by Riverbend artist Rose Tomlinson
Peace sign made in Phillipines by fair trade craftspeople.
My embellishments include handmade fused recycled glass, re-purposed finger puppet, junk mail “key”, natural fibers, re-purposed watch, clay faces, a compass rose, and a wish for world peace, starting in each heart, in each home, now is the time.
OK, I don’t know if this is art or not, or what kind, but it was something I had to do to work through grieving for my friend Jim. It is called “A gift of Love – Unclaimed”. Not useful or functional and I have no idea what to “do” with it, but I made it with love and to remember my friend.
It is a slab of stained glass, rough-edged on one edge (leftovers from when they make glass – they roll it out like taffy & they chop off squares – this is the rough jagged edge leftover.) It is blues & greens & golds, all colors Jim liked. They are muted until you hold it up to the light and then light shines through & you see the textures, swirls & mottling & such). It’s about 2 feet long & 4-5 inches high. I wire-wrapped it so it could be hung.
In the middle of the glass I glued a piece of fused glass that is cobalt-midnight blue & has the words to the Serenity Prayer on it in gold lettering, about 3 X 4 inches. This is a gift I sent to Jim, to let him know we loved him and cared about him (I figured by then that he was sick and maybe couldn’t respond, or might have dementia, but it would still be a tangible token of love from his friends. I didn’t know he was already gone by then.)
This piece of glass was returned to me in its padded mailing envelope, which was all marked up by the postal people, with codes & checkmarks & dates of when they tried to deliver it, but finally decided it was “Unclaimed” – and sent it back to me. (Env. has my return address on it, with a Human Rights campaign (GLBT rights group) label.) It also has a big red FRAGILE – GLASS – HANDLE with CARE sticker on it. I thought this envelope told a story, so I attached it to the slab of glass. (I wired an agate on the glass, and glued the envelope to the stone – the envelope hangs down.)
I epoxied some other things on the slab – one is a fused glass piece with a rodeo cowboy on it (Jim loved rodeo). I glued a piece of yellow glass on it that says “Find a Cure” and a metal red ribbon pin (Jim had HIV-AIDS). Also a brass dragonfly (symbol of eternal life) & another piece of yellow glass that says “Jim”. There’s also a little bit I cut off from a magnet I had that says “Life is short”.
I really like the idea of using a piece of real everyday life (canceled envelope) to tell a story, and I did it in glass because Jim was always so encouraging about my glass experiments….
So I don’t know if that is art or craft, but it was a labor of love and from my heart…