Full Metal Basket and Other Inspired Works

Back in March, the New York Times featured the work of Kurt Schwitters on the front page of their Weekend Arts section. And while I got really excited about the article and where it led me, I did experience a not-so pleasant feeling when I tried my hand at artspeak and mispronounced the artist's name in front of a snarky acquaintance. (Note to self: the "w" in "Schwitters"is not an optional consonant.)

Shortly after reading about Schwitters' collage pieces (now on exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum in Princeton, NJ) and his Merzbau, I had the pleasure of visiting the Richard Meier & Partners Model Museum in Long Island City, NY. Among the giant wooden models of the J. Paul Getty Museum and other less formidable work, framed collages by Mr. Meier hung proudly against a small wall. Impressive and a little surprising since I primarily know Mr. Meier from his work on the Getty. I suppose a true connoisseur of art and architecture can draw parallels between the two men and their body of work, but I never made it past the required art history classes one needed to graduate college. So I ain't going there...

What I can tell you is that inspiration took root. I went home with jazz riffs in my ears and red/black/yellow abstract forms floating in my head.

The first thing I did was take my boring Ikea dresser and paint it with the inspired palette of Schwitters and Meier. I also added casters to the legs so I could roll it around, but that was a purely practical touch.

Okay, I admit that it's a little weird and my husband Dave initially gave it the stink eye--especially when I tried to roll it into the dining room. (Yikes.) But it's back in my little work room and growing on him. And my kids love it.
Now on to my bottle cap collection. For six years I've been saving metal bottle caps from beer bottles. They are stored in bags, jars, and other containers that annoy the bejezus out of Dave. With those jazz riffs still in my ears, I decided to pull out as many red, yellow, and black bottle caps as I could to make (insert trumpets blaring here) this:

A full metal basket.

I tried soldering the darn caps together, but after inhaling the fumes from the liquified solder metal, burning myself, and the caps not sticking to each other, I gave up on the soldering iron. But not wanting to give up entirely, I turned to my trusty awl, poked 4 or 5 holes into each cap, and threaded them together with jewelry wire. Success! 

I'm hoping to catch the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art soon. Let's hope I walk away with another tune in my ears and gallery of images in my head--and the urge to make something worth blogging about!