Late last year and earlier this year, I had created a body of work called the Natasa Series. Inspired by a collection of photographs from Yugoslavia taken in the 1940’s – 1960’s, I created the fictional character of Natasa and her sisters based on them. Today’s entry had not originally been intended to become part of this series, but like many artworks-in-progress, it had a mind of its own, and wound up becoming the newest piece in this series.
But first, the original inspiration. Cheri found this wonderful, albeit very broken clock at a sale.
I absolutely loved the look of this clock, and the diagonal body. The challenge would be to incorporate it into a piece without either a) it dominating the piece, with everything else looking tacked on, or b) it be hacked down so much that it loses its original charm. With that in mind, I started to play. The next two rather blurry photos show a couple instances of the length process of moving things around and trying out several different elements.
The long two rods on the right are the chime from the clock. It would be attached to the right side, and does in fact still make a chime sound when struck.
A big lover of using drawers in my work, I seemed to really want to incorporate the drawers seen in the photos above. But nothing looked like it was meant to be together, despite trying them several different ways. At some point, the rather simple idea came about: incorporate them so they actually look like their original function. Also had been struggling with what to use as big circular element on the right, and decided upon another clockface. And it suddenly all came together.
With that came the next stage. To cut all boxes and drawers so they would fit onto the diagonal of the clock body. Not really having the proper tools to do this, there was a lot of eyeballing and guesswork. Fortunately a lot of my cuts would ultimately be hidden.
Looking over the piece, it felt too wooden. So this is where Natasa comes in. In the two corners with the chairs, it seemed fitting the chairs should be in a more cozy environment. So a combination of fabric samples, a tiny ornamental frame, chair, and a couple of the Yugoslavian photos, it felt much more like a peek into a little room.
In the bottom left of the photo below you can partially see Natasa’s little room. The last large task in the piece was somehow getting the jumble at the bottom of the piece attached, and look like a very natural jumble at the same time.
I won’t bore you with the endless photos I took of the jumble attempts that just didn’t look right, but will share the photo below. You can see a couple of the bells trailing off to the right. A few more would be added to make that effect, but it just made the whole piece too busy.
After I had managed to get the bells into a jubilant jumble, I hung the piece but still there was one thing missing. The gap above the box with the little goblets seemed blaring, so added one more tiny box with a drawer pull inside, and it felt complete.
The name of this piece is “Dinner Time,” and is the unexpected newest entry in my Natasa Series. It is approximately 20 x 26 x 6 inches, and hangs on the wall.