Monday, May 14, 2012

The Junk Windchime

The other day I got inspiration from an unlikely source. 

A crushed Budweiser beer can circa 1970.
My dad just randomly walked up to me and handed me this old, dirty, crushed up beer can. At first I was (naturally) confused, but then he explained the significance of this strange artifact- it's a classic Budweiser can from the 1970's.  You can tell how old it is by its use of a pull tab mechanism which haven't been used on beer cans in over 30 years. The idea that the can had endured for so long was incredible to me... It's almost twice my age and there's no telling how much it had already been through in its lifetime. For a piece of junk, that's pretty impressive.

 In a weird way, I have respect for this can.  I just had to do an artwork that implemented this gnarly artifact in one way or another.

My found objects
wind chime.
 That's where the wind chime idea came to mind. The crushed can wasn't the only strange piece of metal to accumulate in my area. I went out and searched for more "debris" and found many more fascinating trinkets and pieces. My dad also helped by donating some more metal pieces he found while at work. I raided my bead collection and found even more tiny embellishments to add. With my wind chime, I wanted to take these average, bits of industrial trash and transform them into a functional work of art. I think there is something especially inspiring about giving purpose to things that are normally considered useless junk.

This project was kind of different for me because I don't have much experience with building sculptures out found object. I usually just stick to two dimensions, so there was definitely a learning curve. It was kind of crazy to be so "hands on" with my work.. I had to thoroughly handle each piece, including all the rust, dirt and grime that came along with it. I also implemented a large amount of aluminum wiring, which is another material that is still somewhat foreign to me. Because of this, I had to be a little bit more resourceful with my tools. This time, I actually had to use pliers, crimps and wire cutters to get the effects I wanted in my artwork!

The finished result reminds me of a nest that an overzealous bird would build- Scavenging from bits and pieces of every shiny or colorful fragment it could find.

To string my objects on, I used old junk chains from broken jewelry I have accumulated over the years. They were perfect for the "industrial" theme I was trying to go for, and was great for attaching the charms too.

Some of my favorite components of the wind chime include these two "evil eyes" made from some more 1970's pop tabs.

 I like to think that they ward off evil whenever the wind blows.

Charms that I used in my wind chime include various bottle caps, metal cogs, buckles and broken glass bottles. It was an interesting challenge having to"beautify" each scrap, each thing required something a little different. Some things, like the glass shards for example, didn't need much decoration at all. They already look like shiny shards of crystal.

I even used charms on my charms!
. It started with a cruddy old beer can, but ended with a new found respect for discarded objects. Just about anything can be beautiful if shown in the right light.

My new found objects wind chime hanging out  on the trellis.


BoholstWife said...

it is so cute. i love the charm in front of the adds so much character. Maybe you can add a video of it blowing in the wind with light hitting it. even if it doesn't sound like typical wind chimes,it will still make a beautiful sound. when you put love into something,it always makes you smile when you look at it....oh,you make me feel so old,i was born in 1979,9 years after your can. my dang b-day is coming soon and i dread the next number it will turn to. oh well,that's life. regards to you trina...loving your postings.

trina lyn said...

Thanks! I really should try to get a video of this thing. It has a very mysterious chime sound to it, when the wind blows it just right you can hear this quiet tinking sound.
LOL oh and don't feel bad about the whole can thing. On the scheme of things it isn't very old, I just thought it was amazing because it had been wandering around for 30 years and somehow ended up in my possession. Sometimes I'm too artsy fartsy for my own good. :P

Halle said...

Hey Trina--That's fine if you want to link to my bottle cap wind chime for your tutorial.

Halle said...

Me again...Please make sure you link to my blog picture not the "pin" that inspired me. I don't want someone thinking I was taking credit for their project.