Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Thing With Feathers

A couple of years ago I made a piece of art for an art auction at a women's conference I attended. It benefited the work the hosting church did with local battered women's shelters. The previous years' conference fundraisers had involved posh thrift sales and although this was much less labor intensive on the organizers it was also much less inclusive across a wide range of the participants. Especially an economic range. I would not be bidding on art.
But I could make it.  
Mixed Media art piece by Melissa Tillman entitled ...The Thing With Feathers 
Sadly I only have the one pic of the front as I was unable to get others of it on display. The winged cameo and feathers were due to the conference theme "Fly." And although it seems like the title could be inspired by a Friends episode, something like "The One With the Feathers" or "The One With the Art," the title comes from an Emily Dickinson poem. I thought the piece achieved  a sense of hope but felt that would make a pretentious title. So I called it ...The Thing With Feathers as a nod to its subject, a wish for its beneficiaries, and an acknowledgement of the mixed media what-is-it-ness of it.

Emily Dickinson 
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I did my first ever work with poly clay on this project, making a negative from a Christmas ornament and then casting new positives of the cameo.

I had also come across a Craftster tutorial at an opportune time and used it to make fabric feathers.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. 
Ephesians 1:18-19a