Monday, February 4, 2008

Art and Glass Graveyard Glass

Art piece for the Factory on Fifth February Show - Shot thru the Heart - Mixed media, acrylics, spray paint and bullet casings.

There really is a theme going here, just bear with me! It's all about using what you find. Some of the bullet casings are some from a friend in Magdalena, but most of them are ones I picked up in the Rail Yard last week. I thought it was a bit strange to find them in the middle of the floor but picked up about 45 of them anyway and since I had already planned to make the bullet heart, I used them. When Raine's ex-Marine husband saw the piece, he got a little flipped out since they turned out to be from an automatic weapon!!! They make a lot of movies in the Rail Yard so we are choosing to believe that is where these came from, right? Not some random target practice or gang violence, right? Made the piece more interesting but not so much for the peace of mind!

Now, on to the glass grave yard. Do you know the old cowboy song, "Sioux City Sue" that describes a girl he would swap his horse and dog for? Well, it makes a great theme song for visiting the Glass Graveyard in the south valley.
Glass grave yard glass, glass grave yard glass,
my hair is red, my eyes are blues,
I'd swap my horse and dog for you, glass grave yard glass. Mostly I have traded great amounts of space in my house for the glass...kinda equates to a horse and dog.
We have heard all kinds of things about how it came to be but what we do know for sure is that there is this amazing plot of land that once was a city dump (around the 1900s) that was burned for years and as a result, nothing is left but acres of glass. It is part of the open space that the city maintains and has a bike path and some fishing but mostly, it is just land with glass. I know that doesn't really decribe it, but really it is land with glass, so much glass, there isn't a place for you to sit down. When I first started going a few years ago, it was covered with Cottonwood trees and lots of weeds. We still found amazing things, a button top shoe, bits and pieces of china and pottery, lovely rusty things and glass, lots and lots of glass. The first time you go, you pick up everything you can possibly stuff in your bag or pockets, then you become more selective.

I say to myself (and the others) I am only going to get purple glass today (glass produced before 1921 so it turns purple in the sun) Or only rusty things. And then all those good intentions go right out the window when you see the first peice of glass. We do come out with less some of the time, but I become more glutenous as time goes on because what if it gets plowed under?
When we go on bright sunny days, the purple glass is easier to find. The sun has to be shining just the right way to see it amongst the massive amounts of clear glass. When we go on gloomy cloudy days, we see more non glass items, rusty things and bits of pottery.
We have now gone 2 weeks in a row and plan on another trip this week because they are cross cutting. You can now see the glass as you walk up, mounds and piles of it, no more searching, it's just right there. The city, not knowing what a gem they have, has been sending in heavy equipment to "clear" the underbrush. It's all about fire danger and homeless enclaves by the river. What is happening with the cross cutting is both tragic and wonderful. They have uncovered great stashes of full bottles and cut so that you can see the layers of glass and dirt. We also come across full items, like plates or cups that have just been crushed in the tracks. Tragic. I want to smack those guys opertaing the equipment, but I know (hope) they are not doing it on purpose. Just doing their jobs.
Last week my find of the day was a perfect Crown Royal miniture bottle, this week we found full blue bottles and I found a glass ship! Joseph picked up a porcelin bunny head with ears still intact. Our friend Ken found 3 doll heads.
It's dirty and wonderful and now the Canadian geese are migrating so we have that symphony the whole time we are wandering there. It is also a common place for the fabuolous crows to gather and gossip. I really think they are making fun of us, out there gathering up "trash" to take home. Last week someone started a bottle tree but it was gone this week. It is so magical to visit and hard to leave and I don't think I have even begun to do justice to the place.

It gave me this week's lesson in seeking the light. I kept thinking since it was cloudy, I wouldn't be able to see the really cool finds I was hoping for. But I learned not only to look for the light, but to treasure even the smallest amount of light, knowing that I had to look harder to "see" what I was after, but it was sooo worth it to use whatever light there was and not keeping wishing for more. I guess that's where that be here now comes in, eh?


Regina said...

The glass tree is a classic! Kinda reminds me of the beach shrine you did last year in Anahata's class.

Stephanie said...

This is amazing! The history of it, the art of it....the light!

I want to come walk through and forage!

My friend Susan created a beautiful bottle tree...I have a post of it somewhere....

Paula Scott said...

Oh, that Crown Roayl mini is truly a gem and so are all the other pieces! I lost my cell phone there. Went beserk. Leighanna called it to see if we could hear it, but no. Later that night, I get a call from Elaine (the redhead with her friend and daughter). Her daughter picked it up!
I'm so ready to go back! Did you find the chicken wire glass there too?

barney said...

Art Glassis very attractive but at the same time it is fragile. Every time my favorite art glass items break, I feel bad and disappointed. May be now I can use the broken pieces to make glass trees like this, Thanks for sharing your glass tree with us it’s fabulous.

paris parfait said...

Wow! I love that art piece (although the bullets are a little freaky - yes, I'm choosing to believe they were for a movie, too.) And the glass graveyard - how I'd love to go there with you! Thanks for this interesting post. xo

Dave said...

wow, that shot through the heart piece is amazing! very cool!

plasticpumpkin said...

I hate to see the bottles stuck on the native growth trees. :-( I always feel bad and pull them all off. It stunts the tree's growth.

I bet you guys had fun out there, though.