercolored and so on. You can actually get a better look at the kind of things that ended up papering the block in these shots. I quite like the little green bit of paper with the fish and tadpoles on it–it has a wonderful (IIDSSM) 3-D look to it, but I assure you, it’s perfectly flat.
And these–the stamp of the little person in the hat was made for another project, but it makes a credible appearance here, I think.
On this block printed strip, which ended up on the front of the bridge, a recently carved fish stamp and a poem by Issa:
I assembled it all with Golden semigloss gel, let it dry (hurrying it along a bit with a heat gun) then covered the whole with a layer of natural colored encaustic medium. Then I sat watching Top Gear (British version, of course) while I buffed all the surfaces to a nice low-level gloss, kissed it goodbye, and packed it for shipping to the birthday girl.
It’s called Chrysanthemum bridge, but I still don’t know what it us. Maybe she will.