I recently taught a workshop at the Tennessee Arts Academy at Belmont University in Nashville on embellishing safety goggles. My example was done in Steampunk style. Steampunk is a design which visits the past Victorian/Steam Age and mixes it with a Fantasy/Science Fiction age. Think of the gears and gadgets seen in Back to the Future III or The Wild Wild West movie and TV series. Since I love working with found objects, gears, wires, hardware and such, Steampunk is right down my time tunnel. So one day, I wandered into a clock shop and asked the owner if he had any old broken clock parts that he would like to donate. At first he made a joke about not fixing any clocks that didn't already work. Then he said that he had a box full that he would bring in the following week. When I returned, I was amazed at the "treasure trove" in that box.
As I sorted this box of gears, chains, and oddly shaped metal pieces, I began thinking of what the parts as a whole represented. Time. I imagined those who once gazed at only the face of the clock waiting..for a baby to arrive..for a train..for a prom date to bring flowers..for an anniversary..for a son or daughter to return home..for the stroke of midnight to bring in a new and better year. Then things change..babies grow up..prom dates become weddings..and soon the ticking of the clock echoes in an empty house waiting for new arrivals, all the while these beautiful parts are working away in perfect synchronization going unnoticed and unappreciated until for some unforeseen reason they simply stopped working. I am glad that I am an artist and that I can give these parts a new "life" by creating objects with them that will transcend their other existence. The parts will once again be assembled but this time for the sake of art. Meet the first character to emerge, "The Reader." This character is posed in front of a 1928 edition of Code for Classifiers - Principles governing the consistent placing of books in a system of classification. This character rewriting her own history is in a "classification" all her own. The gear placement behind her head shows her enlightenment as she reads. So engaged in this novel, she is oblivious to Time. Three embellishments that hem her garment represent Past, Present and Future.