Friday, October 2, 2015

Petrichor (artwork)

We have stands for our cakes and cloches for our pies and flags for our cupcakes, but do we ever allow our humble produce such a lavish embellishment? No, my friends, we do not. But all that has changed! I have made a series of work from recycled glass that is meant to be the accessory your apples have always dreamed of. Named "Petrichor" in honor of the smell as the first raindrops hit the earth, these glass pieces show the elegant beauty of nature's own sparkling gems: dewdrops. Simple and clean, these elevate your fruit bowl to a whole other level. How do you like them apples?

I was inspired by all things dew while doing a residency at Heritage Farm, the headquarters of Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa in the summer of 2012. Seed Savers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving genetic diversity and heritage through the sale and trade of heirloom seeds. I have long admired what they do so I approached them with the idea of doing an artistic residency, and they agreed to host me for three weeks. My stay there was heaven. During business hours I was able to work with a lot of friendly and welcoming staff members, and the rest of the time I was more or less alone on a big beautiful farm and had the place to myself. I took to taking early morning walks up to the orchard, which is up on a hill overlooking the rest of the valley. These walks were meditative, filling, and inspiring. The way the apples sparkled when covered with dewdrops made me wonder why anyone would want a diamond when they could have this expanse of beauty...

Growing up in Idaho, I wasn't used to the lush all-encompassing dew that was frequent in the muggy midwest. Every morning I was awestruck by this simple display of nature. I've already made some work about the plants and the dew I loved during my stay at SSE, but this project took the idea one step further.

The glass components are made out of recycled glass and serve as embellishments more than functional ware. I guess it is my slightly tongue-in-cheek way of pointing out what I find truly valuable.

The fruit displayed in these photos is from our local farmers' market. It's pretty beautiful on its own, but lovely when bedecked with my glass pieces as well!

I used the glass pieces as serving vessels, as well. Above are some zesty garden bites made out of frilly greens, cherry tomatoes, fresh goat cheese, nasturtium seedpods, and oregano flowers. They can be eaten much like one would eat an oyster; tipped back into the mouth.

Above is sweet rice with coconut and raspberries and pansies.
These pieces also were interesting when used as food presentation props. I covered up a dish with one of the larger Petrichor pieces. I loved how the glass diffused the form of the food underneath it, giving only vague colors and shapes. Then the diner was able to lift up the tactile form of the piece to reveal another tasty treat: Asian pears with honey, pecans, and multi-seed granola.

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