Centering or working inside the edge or frame of a piece is a common approach for applying imagery and pattern. This will help to convey a feeling of calm and/or restraint. But what if you want something more dynamic?
Try working on or off the edge. It adds excitement and movement by bringing into question the boundary of the piece. In these lockets by the Philippines’ Jennifer Cruz, the artist situates her antique looking flower canes so they sit just at the edge or break off the surface’s boundaries. It gives you the feeling of something that continues on beyond the confines of the form, that the images you see are only part of a larger picture. This translate into a feeling that there is much more to the piece than what you are seeing. Touching or running off the edge creates tension (the good, exciting kind) and draws you to examine the teetering or incomplete imagery further.
You don’t actually have to stop at the edge though. Playing with the boundary of a form by continuing into the outside space can also make the work more dynamic. This Layered Fragment brooch by Kathleen Dustin is a wonderful example. The internal imagery itself doesn’t run off the edge but the line does as it is visually continued with the use of wire.
How often do you work with or beyond the boundary of your pieces?
Jennifer Cruz was also featured on the lead page of the “Polymer to the Rescue” article in the present Summer 2012 issue of The Polymer Arts magazine. Go here to get your copy: www.thepolymerarts.com/Subscribe.html