The trip I made to one junk sale last month proved to be quite fruitful. So far at least four pieces have items that were found from it, including today’s feature, which has several.

I learned (both from here at home and away) was what one of the objects from this outing was. I didn’t get a picture of it before I started working so here is one I found on the web:

Snaffle Bit
Snaffle Bit

For anyone familiar with horses, which doesn’t include me, this is quite familiar. It’s a snaffle bit, and according to wikipedia it “is the most common type of bit used while riding horses. It consists of a bit mouthpiece with a ring on either side and acts with direct pressure.”

So there you have it. This bit and a very worn coinpurse became the start of this piece. To me, the rings of the bit look like they are being held by little hands, so thought it might be interesting to have these hands come out of the purse. I got an initial design going, and this is how it looked:

silentbutler-start-web

I opted for another shadowbox composition to house them, with some lockfaces as background, and a piece of wood that says “silent butler” at the bottom (which was one of the many items Cheri has found in her journeys.

As we learned about the snaffle bit earlier, it may as well also be mentioned that a silent butler is a small receptacle with a handle and a hinged lid, used for collecting crumbs or ashes, according to the American Heritage Dictionary.

So the silent butler piece looked like it would look good as a drawer, so I constructed one with it. I had it slightly longer than the box, so it would be sticking out just a bit (but not a snaffle bit)

First a photo of the drawer constructed…

silentbutler-progress2web

And then with it inserted..

silent-butler-attached-web

As can be seen springs were added. I wanted the purse to have the feeling of being sitting in the drawer, but needed to fill it up with something so it would be sitting at the top. The main parts attached, painting was next. Once I get to this painting stage, I don’t really like to deal with progress photos. With that in mind, the next photo shows the piece very much near the end.

silentbutlerprogress3-web

The issues at this point were 1) attached the glass beads to the lock parts in the back, 2) glueing each spring in the drawer, and 3) getting the bit to stay both upright and overlap a little. #1 and #2 were straightforward, though #2 was a bit messy and smelly. For #3, I used a bit of wire, as I didn’t want to rely on glue alone. With that the piece was done. Here are several shots of the finished piece:

Silent Butler
Silent Butler
Silent Butler - Left Top View
Silent Butler - Left Top View

 

Silent Butler - Right Top View
Silent Butler - Right Top View
Silent Butler - Left View
Silent Butler - Left View

Silent Butler is 14 x 9 x 8 inches. It can either hang on the wall or does fine sitting on a surface as well. It is $550. Feel free to contact me or check out other assemblages.

Butler Bits: “Silent Butler”
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5 thoughts on “Butler Bits: “Silent Butler”

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  • March 24, 2012 at 9:48 pm
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    Another unique and testimonial to how your “weird” mind works (only saw the hands grasping when it was in the purse stage..but you saw it before you knew it was a bit) I like the shades of color too.. A Great imaginative assemblage Scott!

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    • April 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm
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      A much delayed thanks, Kari! Yes I had no idea what it was, but after horsing around with it for a bit, it became the mane part of the piece. I have already started a followup to the Butler, it will have similar elements such as the coin purse, but think it will continue in its own direction as well.

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