When I start a mixed media assemblage piece, I usually start with a rough sketch with just enough information so that I don't lose the idea, because sometimes it takes me a while to get around to actually making it. Here is the sketch for my latest piece: "Artemisia's Chest #2"
It is then a process of permanently joining all the parts together into a cohesive whole. Usually, because there is a great disparity between the materials, I use layers of colour to harmonize everything and make it look like it all actually belongs together!
In this piece, I sculpted one foot, two hands and a head. I made a stiffened felt conical hat and everything else was found: empty silkworm cocoons, fabrics, driftwood, rusted, flattened hose wrapping, a tiny jar, snake bones, a pulley, a box and some plywood.........a whole bunch of very discrete things pulled together into a cohesive whole. I have been fascinated by some of the interesting feedback I have had about this piece - some see it as a statement about lost childhood, which is something that had not entered my mind! Mostly, I work fairly intuitively when I'm making something like this.....I like meaning to be hinted at, but not spelled out. After all, those looking at it have to do SOME work!
The doors are hinged, so the cam be closed.