3D mixed media projects

Family Herstory

Mixed media, 2015

This is a functional artwork, which I created to display scarves and other accessories at the art gallery and at craft shows. I bought a vintage dress-form and painted it with the colors I wanted to use. Then I decopaged it with photos of my family, which I'd prepared in Photoshop and printed on fibrous rice paper which I'd painted with digital ground. (I ended up trashing my poor printer, mostly because of this project, I think!) After completely decopaging it with photos of my grandmother, mother, aunts, sisters, and myself, I also added various vintage images and smatterings of gold and silver leaf. Mounting the antlers was a very difficult engineering challenge, which Jim helped me with. There is a color-shifting light inside.

Salamander Memorial Portrait

Mixed media, 2014

On December 3rd 2013, after 15 years together, I lost my soulmate-cat. I have known and loved many cats, but he was special. I created this life-size sculpture portrait of him as a memorial, and because I missed his presence so much. The likeness is not as accurate as I wish it was, and that is mostly because I have very little experience in sculpture and did not have him there to model for me. It is difficult to create a three-dimensional likeness based on a random variety of photos, that do not show the subject in a single pose from all angles. But I love this piece despite its deficiencies, because I somehow managed to capture his expression and his spirit.


Mixed media, 2013

This shadowbox canvas inspired me to do a piece in which I'm trying to sort of imply two layers of existence at once; the landscape that's visible to everyone, and the relics that are hidden... both actual buried relics, and the invisible history of a place.

I made that porcelain doll many years ago. It has gold leaf around the crown of its skull, as well as inside, and is dressed in an outfit made from an antique doily. Various other little objects I've collected over the years share its niche, including two plastic rabbits and an antique sterling silver spoon.

Mosaic Vase

Mosaic, 2008

This mosaic vase is actually built upon a glass vase. Without the underlying form to give it structure it would have been a lot more difficult to make, and probably not as strong.

Many of the pieces on this vase were from flowerpots or dishes that broke accidentally, but some I broke on purpose. Maybe other people don't have this problem, but I find it surprisingly difficult to make myself break dishes or figurines on purpose. Cutting off Barbie doll heads so I can turn them into something else? No problem. But for some reason I have trouble intentionally breaking other things.

Atlantis Box

Mixed media, 2008

My goal with this mosaic box was to create something that would look like it was dredged up from the depths of Atlantis. I love that it says "Greetings from Ottowa" on the front.

Historians were thrilled to discover this evidence of communication between Ottowa and Atlantis; it throws much of what we know about Canadian history into an entirely new light! ;-)

Robot Mask

Mixed media, 2004

The basis for this robot mask is plaster bandage, which is always fun to use to cast faces. Jim helped me cast my face, and I used various found objects to create a mechanical self-portrait. I'm trying to remember if I had even heard of the term "steampunk" at this point in time. I think if I had, I would have done some things differently.

Mermaid and Jellyfish Headdresses

Mixed media, 2002

I designed and created these headdresses as part of the mermaid and jellyfish costumes I made for us to wear in the Procession of the Species in 2002. Jim's costume in particular was a huge hit, and in subsequent years we suddenly saw a lot of jellyfish in the parade. In my humble opinion, though, none were quite as good.

To create these, I hand-dyed silk chiffon, fringe, and micro-pleated ruffle trim. I used plaster bandage to cast the top of Jim's head and my head, to create the "hat" part of each headdress, so they would fit perfectly. I created the curving front part of the mermaid headdress and the large circular sombrero-like platform of the jellyfish headdress out of cardboard. Paint, glue, lots of ribbons and strands of beads, and a large clear garbage bag full of clear balloons completed Jim's headdress. Yarn, paint, wire, copious glue, a long blonde wig which I struggled to dye into mermaid colors, and lots of rhinestones went into the making of mine. I also designed and sewed the rest of my costume.


Mixed media, 1993

Completed more than 20 years ago, this is the oldest piece I am including here. My goal with it was to create a 3D painting; something that would look like a painting, but come out of the frame towards the viewer. It was also to create a multi-layer self-portrait showing not the literal face of the subject but layers of personality or mental state, including both positive and negative. The gold frame is covered with vermin; rats, snakes, lizards, frogs, and fish which I painted gold. I hoped at first glance it would look like an ornate gold baroque-style frame. In retrospect I should have included insects as well. As you can probably tell, plaster bandage also played a major role in the making of this piece.