Long Live Objet Trouvé!

Thanks to The Free Dictionary for fancying up “found objects.”

The objet trouvé is a natural object or an artifact not originally intended as art, found and considered to have aesthetic value.

When I said “found object” to one potential buyer, she wrinkled her nose, reached out to touch another piece of jewelry, and eventually moved on. (News flash: there was no sale.)

On the other hand, an artist viewing my collection, reached for a beadweaving made from a found object exclaimed, “This piece speaks to me,” and pulled out a check.

Clearly, one person’s treasure is another’s trash. Or vice versa.

I collect found objects, or as I like to label them, objects trouvé. An old Neiman Marcus Christmas ornament affixed to Kim’s simple turquoise cabochon and formed the focal for New Mexico Turquoise Medley pictured here.

Some beads  – lapis, abalone, pearls – included in the interwoven strands are one-of-a-kinds left over from BFF Jane’s bead projects. Others found their way into my bead stash when I disassembled necklaces that no longer served.

The sterling clasp with its turquoise inlay, for instance, came from a necklace I bought in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the late seventies.  I can no longer recall who the initials D.C represent, but the fact that he signed his piece made it more special.

These objects trouvé morphed into a necklace over time: one strand with mostly seed beads or perhaps several strands with variety in one day, then revised strands, or balanced segments the day after that.

I tend to leave a project on the bead board overnight and then look at it with fresh eyes the next day. Or, I squint my eyes, then open them wide to see the piece from a new perspective. Beadweaving, in particular, is a process.

Like some painters, I fiddle with my piece, improving here, subtracting there, repeating the eternal dance of creation.

Why? The Objet Trouvé speaks to me.

These words serve to better showcase my feelings about Objet Trouvé:

Boldly Be

Whatever is in you to be,
Whatever you love is your fire,
Ignite it, trust it, it is a gift born of your spirit.
Be it in words, dance, colors or a song…
Have absolute faith in what you have been given,
Chase it no matter how elusive, be it…however challenging,
Pursue it without pause, seek to…
Whatever is in your heart to be.

–Pam Reinke Artist/Writer

What do you think of found objects?