Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Home Decor for the Anthropocene

Eking beauty out of the apocalypse

We have entered the Anthropocene, an epoch in which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment — leading to the Sixth Extinction,  a sudden and dramatic decline of diversity of life on earth due to those same humans. Thus this addition to home decor, a reflection on our current plight.

This project began with a delicious poke bowl (pronounced po-kay), the Hawaiian food trend sweeping the mainland. I was sitting at home enjoying my to-go order of salmon and tuna poke when I began eyeing the bowl. Here is a food container that would never fly in Berkeley, but is somehow still okay in Oakland — a surprisingly sturdy plastic bowl.

Garbage? Discarded take-out bowl

One thing was instantly clear to me: this bowl should not be discarded. I use bowls as organizing vessels, and this looked like a prime candidate.

Organizing bowls

I scrounged through my supply closet until I came up with my personalized bible, awarded upon graduation from primary Sunday school at the Shrewsbury Presbyterian church. It has been a stand-by for years when I need thin, biblically-themed paper for decoupage or, in a pinch, when I need makeshift rolling papers. The passage I decided to use was apt: the story of Noah from Genesis.

Decoupaging with glue stick and strips of Genesis

Looking down on creation

As an embellishment I added a few gingko leaf prints in copper paint as a complimentary nod to an ancient tree with incredible survival skills that has, so far, managed to survive anything man throws at it. In fact, it is being increasingly used in urban settings because it thrives in polluted conditions. For how-to tips on printing with gingko leaves see an earlier post, Inside-Out Boxes.

Copper gingko print embellishments

Look inside the rim of the bowl in the photo above, and you will see the words "Surviving the Anthropocene" added to the decoupage, printed onto the margins of bible paper using my handy vintage typesetting kit.

Intriguing attitude on the part of god towards creation
And here is the finished piece. 

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