I bought this old brass tray several years ago at the Ark, nearby my old studio in Chicago. It was my favorite junk store; a great place to search for vintage objects that have been discarded and abandoned. Many items, like the old brass tray, are dirty, tarnished or scratched. But with a good cleaning and a little care, they can be revived.
I cannot find a manufacture’s mark on the plate. Where and when it was made is a mystery. However, somebody, somewhere, at some time held and used the old brass plate. It has a history.
Before giving a new life to the plate after cleaning, I worked with a series of old, quick sketches that I did from photos of ballet dancers . The drawings were done for a show that was canceled due to the pandemic. I have reduced the sketches to simple lines, hoping to capture grace and movement.
Work on the mosaic, giving the old brass plate a facelift, starts with glass selection. After the glass and colors have been chosen, the process of cutting, fitting and gluing begins. This is a slow process as I am not working with a set template. It is a bit like working a painting. I may have a palette in mind but will decide to make changes as the mosaic evolves.
The old brass plate’s facelift is completed. It has a new look, character and its’ own identity.