Friday, May 31, 2013


Jars and bottles have been decorated with objects since the Victorian period. Folk artists created "memory vessels" or spirit jugs by embedding mementos (of loved ones, special occasions, or simply daily life) in a type of dough that covered the jar. When it hardened, the vessel was painted.
tutorial, mixed media, technique
This arts & crafts  method is so easy!
I built this functional, encrusted vessel, Pandora's Box, upon a lidded soapstone box.  I covered it with air-dry clay, and pressed plastic insects and more into it. When that was dry, I covered it with gesso and later painted with acrylics. 

how-to, tutorial, mixed media
A fairly frugal art project!

Thanks for viewing this post! Paula, the Mixed Media Manic.


  1. I like this!
    i can see a lot of possibilities here.
    thanks Paula.

    1. Hey, Rebecca, you are the queen of encrustation! I love what you do with the ideas, as you did with your rooster!

  2. An interesting idea, and it reminds me of the ton of little plastic creatures my son amassed when he was growing up. Hoarder mom still has them. Perhaps it was destiny that you communicated this idea to me.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment...I hope you'll give it a shot!

    2. Those would be great inclusions for this! I'm glad you mentioned those because I still have some from my son (he's 32 - yes, I have a hoarding tendency too, mostly art supplies including found objects) and he would love something like this. Maybe it would be a nice addition to his birthday present in September? What wonderful ideas I find here, from Paula and her readers. Thank you!

  3. I LOVE this Paula! The first time I saw this idea - the folk jars you mentioned - was on an episode of American Pickers. They purchased an old one that had been made in memory of a family member. I told my husband, I HAVE to do that! My parents, grandparents etc. are part Cherokee and from East TN Appalachia. I have since found this practice was quite common there, at least years ago so that made me even more interested. I'm going to start by making one in memory of my dad then my 2 sisters (also passed on)then after that, who knows?! I really like your twist on using a box. You really did exquisite work on this, Paula! You are just so talented. Thanks for bringing this to mind again. I have an ongoing list of projects to try but sometimes I get involved in something other ones and forget to look at my list for months on end. This idea has been on my list since winter I noticed. So, maybe it will be a good summer project? :)


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