The Shaker Furniture Collection
Michelle Post avidly sifts through many sorts of collections to acquire the particular pieces and components she needs to realize her sculpture. Specifically, the process of sorting through 3,000 salt and peppershakers inspired her to find new ways to utilize the relational dynamics inherent to pairs of objects. Themselves the subject of an ongoing series of hand colored block prints, these tabletop items became fodder for a completely new direction as her work that continues to evolve.
As the proprietor of the ‘Shaker Furniture Company of Trenton NJ’, Post has standards regarding the quality of her materials. They do not need to be expensive; in fact much of the base material is plucked from flea markets, yard sales, e-bay auctions, dumpsters and from the side of the road as others persist in their throwaway lifestyles. Her chosen forms must have inherent value, gleaned from good design and stable construction, details that catch the eye and ample surfaces for shaker application. The resultant sculptures seem to be from a fictitious time and place, familiar for their components, but themselves new collections that give fresh form to post WWII consumer economy detritus.
Post reincarnates jigsaw puzzles from the pre-television era, reconstructs popsicle stick lamps festooned with glass marbles, and recontextualizes the utilitarian shakers by fixing them permanently sideways on their chosen panels. Transfixed by the process of interlocking individual pieces to create a picture, Post has elevated that flat exercise into these three dimensional, sculptural forms. Combined with carved and painted Styrofoam elements and cheerful, brightly colored faux finishing her Shaker pieces are inviting and interactive, for the closer you look, the more they reveal.
From long experience with the processes of wood engraving, printmaking and meticulously detailed bronze casting, Post has drawn upon her many years of professional technical skills to create new work that glows with pleasure, emerging as it does so spontaneously from disparate elements.