Jessica Drenk

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It’s a barnacle bonanza over here tonight – thanks again to the people of Pinterest I came upon the work of Jessica Drenk tonight in all of its glory. Jessica takes everyday products from pencils to coffee filters to mops and creates the most amazing installations, wall art pieces and smaller sculptures. As I should have expected, Jessica’s from Montana originally, starting her love of nature!

Guess what that material is…toilet paper rolls…coated and ensconced in wax. How cool – they look like little hives! Currently Jessica works from South Carolina.

More beautiful, framed toilet paper rolls. Who would have thought these would be made into art objects. I feel like this is something my brother would send me and ask, is this art? It definitely is.

The above are from her Erosions series – the material? Carved PVC pipes. Initially the erosion part didn’t come through to me but as you scroll through the whole series on her site it becomes very clear.

Carved books! I feel like Jessica’s work is a fun game of posting images and seeing who can guess what’s what first!

What I can’t quite figure out is if the books are waxed first and then carved or if they’re carved and then waxed. I imagine it’s the former.

So this is where the barnacles come into play…these are coffee filters and cable ties. Look how beautifully they cover a wall / room.

With the varying depths they truly look like coral reef structures. They have shadow and variety – I just love them. And they’re monochromatic, my favorite.

The full room view gives you a real sense of what they look like in aggregate. I love that this is something that, ostensibly, you could create after stopping at the grocery store and the hardware store (no accounting for the patience and creativity required). It’s just fun to see what can be created out of everyday materials.

…a book! Carved, wax embraced again – who would have thought.

“Swirl” the above piece is also wax books. I love these small scale installation type of works. They do seem more collector friendly for some reason (this may be due to space constraints).

This is where stuff gets even more interesting. Jessica not only uses wax as a stabilizing medium for her works but also porcelain, a favorite material of mine. Guess what this is? Q-tips, dipped in porcelain and fired. I absolutely love this. I love that the Q tips don’t totally disappear, I love that the cotton bits look like they’re exploding. I just love it all.

Cotton cosmetic pads, also dipped in porcelain slip and fired. In this case it looks like more of the cotton pads burned out in the firing process but that they’re shape remained. I wonder how long she lets the porcelain slip harden before firing – or if that even matters.

This looks particularly barnacle-y to me. It’s gauze, dipped and fired. I just love how paper thin these look. I could never have these in my home – someone would break them immediately.

Mop…I don’t know how she does it. I love it though. I know some people who have homes that are like museums in some areas with really, truly wonderful artwork in them and I would love to someday have these amazing things but I just can’t see myself able to live around them. They’re so inspiring and magical – thankfully I can hide them all here for when I have to make that call.

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