Oh, So Raven

As usual, once October approaches, November and December come full speed at me. Here it is the end of November and not a post has been posted…

I have very exciting news to share. Well, two bits of exciting news, but I’m waiting to share until most the details have been worked out.

In the mean time, I thought I’d share with you a tin I was “commissioned” to do by a friend, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta. Maryanne asked me to make a raven themed tin for her good friend Darlene Foster, a very talented artist who specializes in digital photography and image enhancement.

First, just a short side note… Maryanne has an interesting blog, All Maryanne, All The Time, where she writes about what moves her; music (she is a HUGE music fan), movies, general observations and especially her writing career (Maryanne has a book due out soon titled “On The Guest List”, all about her adventures as a music journalist in the hot spots of NYC). We actually met through blogging and have had the chance to chat over the phone and also become Facebook friends. It’s been a pleasure getting to know her and I was very honored she asked me to make this tin.

I wanted to unveil this in October, but was waiting for Maryanne to present it to Darlene first…

I was very nervous about this task because after looking at Darlene’s work, I felt grossly inadequate as an artist. How could I, a “self-teaching” unknown, create anything worthy enough to present to a talented, accomplished artist? I love her work, the haunting images, the eeriness of it all, and I wanted to capture the ideas expressed in her work without feeling as though I was copying.

But, I’m always up for a challenge. Being that Darlene is a photographer, I thought it would be fun to create a small frame inside the tin. The problem would be placing a photo inside the frame. The frame would have to be removable.

I decided on a square frame rather than circular. The clay was formed around the assembled frame before baking.
I settled on a square frame rather than circular. The clay was formed around the existing frame of 2 joined tags before baking.

I decided to make a small frame out of polymer clay (I am really loving this stuff). I used the metal frames from vellum tags then used three toothpicks between, along the metal part of the tag, to create a space for a photo. A small opening was made by omitting a fourth toothpick along the top of the joined frames so a photo could easily be slid in. For the frame to be removed from the tin, I attached a small, strong magnet to the back of the frame.  I kept velum intact for the back part of the frame, which I adhered the magnet to with E6000 glue.  I must have snapped this photo before I molded the clay frame to the metal part of the tags.  I also used clay to seal up the portions where the toothpicks might have been exposed – that would have ruined the look I was going for :).

raven drawing

I was happy with the raven drawing (right), but once placed on the tin, it lacked dimension. I could have used pop dots to raise the image, however, I was concerned the small drawing on its own would not be sturdy enough to withstand handling. The other option was a polymer raven, I was not happy with the results of that. I decided to place the drawing over the polymer piece which would give both dimension and support. I used Mod Podge to join the pieces together.

So here it is, the finished product.

rav2Collage

Typically, the raven is associated with dark magic, death and often seen perched on tombstones or atop skulls. I love all those images and the dark mystery that surrounds the raven, but for this project I wanted to focus on the positive side of the raven; keeper of secrets, bringer of light (according to Native American creation legends), preserver of ancestral memories. As the raven mates for life, I also see it as a symbol of love, faithfulness and security. These were the characteristics I attempted to capture here.

I heard Darlene was happy with it. I really enjoyed making it and thoroughly enjoyed browsing Darlene’s website and learning more about her as an artist. I also learned a lot about ravens as I did my research.

Being “commissioned” to do a piece of art work IS indeed exciting. I felt privileged and honored that anyone would consider asking me to do this. And as exciting as this was for me, I am super excited to share my next bit of news with you too! But as stated in the beginning – you will just have to wait. (only the raven knows…)

And as the mighty Tigger says…

TTFN,

Cheers!
(well, ok – I don’t think Tigger actually says THAT)

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10 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Maryanne Mistretta and commented:
    On WordPress you meet the most amazing people! So cool to have met Marie. First we connected on music, then when I realized what a great artist she was, she commissioned some items for me. Check it out in this great blog she wrote about what she made for my friend Darlene!

    Like

  2. Marie, I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the raven tin that Maryanne had you create for me! The exquisite detail and thought put into it is just wonderful! It has a place of honor next to my raven sculpture that I love dearly! Thank you!

    Like

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