“Buckeye” Sculpture Relief
”Buckeye” was based on a former Lake Ave North Sidewalk in St. James. This water valve cover was eventually paved over with asphalt. During the time our family lived in St. James, NY (on Long Island) I documented many of the manhole covers, grates and water covers from this charming hamlet. In fact St. James was the Home and Start of My Manhole Art. As some of the covers disappeared (replaced by generic covers) or were paved over, I realized that my art works actually documented the history of the streets.“Water Service” is a collagraph print. It was printed on my Dickerson Press on my own handmade paper. The printing plate is created in relief. The various colors of oil based ink are brushed into the lowest areas. Then the high relief is wiped clean. Black ink is rolled over the highest relief. Dampened paper is placed over the plate and run through the printing press. This procedure is repeated for each print.Penciled around the edge of the image are the names of Mario Palmieri and John Mayleas and the location of the water service mark-out. Both of the Water District Employees were enthusiastic about my “Water Works.” They taught me about the street markings and the various kinds of water covers.
“John E. Potente & Sons”
Potente covers and grates are prevalent on Long Island. When I saw a vine creeping through its openings, I knew I wanted to record this scene from Woodlawn Avenue in St. James. This is also a collagraph from a small edition. A “John E. Potente” print was recently exhibited with a Heckscher Museum Permanent Collection.
It’s not too often that one sees a damaged manhole cover. Mario Palmieri and John Mayleas had discovered it in the St. James Water district and knew I would be interested. After I created this sculpture relief ( 48″ x 36″ x 1.5″) people teased that the image reminded them of Pac Man (side view)
Most people recognize the Bell System Telephone Cover Design. Note the Bell in the center circle. The actual covers in St. James were a rusty iron color. How many of you have seen this cover? The familiar hexagon pattern may even adorn the streets of your town or city. The papers for these prints were made from cotton linter fibers dyed blue and netting was added to some of the prints before printing.
The Ford Water Meter Cover was a prominent cover in St James. Sometimes Litter was prominent. Consequently, a small group of residents formed a grass-roots organization to adopt areas to clean and beautify. It was named: C.L.E.A.N. ( Committee for Litter Elimination And Neatness). My adopt – a spot was the King Kullen Parking Lot, which RJK Gardens now maintains.
The St. James Streetscapes can also be viewed here: http://www.stacarts.org/a/bobbi-mastrangelo
Mastrangelo prints on handmade paper: Bobbi Mastrangelo-Gallery-Works on Paper