Local artist Christine Seubert will be part of the La Grange Art Stroll and Second Saturday Soiree this Saturday. We were able to interview her about her life and her art. Below is her story.
I am intrigued by the color and shapes on some bottle caps and have explored ways to use them. I found that with some of them, I could remove the liner. Without that impediment, I could shape the bottle caps into domes. What to do with them? I don’t like the raw metal edges on skin, so I looked for ways to combine them with other media. First, I made earrings. Then I began exploring other ways to use these domed pieces. Hey, I’m recycling.
I crochet and knit lace, and like the look of ancient Egyptian collars. I began experimenting with cord, fiber, wire, and beads to make neckpieces that incorporate the domed bottle caps. I sketch designs, make the neckpiece, and see if they fit together. Some pieces became cord and beads only.
The current covid climate has influenced some of my color choices. For example, using orange beads on the edge of a green and purple collar. The tiny, gleaming color contrast reminds me of pictures of the corona of the virus.
Tell us a bit about yourself-where you grew up. Things you like to do besides your art. Interesting tidbits.
I grew up in a Navy family and we moved every 2 to 3 years. My husband I continued in that habit for several more years. When we lived in St. Louis, we were active spelunkers. We like to say that we met in a cave. We moved back to Houston in 1980 after two years in London, and have stayed in this part of Texas ever since.
Did you start art as a kid or other creative things like music or dance?
I have always liked making things and dancing. I learned to hula when I was six. In third grade, I won third place in a drawing contest. I was making my own suits in high school. I also taught myself knitting and crocheting around then.
When did you start to paint or make jewelry?
I started painting faces on my art dolls in Houston. I also learned to make wire-wrapped jewelry. Before that I was making costumes for a dance company that I was in.
How did you come to choose your medium?
Which one? I’m always experimenting with something new and I like combining my various interests.
Who was your most influential mentor? Why? How?
I didn’t really have a mentor. The contemporary art tours provided by LOOKING AT ART in Houston were very influential. A group is guided thru 2-3 studios or galleries one evening a week for six weeks. I took the series many times. I heard dozens of artists and curators talk about themselves and the art we were seeing. The art spaces ranged from a bicycle shop to the Museum of Modern Art, Houston. I thought about what I was doing and what they had to say, and I said to myself, “Oh, I’m an artist!” Then I started taking classes at Glassell School of Art.
Who is your favorite artist? Why?
I don’t have a single favorite. I like Georgia O’Keefe, Erté, the Impressionists, and ancient Egyptian art, architecture, and jewelry.
Where do you get your inspiration for painting or your jewelry or other creations?
The bottlecap and collar jewelry is inspired by the ancient Egyptian collars.
Tell us a bit about your process.
I select the bottlecaps by their colors and designs and then try to give them the domed shape. I roughly sketch what shapes I’m trying to produce. I experiment with crocheting techniques and fibers, how they look and how they drape. I use mostly natural plant fibers. I also use coated wire. I’m particular about what touches skin, such as not wanting the metal edge of the bottlecaps touching skin unless the edge has been flattened. After a lot of experimenting, I start combining the different elements.
Toot your own horn. Tell us about awards and honors that you may have gotten in your creative life. Which was the most meaningful?
Having my wearable doll pins and other things for sale at October Gallery in Houston, and participating in the juried art sale at Glassell.