This piece is still a work in progress... but it is almost done!
So please, check back soon for the final images!
Located in the South side of the Tucson Mountains, I came across a field of metal debris from what appeared to be a collection of trash from a 1940’s-60’s mining camp. Among the littered debris were lids from old cans. Pressed labels still partially intact, small pill bottle lids, large mustard and baking soda lids all half buried in the sand beneath fully grown Palo Verde trees.
I crawled into the thick of the Palo Verde, dug into the sands of the wash and braved the threat of a brown recluse or baby rattler underneath the can lids I uncovered. In conjunction with bringing out other debris from the desert, a total of 10 day trips were in involved in reclaiming this material.
Decay is the process of vanishing with clearly visible markings along the way. The life once lived is sometimes only remembered by a mark left behind. This piece represents an effort to take the memories of the first life, clear away the decay to remember the important parts and to reconstruct.
The lids were brought to my studio and scrubbed clean. As clean as I could manage without removing the delicate rust and paper thin remnants of steel just barley intact. Each lid was examined for details in pressed labels stills partially visible or design details that could be enhanced. Each lid was then carefully treated to grind away the rust in the right location to accentuate the original design and expose the clean steel beneath.
Approximately 120 hours of grinding rust was involved in cleaning the lids to show their detailed design. The lids were then placed carefully in a spherical form, held in place by a temporary fix and soon will be set into final form through layering of epoxy.