Artist/Designer: Michelle Holzapfel
b. 1951, Woonsocket, RI
Title: Tattooed Vessel, 2007
Medium: Basswood, gold leaf, linen thread
Dimensions: 10" x 6" x 6"
Details: Unique, one-of-a-kind vessel, hand-signed on bottom: michelle holzapfel, basswood, marlboro, vermont 2007
Notes from the Archive: Michelle Holzapfel shared her thoughts about vessels with us: "The vessel’s rich vocabulary inspires multiple manifestations, from the banal to the divine. The form can shift its shape and brim with meanings. Symbols of religious devotion (chalice), social status (tea service), or competitive prowess (trophy cup), and decorated vases convey narratives and inspire poetry—all in the shape of a vessel." This vessel emerged from a notion of box making without traditional joinery. In addition to her work in wood, Holzapfel has enjoyed the art of sewing, utilizing her collection of vintage fabrics in the creation of remarkable designs including garments for herself and her family. She experimented with stitching to join wooden panels with strong linen thread to create vessels. In this intriguing work, she incorporated the repeating patterns of the stitching among the pyrographic "tattoos" on its surface. The combination of the unique patterns on each of the four panels creates a vivid contrast with the richness of the gilded interior. A simply captivating work, highlighting both Holzapfel's technical expertise and her innovative style.
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