The Dinner Table
by Ann Woodward and none for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)
Inspiration Piece: Around the Fish
Inspiration Artist: Paul Klee
To create "The Dinner Table" I used all or part of every material included in the kit with the exception of the glue stick. The piece was assembled and parts joined and attached using only the bottle of Elmer's glue provided.
The piece of oak plywood serves as the base, and the canvas board, glued to one of the hardwood blocks to hold it upright, is the centerpiece. I gessoed the canvas cloth and cut off most of it to create a backdrop, adding depth, width and height to the re-invention. I folded and glued down some rough edges. I glued 2 of the thin pieces of hardwood to the back to keep the canvas rigid. I also glued a wood block, a thin piece of hardwood, and one dowel to the back to keep it upright and in place. The large hardwood block, glued to the base, provides an element of depth and a place to attach the objects in the foreground.
The piece of rope, glued to the canvas board, forms the "plate." The fish was created out of the Chavant modeling clay. I warmed a piece, rolled it flat with a rolling pin, cut out the shape of the fish with a knife, and smoothed out the form with my fingers and a toothpick. I made the eyes and scales out of the modeling clay, cutting and shaping them with the edge of a lipstick tube and toothpicks and pressing them into the body. I drew the fish's face with a toothpick. The fins are made from pieces of the thinnest hardwood, sawed off or broken off with my fingers. I sawed the tail pieces out of another piece of thin hardwood which had a pattern of ridges on its rough side - these form the texture of the tail fins. I used sandpaper to smooth and finish shaping them. The fins and tail pieces are pushed into the clay fish to hold them in place.
The fish shape under the clay fish was cut out of the canvas cloth, then painted and glued to the canvas board. To this I glued another fish shape made from the steel wire, which I cut off and shaped with wire cutters. This re-invents an element in the original painting and serves as an armature to support and hold the clay fish in place, as white glue did not bond to the modeling clay.
The suspended head in the upper left was shaped from a piece of wire and painted white. The eyes are 2 unmelted Friendly plastic pellets. The thick white lines and other shapes on the head are small pieces cut from the cloth canvas. All are glued to the wire. The leaf of the all-red flower and the arrow and flag forms (attached to pieces of wire) are also cut from the canvas cloth. The stem of the all-red flower is a sliver of thin hardwood.
The plant elements are made from pieces of wire onto which I glued tiny pieces cut from the shredded newsprint, which I had first painted green to give the paper some body and ease handling. I used tweezers to dip the pieces in glue and place them on the wire.
The flower shapes, moons, cross and the cylinder shapes at the right and lower left were created from Sculpey polymer clay. I rolled it between 2 pieces of plastic wrap using a glass jar, then cut out the shapes with a knife and bottle caps. A toothpick helped to shape the forms. I baked the cylinder forms around a tube made from aluminum foil so they would keep their shape. The clay pieces were assembled after baking, as needed, with the Elmer's glue.
The cylindrical "glass" in the middle left is made from melted Friendly plastic pellets. I formed it with my hands and smoothed it with a small glass jar. I stuffed the "glass" with a piece of floral foam to hold the wire elements inserted into it in place. This connection was solidified with glue. The bond of the "glass" to the side edge of the large hardwood block was strengthened with a small piece of the newsprint saturated with glue.
The elements and visible areas of the supports and base were painted before final assembly of the piece. Assembly was all done with the Elmer's glue, propping up pieces with clay, dowels and bottle caps or holding them with my hands until the glue set. All the sculpted pieces are glued at some point to the wood block, base and/or the canvas board to keep them firmly in place.