Parts Series #7

9/5/91, 8 1/4″ diameter, mixed media with celastic. Private Collection.

This cosmic sphere was a joy to create. It was constructed on a styrofoam ball with an underlayer of white gesso, sanded and painted black. Layering color over black somehow makes the color pop. The bands spanning the circumference of the sphere are cut from a material called celastic which is used for taxidermy (reminds me of the movie “Hope Floats”!) and puppetry. Celastic is a plastic impregnated fabric which molds to any shape. It used to stick to itself (back in 1991), but now you have to go through gyrations to get it to adhere. Oh well . . . there are so many things that don’t do what they used to, yes?

Bird’s Eye-Full

Parts Series #19: “Bird’s Eye-Full”, 8/18/00, mixed media, 20” x 10 1/4” x 10 1/2“, striped graduated boxes.

At the time I went to make this sculpture, we were buying large containers of bottled water, and (I don’t know why) I began to save the tops of the jars. So when I began to construct this table top work, there they were, waiting to be attached to all four sides of its base, making transportation a rather difficult task to contemplate. The striped boxes may be arranged parallel to each other as well as the way they are pictured here. The swags are made of celastic (a material used in taxidermy), and the eyeball is made of a small styrofoam sphere. And there are my friends, the yellow canary and the pennant, blowing in the implied breeze . .


Parts Series #37: “On the Seashore”, 7/3/05, 13”h x 12”wide x 10 1/2”deep, mixed media.

The title of this sculpture comes from a line of a free verse poem called “On the Seashore” by:
Rabindranath Tagore–Indian poet. 1861 – 1941 Bengali
–On the Seashore of endless worlds, children play. (Somehow the word ‘meet’ got changed (in translation?) to ‘play’.)

The poem itself:

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet.

The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.

They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby’s cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.


Five Houses on Wheels

Parts Series #44: 8/30/18, 3 1/2″ x 7″ x 4 1/2″ , mixed media. Price: $950.00.

Mixed media on found toy part I had lying around the studio.

Tiny houses on green lawn-spheres lie cradled on this oddly shaped object that may be pulled. (Those wheels really roll, but you must unstick them first.)


Parts Series #31: “Leaping Over”, 11/12/02, 5” x 10 1/2” x 4 3/4”, mixed media.

This piece can either hang on a wall or sit on a horizontal surface. As a base, I began with a hanging shelf meant for use in a kitchen (for what?) that I found in a Goodwill store, a great source or I-don’t-know-what-all to inspire and encourage the odd waking dream and thought. Some of the materials included are paper clay, celastic (used for taxidermy), and wooden block shapes covered with printed designs glued onto them and painted over. The paint used is acrylic paint in colors as bright as possible–though not neon–covered in a very shiny varnish. The three heads–a bubble-blowing young kid, an orange cat with pink ears, and a rather worried looking character on the right–are attached to the back by pre-existing dowels protruding from the back of the shelf. One wonders what they were originally used for. The Hebrew script on the bottom is the word Pesach or ‘leaping over’. Happily, this piece has already found a good home.


Nine Houses

Parts Series #32: “Nine Houses”, 3/18/03, 2 1/2” x 10 1/4” x 10”, mixed media. Striped boxes in a metal tray. Sculpture.

As I recall, this piece was built upon a tray and containers that were meant to fit into it and be filled with soil to grow herbs. A ready made base for my flights of fancy!! At the time, I was very much engaged with the idea of a simple house form which I considered to be both active and passive–both male and female in nature. The house form I used was an arrow shape, such as little kids use in their early drawings. But, of course, the house is also a home that contains us and protects us against the heat and cold–a place where we work, play, relax and sleep.
So there they are, nine of them, ready to snuggle together and become a warm, nurturing community, each one a launching pad for new adventures!



Parts Series #36: “Atop”, 2/1/05, 25” x 21” x 21”, mixed media with sound (27 red & yellow balls with figures on top)

“Atop” consists of nine critters atop twenty-seven red and yellow painted styrofoam balls. Some are ‘intact’, like the orange and white striped tiger puss and the three squished-together canaries. Others are ‘composite’ like the human nude baby with the dark and light blue cat head. Another baby has red stars down its back, and another faces us, wearing only shoes and socks and still another is wearing only red and blue trousers. Another orange and white striped cat faces front on both sides, joined forever at their/its center. They all sit on top of the twenty-seven spheres, kings and queens of their world!


Cat and Bird

Cat and Bird

Parts Series #39: “Cat & Bird”, 12/21/09, 9” high x 7 1/4” x 7 1/4”, mixed media, including 1 blue cat figure, one bird with human arms instead of wings, 2 wings, 6 stars, one blue ball, and a belled box placed on a square base.

“Cat & Bird” is also a part of my Parts Series, a series of brightly-colored, fantastical sculptures . The inclusion of the pomegranates and bells was inspired by the design of the robes of the High Priest (Kohan Gadol). The bells on the hem of his garment would sound as he walked (as found in the text of Exodus 27:20-30:10).

Views with Bells

Parts Series #43: 3/2/18, 14″ diameter x 6 1/2″ high, sculpture/mixed media: acrylic paint, marker, celastic, styrofoam round-headed pins, flotsam and jetsam from around the studio, bells, beads, gesso, tiny wooden houses, celastic roses, Flashe.

This is a three-dimensional painted construction I completed in response to a request by the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts here in Washington, DC. to be included in their annual Alchemical Vessels Fundraiser exhibition. Every year they hold a fundraiser in their gallery downtown in an effort to help cover their expenses for their healing work. Creating this sculpture was pure joy for me. It was lots of fun scouring the studio for this and that to include in the little windows I carved into the styrofoam substrate of the hemisphere atop the plywood base that they provided each artist. Some of the materials I used were: acrylic paint, marker, celastic (used in taxidermy), styrofoam, round-headed pins, bells, beads, tiny wooden houses, and Flashe, a kind of water-based paint.

Forgotten Dream

Parts Series #40: “Forgotten Dream”, November 2, 2011, 7” x 8” x 13” deep, mixed media: pre-made box, styrofoam balls, paper clay, twig, long twist tie, acrylic paint.

Where did I encounter this wonderful box divided into four parts? Boxes provide a home for things, a place to feel cozy and comforted. So here I was with a contained, secure beginning. Next, the four styrofoam spheres made their appearance. They fit perfectly within the space, even with the dividers, but I knew I had to lose the dividers because they’d have to be covered with modeling paste, black gesso, acrylic paint, and varnish, which is the next thing I did. At the same time, I began to make the creatures–the fish, the cat-headed golden snake, the orange bird, and the two heads covered with gold-beaded hair, supported by a real branch. Next the lid needed paint–a scene would be just the thing. I began with an apple tree partly submerged in water and a sun (or is that a moon?), with various human limbs floating about or dropping from the sky. Did Hurricane Katrina play a part? It is difficult to know.

Martha’s Bluebirds

Parts Series #42: 2/21/16, closed 2″ x 8 1/4″ x 8″, open 9″ x 8 1/4″ x 8″. Mixed media: 3 paintbrushes, fake flowers, nest, 5 eggs, ring, tiny hand, tiny green jingle bell, fender washers, split peas with acrylic paint. Donated to the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. 1632 U St., NWDC 2009 to be exhibited in Alchemical Vessels.

This is a mixed media piece that was created to be part of a fund raiser for the Smith Canter for Healing and the Arts, a DC-based organization that has programs to support those having cancer. Many materials and objects went into the making of this piece including but not limited to: 3 paintbrushes, fake flowers, tiny bird’s nest, 5 eggs, ring, tiny plastic hand from who-knows-where, tiny green jingle bell, fender washers, and split peas. The whole is washed over with acrylic paint.