Thursday, 8 November 2007

Sally Jean Alexander's Art & Soul class

Sally's class was the only Art & Soul class I took where the teacher set some 'rules'. We weren't allowed to take photographs during her demonstration, and no 'visitors' were allowed into the classroom, even at lunchtime.

We made a 'divine shrine' by cutting the corner off 4 cardboard boxes and gluing the 4 corners together to give 4 'niches' for artwork. We decorated the niches by mixing acrylic paint with liquid gel medium, and using it as a glue paint, to add colour and also adhere small pieces of printed papers - words form old books, gift wrap, printed papers & images. We used caulk, applied with a toothpick, to adhere objects inside the niches.

Once the artwork was finished, we cut glass to fit the sides, and ground the edges. We copper taped the edges of the glass and the artwork, then painted the copper tape with flux before soldering. My piece had a ground down glass 'stand' which was also copper taped and fluxed so that it could be soldered to the bottom of my shrine.

The shrine took a life of its own as far as the theme went. Sally had told us to bring something precious for our shrines, but I couldn't visualise the finished shrine so only took enough for one 'niche'. I took a watch face and several watch parts. I decorated one side of my shrine, and realised that it represented my father to me (he was a jeweller).

I then looked through my various papers and embellishments, searching for inspiration for the other 3 niches. I found a small broken paintbrush, and some 'Italy themed' stamps I bought at vendor night, and realised that these represented my mother (who paints, and whose ancestry is Italian).

Once I had my father and mother, it seemed obvious that one side of my shrine should be devoted to my husband, and I found a 'gold' (plastic) ring and some 'lucky heather' in my embellishments bag, and some appropriate text in a book....

The final side was a problem - until I realised it needed to be about me! I love the country I live in, and had also just learned that I had landed a dream job - developing education at 127 historic sites across Wales, including Caernarfon Castle. So, finding a piece of gift wrap with images of Caernarfon Castle on it was total serendipity! The other elements in this niche are a small shell to represent the coastline that is on 3 sides of Wales, some lichen to represent the clean air, a twig to represent the trees, and some text representing the mountains and warm welcome offered here in Wales...

All in all, I enjoyed making my shrine, but feel my soldering needs a lot of improvement!


  1. This is gorgeous Adrienne and much more special because of the themes you chose.

  2. Wow c'est fantastique !! j'adorerais savoir faire tout ça !! quelle chance tu as eu d'avoir été dans la classe de Sally Jean !! Je suis fan !! bravo !

  3. Adrienne

    How lucky are you to have taken a class with Sally how eciting..I m just about to start soldering!!!

    Beautiful work from you as always stunning!!!



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