Special thanks to my grandfather, his landlord, my father, and my boyfriend for their help with the consumption of Czech beer. It seem like their favourite was Gambrinus beer and those cans have become the sole foundation of the next necklace.
Compared to the previous piece, the sequin-placement in this one is much denser.
I was done with jewellery. Strictly retired. And this time I meant it.
Three years ago, I came back to Czech Republic – if we can still call it that. I had just closed down my gallery in London and I returned home “with a bare ass” as my parents would say. Ahoj!
One month later, I was back working. Messing with various things I could find laying around. Then I grabbed a beer can and haven’t let go since. Like a dog with a bone. The communist worker genes went into overdrive. Work, work, work.
Cans were free and everywhere. Available in large quantities. Rubbish, and a whole lot of it. The endless supply gave me the ability to go big, make a series, or never run out of material. Free metal! Which was great because all I could afford was my time.
After three years of working on this project, I can say: Art is Rubbish. Sorry, what I meant to say was: Rubbish is Art.
I collected cans on the streets of Praha, hunting in parks any time there was a scorching hot day. I almost felt like a good citizen. Then my parents started to bring bags and bags of empty cans from the family and soon I couldn’t keep up. Too much rubbish. Fact.
My dad, now enjoying his retirement, started to also prefabricate pieces of cans to my needs. Pretty cool! Like I said, working genes. Anyone in my family can’t stop working even on a day off. Just weird. Vladimir Vostrovský: thank you!
Finished object: Necklace. I don’t usually plan in advance – along the way I decide the approach I am going to take, or what the piece is going to be.
Made in Czech Republic: Prague.
Ingredients: Soda and beer cans.
Method: Punching and weaving.
Cooking time: Approximately 350 hours of solid labor, but who can be certain? A lot of the work is very repetitive, hammering away in the solitude of my workshop. I had to train my patience which in return took away my patience for reality. Time to get my hands dirty or clean? Hands got some serious exercise during this project. Punching. The weaving was intense. Just hoping not to fuck up.
The most famous fish knife of Czechoslovakia, “little fish” made by company Mikov. Used predominantly for mushroom picking – the Czech national sport. The knife is cheap and cheerful, with long lasting tradition of manufacture over 100 years.
I used it for carving these willow pieces. Handy little thing.