Another object & back story from

Pop art: Necklace made of fireworks

I like fireworks
I really like and covet firecrackers and fireworks--the smaller the better. I have handed out bags of fireworks on July 4th and on New Years for quite a few years now. This activity prompted me to create a Santa Claus like character, St. Sparky, a legendary Fluxus Indian whose latter day "helpers" hand out bags of fireworks to good little boys and girls--always encouraging them to seek "adult supervision." The issue of adult supervision has been one of my life long problems.
The fireworks necklace now joins the "Fluxus Indian Fireworks Tunic" as my second "wearable art" object incorporating fireworks.

Necklace on display board.

Getting to the idea.

I was sitting on the deck on a fine Saturday morning. A thought about how Aaron Anderson had recently celebrated a ninth "anniversary" led me to thinking that I should find a long-lost bag of fireworks in the garage and give them to Aaron as a present. It was a bag containing nine different "string poppers"--pull the string, the small internal firecracker goes off shooting small strands of streamers into the air. I thought about tying them together to make a necklace--I've been on a big jag of wrapping things (sticks, terra cotta pieces, rocks) in wire and putting them together in various ways. So it was part of this "flow" that made me think about doing this with the fireworks. Instead of using the anealled steel wire I've been using for most of my recent projects, I thought about the insulated telephone wire I have and how that would make a more pliable and more colorful necklace. It would also be a softer way to wrap the small paper fireworks I wanted to use. Instead of looking for the lost bag of string-poppers, I decided to bring my box of left-over fireworks outside and find nine of the most interesting and small fireworks I have. I love looking at and handling fireworks so this was fun. Chose nine different fireworks and began wrapping them in the various colored strands of the telephone wire.

After all nine fireworks had been wrapped in wire, I used the loose ends to connect them together--starting with the largest objects to make the center of the string of fireworks. I completed the necklace by cutting and braiding the four different telephone wires into about a two-foot long braid. This was the neck and shoulders part of the necklace which I then connected to the string of nine firewords. Voila! A wire neckalce of fireworks.

After creating the wire necklace and spending some time admiring it, I got Janice to photograph me modeling the necklace. During this activity I got the idea that this necklace needed a display board...something that could frame it and present it on a wall. Went to the garage and found a nearly yard long piece of 1-inch thick wood that seemed to be wide enough for a hanging necklace. Decided to cut the wood to a shorter length and hammered a nail into it on which the necklace could hang. I also used two nails and some steel wire to add a hanging wire on the back. Realized that two small nails would help spread the necklace apart on the board.

Being unable to leave well enough alone (the display board was already going beyond the original idea of just making a necklace), I decided the board needed something like a title. Some time during the creation of the necklace and the display board it had come to me that I could call this necklace "Pop Art" (i.e., fireworks go "pop")--I figured that Janice would like this pun. Instead of just "painting" the text on with some paint pens I have, I decided that I should first get out my little set of wood carving tools and carve these letters into the wood--then paint the carved out spaces. I did this then spent some time admiring and photographing my project. This project took most of one lazy Saturday to complete. I gave Aaron Anderson the necklace and display board that evening.

I've recently created three different "underground art" projects and this "pop art" theme seems to be an opportunity to make references to various other art genre's in future objects (another overarching theme or game to add to my work). We'll just have to wait and see if this references-to-art-genres idea goes any where or not.

Making it.

Another object & back story from

© 2008