Roaming the Streets of San Jose

The occasion was my youngest niece’s wedding, and we were staying with my sister in California. I hadn’t planned on making any art—but when you see good stuff in the skips and on the streets of San Jose,  what can you do?

What do I do for glue?

I hadn’t brought my glue gun to the wedding, obviously an oversight. But enter the Dollar Tree and their supplies of superglue.

Usually I use T Rex, an adhesive that’s reasonably solid but pliable. I apply it directly from the glue gun to larger pieces or with a toothpick to smaller pieces. Superglue, however, is very liquid and runny, and very sticky indeed. A whole new learning experience.

Comparing rubbish

As in Melbourne, rubbish in San Jose included quite a bit of metal. There were some street cleaner bristles, but the loss rate there is much lower than in Melbourne. Rubbish also included stuff left over from the 4th of July celebrations in the nearby park.

What there was lots of – which I didn’t bother to collect – was single shoes, sometimes kids’ shoes, sometimes thongs, lots of runners.

A family theme

I’m not sure whether it was because I was with the extended family, or whether it was a function of the bits I found. Whatever the reason, many of the works I created in San Jose had a family theme.

Abstract and experimental

However, some were also quite experimental and abstract, such as Unbottled Thought Bubbles.

A few stayed as flatlays when I ran out of glue. I still have the bits that I brought home from San Jose (yes, seriously). However, I haven’t had the urge to glue them down yet, and as a bag of rubbish they remain.