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Breaking Formula

October 10, 2011

Still Life with Beakers No. 1

Vintage glass laboratory beakers and graduated cylinders are used as vases for succulents in this striking tableau. At its center is one of a pair of vintage black busts with a dramatic, muscular expression. Additional textural interest is supplied by a collection of industrial fragments in cast steel. This still life is a study in contrasts, with the colorful succulents playing against the cool shine of the glasses, the bust’s twisting smoothness, and the rusty-roughness of the steel. I love the energetic colors and shapes, but especially the measuring lines on the tall beakers and grooves on the shorter ones …

Still Life with Beakers No. 2

Here, the succulent colors are cooler greens, with unopened Stapelia gigantea buds bringing an unusual inflated lantern shape to the mix. The other expressive black bust makes a grand appearance, and the steel is arranged to show off its geometric side … this version has a placid, subdued feel.

I purchased these beakers and graduated cylinders at a garage sale. The vendor said he’d used them years before while making whiskey for a well-known distillery. I found them again while rooting around in the garage, looking for something else and experimenting with them as still-life material suddenly became a project. The goal: to avoid a tableau that looked scientific or clinical … the conclusion: mission accomplished!

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Guida Quon permalink
    October 10, 2011 3:54 am

    I envision you playing house all weekend……otherwise how could you possibly come up with all of these wonderful arrangements.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 10, 2011 4:13 am

      Interesting… the way it works is I get an idea then work feverishly to realize it. Start-to-finish is usually pretty short: I’m the manic type! And, it really helps having lots of junk at my disposal … ; )

  2. carol permalink
    October 10, 2011 5:10 am

    Very, very cool !!! Both are very beautiful.
    Question: what is the plant with the black-looking roses and white stalk?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 10, 2011 5:48 am

      Hi, Carol… that’s a black aeonium, or aeonium schwarzkopf … welcome!

  3. October 10, 2011 5:37 am

    Very cool! (And now, does the science teacher in me say, “The tall ones aren’t beakers, they’re graduated cylinders,” or does she slip into her new mode as librarian and just say, “shhhhh!”????? šŸ™‚ ) I love the unopened Stapelia buds. That shape just seems so out of place in the flower world, it makes them something special and unique.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 10, 2011 5:49 am

      Aha! I didn’t think they were beakers but didn’t know exactly what they were called… so thanks, Kim!

  4. Dave in Toronto permalink
    October 10, 2011 1:54 pm

    As usual, you are stretching my mind, my friend. They are beautiful.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 10, 2011 3:44 pm

      Thanks, Dave … they took a little ‘mind stretching’ on my part, too!

  5. October 10, 2011 4:00 pm

    I covet your junk! If I had to choose, No. 2 does it for me.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 10, 2011 4:06 pm

      Covetous readers will have their chance, announcement later today … I couldn’t choose between the two, Denise, so went for the more dramatic No. 1 … hoping for magpies!

  6. AlgaRythums permalink
    October 10, 2011 10:01 pm

    No. 1 please… I love the Yul Brynner look of this one. But then,.. who doesn’t love Yul.
    Thanks for doing this. I feel so completely cerebral looking at them.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 10, 2011 10:06 pm

      It looks like No. 1’s guy is thinking very cerebral thoughts, for sure!

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