Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chicken Wire Inspirations- New Mixed Media Art

OH- the creative juices are flowing lately and I have way too many ideas and plans. Today I ran over to my local craft store and picked up a grey sweatshirt, a bunch of wooden finials and wooden accents, some snowflake stickers, a wooden ruler, some snaps, and when I got home and poured out the contents of my bag on the table I just sat down and laughed. I had the pieces for four different projects. When am I going to get done 4 more projects? But I'm determined. Otherwise the ideas are going to just flit around my mind bothering me until I give them some attention. Do your creative thoughts pester you like this? They suck up my concentration and disturb my thoughts until I'm just annoyed with them and will work on them just so I can move on.

Lately, I've had chicken wire on the brain. Maybe, because I'd toyed with the idea of submitting a chicken wire entry for a Somerset Life call. Maybe, because one of the projects I revisited at the photo shoot was chicken wire. Maybe, because a friend mentioned a bed stead made of chickenwire. I don't know why but it would be on my mind after all that.... :) Two days ago I had a vision of a chicken wire angel. Her body would be wood, her wings- metal, and her skirt- chicken wire. I've done some figures in wire but I think this mixed media angel could be something really special. So I gathered up a bunch of potential materials and I thought I'd give you a look. See what you think. I love how a mess of mismatched elements can become something.

Two weeks ago I created a chicken wire heart and then wrapped it with cheesecloth strips that have dried plaster compound on it. You dip it in water and then it hardens into the shape of whatever you lay it on. Mine was originally created to make medical casts. You know, to wrap broken arms or legs or whatever. I got it at a surplus store ages ago and it wasn't performing as well as it did 13 years ago. Maybe there's a shelf life I didn't know about. :) But whatever, the plaster was a bit crumblier than it had been and so I ended up covering up most of it with fabric strips that I dipped in liquid starch. You can buy the plaster product under the name Rigid Wrap at any craft store- mine came on a bigger roll th0ugh and was tons cheaper. So here's a look at that project too.

I love setting myself the task to really explore a medium or material. Once I start to play around with the possiblities of something the ideas just flow. So think about it... What could you create? Maybe it'll get your creative juices flowing as well....


Nanette said...

I came across your blog because I googled 'chicken wire hearts'. A friend asked me to make her a set of 3, afterseeing the 'bra' I made from chicken wire! Like your heart, I covered it with strips of muslin alternated in layers with torn tissue, then I painted and embellished it with works describing women, and spirals and other symbols.

It was for an art show entitled The Wonders of Women, I fixed a tape measure around it, and called it "Women Measure Up.

Just thought I'd tell you because I'm feeling pretty darned pleased with myself for figuring out what to do.

Going to read some more of your blog.

Nanette (Australia)

Jen said...

Hi Nanette,
You should feel pleased! It sounds lovely and I would love to see it. Would you mind directing me to a photo or e-mail me at If you don't mind sharing! I think chicken wire might be the art supply of the future.... hee hee. Have a great day!