Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cedar Panel Wall Hanging Commission (for my husband)

I had created 24 individual wall hangings for our Open Doors Art Show and Sale this past December 3 and 4, 2010. Each panel was a slat from a round cedar wood planter that I deconstructed years ago. The panels each measure 3 inches wide and 15 inches high. I had wanted to move the planter but I needed to empty the soil from it first. Once the soil was removed, all of the panels fell into the void.

I had a feeling that I could use them in a creative way, but at the time I had no idea what I would do with them. The stack of cedar panels sat in my garage for about 2 years, drying out and gathering spider webs. Well, inspiration struck one day and I was joyfully engaged in selecting old rusted metal pieces and nails, beads, bamboo and other assorted stuff to affix to the front of each panel by hand drilling into the wood.

My husband asked if I could do a commission for him using items that were special and personal to him. Since he is a photographer, he was hoping that I could include some camera related items on it. Members of our Portland Art Collective came to the rescue and donated a few camera lenses for my project.

So, from the top of the cedar wood panel to the bottom, here is an introduction to all of the items on his own personalized panel:

1. An old brass doorknob because he loved its smoothness and patina and because he loves old houses.
2. An old clear plastic dial with the numbers 1 through 10 and 'hi' and 'lo' written on it. (The dial for an old electric blanket?) In the center of this dial I glued a button that reads "Life."
3. A camera lens.
4. An industrial metal valve cap which reads "Do not loosen nut. Refer to Handbook." This is so applicable to him because he always reads every instruction manual of everything he buys. And he always keeps every manual, too.
5. Fastened to the front of this metal cap is a small metal key. (Perhaps the key to his success is that he reads instruction manuals?)
6. In small black beads the word "Miksang." This is the type of photography he practices. You can read about it on his website:
7. "MTA" stands for "Midlife Transition Artist". This was a term introduced to us by a gentleman who referred to himself as an MTA. Little did we know that my husband would take this term to heart and sign himself up for a photography class to reacquaint himself with this favorite childhood hobby. That class was 11 years ago.
8. A macro camera lens. When you look into the lens you see a tiny metal heart that was placed inside.
9. One of the items dangling off the bottom is a Multnomah County pet license. My husband absolutely loves dogs. Another item is a large red plastic gem, red for his favorite color and red for the ruby he surprised me with on our 30th anniversary.

Well, I surprised him with this creation on Christmas and it was a hit. It now hangs on the wall above his desk in his studio. He is thrilled that it contains so many personal things about his life.

Well, that's it, I guess. Just a quick note: this was my very first blog entry ever in my life. I swore that I would never write on a blog (or does one write in a blog? sigh) I capitulated because my husband gave me my own digital camera for Christmas and taught me how to use it and taught me how to download my photos onto my computer (or upload or whatever you call it, jeez.) With his help I was able to maneuver through all this techno stuff and join the rest of you who seem to have so much fun here in computer land. This maiden voyage was a bit scary, I must admit!




Paula McNamee said...

Great post Lorraine. Thanks for sharing this special gift
that you made for Scott. I love the story behind your artwork.

Tory Brokenshire said...

Congratulations and welcome to blog land Lorraine. Your work is beautiful, I loved the story.

Dayna Collins said...

What a fun first blog post, Lorraine. Lucky Mr. Scott, too.

Z'anne said...

Yeah! Lorraine has crossed into the Ether! What a wonderful piece you created for Scott.

cynthia said...

Yipee for you for doing your first blog post! It was excellent and very informative.