Vintage, silver plated trays are not fashionable. They sit discarded in second hand stores. However, I find them to be wonderful items that can be converted into colorful, luminous abstract art pieces, decorative and functional.
The Newport Abstract began with a vintage, silver plated tray made by Gorham Manufacturing; the mark, Newport Gorham, is stamped on the back. The image, below, shows the initial look of the tray, used and tarnished.
With work, the tray is converted into the Newport Abstract . It was essential that the surface of the tray to be highly polished to reflect light as it passes through the glass. This gives the piece a deep, luminous feel. The tray’s rim and handles frame the stained glass mosaic, adding a sculptural element.
Many times, in creating the mosaics, I incorporate older, used objects into my art. Although the trays, plates and bowels have a certain beauty and character, the rim is the most important feature. The rim frames the mosaic and adds a sculptural element. It is an essential part of the art.
Below are a few images of my mosaic art where the rim is a key element.
How to name a piece of art? It is difficult. Sometimes, it is better to let the piece speak for its self. However, in setting the mosaics within a tray or a dish, I name the piece after the manufacturer. Lady Oneida derives her name from the Oneida Company, the maker of this silver plated, butler’s tray. Oneida, founded in 1880 is still in business, part of the Anchor Hocking Company. They no longer make silver plated trays.
This vintage butler’s tray adds additional character to the mosaic. The handles and the flowered rim are distinct, complimenting the mosaic. The tray, originally tarnished and scratched, now has a new life as a piece of fine art.
Lady Oneida is decorative, functional and she may help to strike up a conversation.