Sunday, September 16, 2007

Leaves Cut From The Sides Of Beer Bottles

This is a poor-man's slumping technique, actually cutting the leaf design from the curved sides of beer bottles giving the leaves an appearance of floating, twirling and a three dimensional falling quality without a kiln. The leaves bring together a bunch of my favorite activities--meandering through my neighborhood collecting leaves, emptying local and exotic brews in order to reclaim the amber and green glass, and listening to music while cutting glass, copper-foiling and soldering the pieces together.

So far I've rendered a few elm leaf designs in different states of decomposition using a Mesabi Red from Lake Superior, a Golden Monkey and an Old Horizontal from Victory, an oak leaf from a Pilsner Urquell, and poplar and aspen leaves from Old Horizontals.

What I'd like to see happen, is an interactive art piece, where you collect interesting leaves that you especially enjoy, grab a couple of your favorite brews--send (or drop-off, if you're in the neighborhood), and I'll render the leaf from the side of your selected bottle. Interact, anyone?

Here's the nuts and bolts of the proceedings for the Pilsner Urquell oak leaf: after drawing the shape and lines of the leaf veins, you drink a Pilsner Urquell paired with a couple of left-over fried tacos from El Norteno--prepare a jar of ice-cubed water and begin boiling some water while you traipse down to the basement to score the bottom of the another and continue nibbling chips and salsa...immerse scored bottle in ice cold water...wait for boiling water--pour this into the bottle and listen for the crack of glass while shouting--"Wally!" back downstairs with your cylinder of beer bottle glass...score cylinder down the center...tap, tap, tap, tap...break--two halves of cylindrical glass.  Then you place your pattern on the outside of the curved bottle side, score, tap, break...and eventually copper foil the individual pieces and solder them back together!

These leaves have all fallen into my etsy shop...I'm quite pleased with my latest rendering of a large elm leaf with bits and pieces missing and a lovely curving profile...I listened to Papa Noel and Papi Ovideo's Bana Congo and a smattering of hot violin solos from Joe Venuti and Stephane Grappelli during parts of the process.

Eventually I will combine a handful of leaves into a mobile which would look especially nice hanging from your porch on a cool fall night while you sit back with a Belgian Chimay, some funny smelling cheese, with Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in Em with Kyung Wha Chung on the fiddle wafting in from your hi-fi...aaahhhhh.


unblinkingeye designs said...

These leaves are extraordinary!

Cutting individual pieces of flat glass is one thing... but for all the pieces to be curved?!


sarah said...

You've been tagged!

the mannequin. said...

Hey now, that was my idea!!!
Except I was thinking of how sweet it would be to do up a whole [mini] tree. Have you ever thought about that one?