Seven of my politics bulbs in this group have mixed media additions. I added these after the pieces had been glazed and fired, but I had planned for them from the beginning. The bound hands piece was one I started early in the summer. it was one of the first of the political bulbs from this batch. I always intended to use a zip tie to bind the hands and thus I built in space for the zip tie to go into the bulb. The hands attach to the bulb by the arms and the edge of both palms for stability.
|separation of church and state|
Another piece that I envisioned from the beginning was the rosary covering the capital building. I wanted to reference the power that Christianity has over so much that happens in politics in our country, despite the supposed separation of church and state. In execution I am pleased that that cross ends up in front of the capital.
|birth control is basic healthcare|
In some cases the mixed media additions aren't going to make the work more clear, but they do serve to make the work more interesting visually and textually. The IUD bulb has a braided string (like the real thing), which isn't strictly necessary to communicate that I'm talking about birth control and family planning, but it adds color and size to the bulb without fragility.
|kids in cages|
The jail cell or cage bars, made from painted toothpicks, are integral to the structure of the piece. It would be possible to fill the cell with ceramic objects and make the bars from clay attached to the walls of the bulb, but it would be difficult to paint the interior pieces. Plus, I simply hadn't finished the inside pieces when I made the rest of the bulb. Attaching bars later seems to work fairly well.
|inside the cage are a bottle, teddy bear, and pacifier|
The pieces I am least confident in are the gun themed bulbs. Part of my hesitation to talk about them, especially online, is that I have a gut feeling that some guns rights nuts are likely to invade my online world and tell me I'm a terrible person who doesn't understand guns and because I don't love the second amendment I should be shot.
|guns are patriotic|
I intended both of my mixed media gun bulbs to reference how integral guns and gun violence are to US society. The gun nuts, and I here I am referring to the unquestionable nuts who make other people's lives unpleasant both online and in person, equate total personal armament with patriotism and any types of restrictions on gun types, access to guns, quality or size of guns, guns in public, guns in schools, guns carried openly in a blatant attempt to confront and cause controversy are automatically suspect and met with loud, violent, and unceasing hostility.
|guns are inescapable|
In part because of the baggage that comes along with guns, gun restrictions, and questions about the second amendment, I am less confident in these pieces. I also wish my rope was darker.