Sunday, January 24, 2010

Star Holmberg's Studio

What kind of Art/Crafts do you do?
I do a lot of different things; but, for the most part, my creations include objects with a past life. I have always collected a lot of different vintage trinkets, jewellery, ephemera and curiosities. And the older I get the more often a selection of my belongings find their way into my creations. Some items stay in my possession for a short while, and then they move on into a gifting or sellable form. A list of some of what I DO & have DONE:

Collage with ephemera items using my hands and glue.

About 20 years back I got into using postage stamps and ultimately parts of envelopes (or covers) for my collage works. Other paper stuff that factored into the arrangements has been event tickets, little pictures from magazines, clothing tags, wrappers and so on. For a time my youngest daughter and I were producing a line of cards and postcards (or so you might call it a line) called World without End Products. Some had old quotes to accompany them that always included the word “world.”

I have used stamps to collage objects, and will eventually be including postal covers in my wall project. Another item that comes to mind is an ancient (and huge) tape dispenser, heavy enough to be a very strong doorstop. Covered the whole darn thing.

Collaging boxes, lots of different sizes.

Eventually I transitioned into using original photos, trade cards and various ephemera items in my collage work. Mind you, I would not just tear into anything. But I have always bought and obtained items that I feel okay using. Others, heavens no! Over time, however, some of the materially sacred do finally make it into the useable pool. For all things must pass (as George Harrison use to say).

Using Victorian era photos I have created fictitious relationships, like when two random photos just seem like they would make a nice couple. This throws a lot of folks, as they always assume the two were really connected. No, I just put them together.

Back to the postage stamps, I like to take an old postcard featuring a building and cut out the windows with a blade knife, then place face stamps against the backside with the faces peeking through just so. This has an interesting effect.

One of my latest collage projects has been to take old window envelopes, the sort with clear or nearly cellophane, then put original pictures on the backside, so that those people or animals are peeking out. Keep in mind that some envelope covers will have graphics and/or a theme on their exterior, and the front and the back can relate.

Jewellery assemblage and mixed media.

I have done quite a few memory glass necklaces, with at least one side of the square or rectangle frame filled with a cut from an original vintage photo, and the other side some other type of ephemera. These little frames are one of my new store-bought exceptions, because they are so fun to work with, and they are changeable! Some examples of these: Girls in what look like parochial school uniforms on one side, saint against doily lace on the other; woman posing with muscular, bare-chested man for a circa 1940 shot on one side, trade card genie character on the other (she got her wish), and so on. Some of the memory glass necklaces include cancelled stamps, pet shots, Dr. Seuss book clippings (from a damaged book of course, I do not just tear into any old book). And they may have exterior embellishments, such as dangling beads, rhinestones, charms, etc. Watch back pendant necklaces and brooches. The pocket watch backs get buffed on the edges by my husband, then he punches a hole in the top of each, based on where I make the mark. This varies with any exterior design on the face of the watch back. I have glued cut-outs from photos, old money, flat-back rhinestones, cabochons, etc. onto the faces. The ones used as brooches are suspended from little bow pins that have a loop at the base. Pendants intended for necklaces are only hung on vintage chains of various types.

Lots of other jewellery items.

I have earrings made from rosary decades (only from broken rosary parts), necklaces put together with eye pins (one of the new store- bought findings I do make an exception for). Have done some with fishing line, but not lately. Lots of different theme charm bracelets, I could go on and on.

Making sock monkeys.

But it is also fun to refurbish old vintage monkeys and give them a character with lots of embellishments. The last one I did like that was sort of a Rasta monkey. There are a few characters on the horizon for me, as soon as I stop doing some other things I am doing.

I will stop now. I may be wearing you out. Sorry, I am a writer too.

Where do you create?
My cave, or studio cave… Also sometimes spread out on the dining room/living room table. But my cave is the most private and quiet. My cat, Trouble, likes it there too and helps me a lot!

How do you keep all your supplies organised?
This is pretty much adlib and ever evolving.

It works for me the way I do it, because generally I have a very good memory and I know where just about everything is. (I am not suggesting this would work for everybody. Some creative folks are total airheads, no offence, when it comes to tracking their “stuff.”) I believe that messing around with the material goods, even when it is not in use, yes perhaps even fondling them, holding them up against the light, contemplating what they might become, is part of how this memory thing works. Plus, tucked into many of these little and not so little spaces are items of special interest and associated with a personal memory. Yes, even keepsakes. Remember those things I think I will NEVER use for an outgoing creation??? I let them touch the others. I have little and slightly larger drawers, also boxes of all sorts, that are generally pleasant to look at. Cloth covered, transparent, breakable, indestructible, etc. For example: This little drawer is for the animal charms. Another drawer is for the tiny swords, guns and other weapons. Oh, that one is where I put the tiny letter beads and the name charms. Dog tags here… Black glass beads here, gold stone collection here… There is a slightly larger drawer for certain types of brassy stuff, and the oodles of little old keys. Another is for the religious icons. Box over that way, sitting there open, is full of the future embellished monkey makings, and the other box across the room is where the monkeys themselves are hanging out. Top of that shelf is a metal box full of hearts, all sizes and types.

How do you keep yourself motivated to keep your space tidy?
It is not just a creating space, but I live in it too. It gets out of control, gets to me, and I spend a day just putting it all back in order. Whenever I do that, however, I am gleaning and reorganizing certain parts because I am getting ideas whenever I touch the stuff. This can be a curse and a distraction, but I am having fun. There are always more frustrating things to be found in this world. Besides, whenever I know one or both of our daughters are coming to visit overnight, this gets me going, as the bed in the room is what they use for sleep. And it has to be clear in order for them to do that. Besides, I want them to think I am staying on top of things!

Do you get stressed out when your space gets in a mess?
No, though I may get disgusted. I tend to reserve pure stress for bad people and the oppressive societal issues they generate.

If you could have your dream space tomorrow what would it look like?
It would have more (natural) light and a somewhat larger table surface (in the cave). Also, I would have a bank of moveable lights along the ceiling of my attic space. Oh, and I would get the non-collage walls upstairs painted. Two white and the third an intense colour like orange or red.

Do space limitations get in the way of projects you have in mind?
Lamp work beads.

What is the next big thing on your wish list for your art space?
New (old) table or desk.

Exampe of work by 'Eklektikos By Star'

Where can people view your work or purchase it?
Etsy Shop:

Thanks to Star Holmberg for allowing me to publish her studio photos and for taking time to answer my questions! Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. I love your 'Wall' it has a great selection of faces and other items that would really inspire you, and its colourful and fun too!