Mar 31, 2007

Asian Wastebasket Reconstruction Project





It's interesting what projects come your way as you follow your artistic path. This is one of those. I was approached with the challenge to reconstruct an item treasured by a family member who had passed away several years ago. The desire was to have this Asian wastebasket restored to some level of attractiveness and also functionality.
This situation brings with it a certain sense of responsibility to save a keepsake worth more than just money. Since the wastebasket is 25 - 30 years old, it was an intense process working to remove the silk and paper figures on the eight sides of the container. Some of the male figures have hair beards and all of the figures consisted partly of very thin paper embellishments. Delicate is an understatement. Unfortunately, I was unable to save most of the tiny shoes peeking out from under the garments; made from the thin paper previously described, they literally disintegrated during the removal process. I am happy that I was able to save from 95-100% of the detail. I also felt preserving what I salvaged and mounting each figure on a mat before adding it to the base structure was more important than trying to make replacement parts from cobbled materials.
After eight hours of work and a lot of acid-free materials, I'm pleased with the results.


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