Organic Odysseys is my exploration of all the wonders of nature found at my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) organic farm. As an artist and shareholder for the past three years at Quiet Creek Farm, located at Rodale Institute, I have been delighted to discover the wonderful nuances of the CSA, which brings one into direct contact with the earth and its bounty. This has sparked a greater interest for me to explore each plant and all its components on a level that is deeper than can be had by supermarket fare or even produce stands. I am delighted by the results of this exploration and have only just begun! I hope my excitement and delight can be passed on to you with each piece I make, that you too will see the wonder and beauty that is out there!
To create each piece I have used a medium that captures the elegance of this deeper scrutiny more than any other, including macro photography. To do this I use a 'relatively new' art material called Polymer clay. Only this kind of material can capture the minute designs and details in each leaf, seed, or fruit. It is with this ability that I have only begun to explore the many layers of beauty that can be found in the simplest of edibles, herbs, or even the beetle eaten leaves of the edamame plants.
Each piece is carefully hand crafted, starting first with selection of the subject matter, be it an herb leaf, flower or edible/non edible green.... Vegetables, fruits and their seeds are also carefully hand-picked for size, shape and sometimes state of ripeness. Depending on how I wish to highlight the particular item, I will impress the vegetation directly into the clay on the piece being made or sometimes make a mold of it first to get a raised impression to apply in a bas-relief method.
Every piece goes through numerous steps, some of which can be up to 5 firings of the clay. Also involved in the process of completion: carving, sculpting, painting, antiquing, and lots of sanding. In fact I take most pieces through grits ranging from 150 to 2000, and some up to 8000!
Then each piece is either hand buffed or given a coat of non yellowing lacquer. The piece is also signed and dated and carefully labeled so you know from which wondrous plant it comes from.
The finished work is like finding a modern day fossil. Although not ancient, it will recall many a wonderful memory of the farm days and the great meals from the bounty of the earth.
I love to recycle and you will see many items use recycled materials as well as my gift boxes which are included with most purchases, unless to large!