Monday, August 23, 2010

Heart

As a child I spent most of my time alone reading books. My world was an imaginary one filled with stories of people and experiences I'd never have. I think I first started taking things apart in an effort to get out of my head. I needed to find a way to experience the world.
I don't remember quite when, but at some point I started wondering what things looked like on the inside. Normal everyday things like VCRs(remember them?) and clocks. I would collect old VCRs from the garbage at the curb and spend hours on my bedroom floor dismantling them to get at the wonder I knew was inside them. Once I had pulled many of them apart I started thinking that maybe I should try making something with the pieces. Otherwise I'd just have a room full of old broken junk for no reason. But if I was making something with them then there would be a solid purpose for my curiosity.
So I started making jewellery and sculptures out of what I scavenged on those nights before garbage pick-up. I had pulled things apart to get at their beauty and now I could wear them! People would ask me why I didn't "fix" things and make them work again. I never felt any interest in that. I just wanted the joy of discovery, of finding out what something looked like inside it's boring outer case. And I WAS fixing things and putting them back together, just not in the way one might expect.
I must admit that my early attempts were very rough. I had not much in the way of artistic skills or training. I made things however I could manage and many of them still had sharp edges. I often thought of myself as an unmade bed.
These days I am equipped with training and am honing my skills through practice. I have a jeweller's bench and the proper equipment. I'm learning about the nature of metals and how to use their properties to suit my creative needs.
All these years later though I am still that 19 year old woman sitting on her floor taking things apart. My workspace is covered with antique watches in various stages of undress. I've learned how to marry my goldsmith skills to my creativity and natural curiosity. It feels in a way as if I have come full circle to meet my former self. I've realized that she and I don't need to be enemies. We can work together. We can get to the heart of an object and remake it into something beautiful.
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Michelle Poplar
Metalsmith

4 comments:

  1. I love your work, but my favorite thing is the reflection of the photographer in some of the pieces (is it you?).

    In ireland a derogatory term is tinker, a travelling worker or in the old days a gypsy. I always loved the term so much, your work made me instantly think of the word tinker.
    Thanks
    Michelle van Looy

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  2. Thanks Michelle.

    Yeah it's my reflection in my pictures. I'm not a very good photographer yet...lol

    I love the term 'tinker'. It certainly suits me. :)

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  3. This is an awesome entry. Isn't that picture the electromagnet inside a VCR? Good read!

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  4. Raven, yep yep, it's the heart inside the VCR head. =D

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