The New Victorians: Mixing Genres to Create a New Dialogue
The New Victorians line from ClayLab Detroit combines actual castings from Victorian Brooches with children's toys, from the last century to present day. Featuring vintage trinkets from Cracker Jack boxes, toys from gumball machines, etc., the work provides an interesting aesthetic and unusual jewelry and vessels to inspire conversation and a vast array of unique pieces are fun, pretty and a bit sarcastic.
The collection includes a large array of castings: an old NASA astronaut action figure, plastic animal models, army men, dinosaurs,
a Cracker Jack buddha and classic telephone toys. They are definitely something new and different to add to the ClayLab Detroit collection.
Some of the pieces have seemed controversial, including the ones featuring hand grenades and guns. During a recent display, overheard were a few such comments as "so violent!" It's interesting to note that these are among the best sellers in The New Victorians line.
It's also interesting to note that the objects in question are cast from actual toys meant for children, from our country's past and even those available to children right now. Making these objects into toys, then the artist casting those toys for functional art, with a nod to The Victorian age in the brooch setting, reminds us of the weaving in and out of history that we do as a culture... even the contradictions/juxtapositions that exist within it. The toys we make for our children are a telling historical artifact of who we have been, and are, as a society.
We hope that the resulting pieces amuse, entertain and delight those who see or use them.