26 Oct La Siren II: A Mosaic Mermaid Sculpture in Bottle Caps and Glass, 2004
La Siren II, 2004
Vitreous glass, bottle caps, stone, copper, glass eyes, Hardibacker substrate
60″ H x 36″ W x 1.5″ D
The Lynne Ingram Collection of Folk Art
Christy MacLear commissioned this piece for her gallery, Fleur Fine Art, because people kept asking her to sell the mermaid from her private collection and she couldn’t bring herself to part with it. She gave me “total artistic freedom” to create any bottle cap mermaid I wanted to and I took that ball and ran with it. You gotta love the bottle cap dreads!
I was inspired to do bottle cap mosaics by Haitian ritual flags, in which detailed images are realized entirely through the use of sequins. Each cap is sorted by brand or color, washed, dried, punched, partially crimped and finally nailed in overlapping scales to create a feeling of depth, light and shadow. Decorative nail heads emulate the texture of seed beads often used to reinforce the sequins.
My bottle cap mosaics revisit the playful, funky spirit of my early found object collages. Combining the caps with Italian glass mosaic carries elements of folk art and recycling into a modern fine art context.
I also did a cut metal collage this year working from the same mermaid image used for this piece. Take a look at it here.