August 20, 2010

Song Lore Saturday: River of Orchids

Today's Song Lore inspiration is the song River of Orchids by XTC.  This song is really quite simple, lyrically, with just a few lines repeating over and over.  But those lines are full of brilliant imagery that has haunted me for many years.  This song could inspire a whole year's worth of work, it is just that meaningful to me.  

The toggle clasps above are inspired by the line:
"It's all in your back yard
You've the whole world at your feet
I said the grass is always greener when it bursts up through concrete"

I love that image so much... Nature bursting through the concrete, showing us who is in charge, even when we think we can pave over it.  I have really been feeling this lately as I fight to tame the back yard.  And it makes me think of the pictures I have seen of "feral houses", particularly the ones taken in Detroit.
The line of the song that has really inspired me is this:

"I had a dream where the car is reduced to a fossil"

 I have long wanted to make an object that looked like it was a fossil of a car.  I chose to use a spark plug to do this, because it is a small and recognizable item associated with a combustion engine and the auto industry, and it looks a little like a small fossil (say a trilobite or something) and is a nice, wearable size.  I molded a spark plug and above is the first pressing of it.  I need to make a second mold and my intention is to make more of them, adding more fossil-like textures and surfaces. 

The concept behind this object is not just about Nature, but also brings in my thoughts about living in Detroit, the Motor City, in a time where the industry is so troubled and seems to be dying and fossilizing around itself.

Here is a rather trippy video of River of Orchids

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. You expressed it perfectly, the different faces of the world, particularly the feel of Detroit, and I also like the details of those ceramic pendants. Those parts are good to go, or you can oxidize it or paint it with a bit of white stripes,red is also good., but not too much.

  2. Love the new toggles and the sentiment! Nature does tend to show us who is boss!