First and foremost, it must be understood that Tracey Davis, a native Mississippian and resident of Florida, was not born an artist, which truly was her heart's desire. She did have some skill with copying existing pictures, but lacked the talent and intuition to create something uniquely hers.
At the age of twenty-eight, and in good health, Tracey suffered a stroke while giving birth to her second of three sons. While going through the recovery process afterwards, something unexpected happened. Her mind became flooded with all kinds of artistic ideas, in various mediums. Not only were these ideas uniquely hers, but she also knew, without any form of formal training, how to execute them and make them a reality. She worked in several mediums, and was successful with each.
Tracey knew that this talent was really a gift that came in the form of a medical tragedy. She felt that it had divine origin, and prayed for guidance on how it should be used. Always fascinated with mosaics, she began to create mixed media pieces on a larger, shadowbox scale. She then decided to try to design a mosaic so small that someone could wear it if they wished. A long time collector of vintage European prayer cards, reliquaries, as well as other vintage religious art, she chose to make mosaics featuring these iconic themes. Thus, the art of Petite Sacre Mosaiques was born.
Petite Sacre Mosaiques, or "small holy mosaic," are award-winning tiny micro mosaic works of art encased in antique 1880's to 1940's watch cases that she restores and enamels herself. In some cases, the enamel work is part of the interior mosaic, and sometimes, she chooses to enamel the outside of the case as well. The mosaic is made up of tiny sea-shells, hand-dyed sesame seeds, gold filigree, vintage paper cuttings, tiny Swarovski crystals called "chaton", and early 1900's European holy cards and prayer medals. Never using any form of pattern, her pieces are one of a kind. Much of the work is so tiny that to be truly seen, one must look through a magnifying glass. Sizes range from small 1930's ladies wrist watch cases to large, late 1800's pocket watches.
Tracey also makes several large antique clock case shrines a year, that house the pocket watches when they are not being worn. They are heavily embellished with seashells, hand-dyed crushed coral, seeds, Swarovski crystal, metal filigree, vintage fabric, trims, and laces, and antique religious medals, pin-backs, figures, crowns. and images. Some have doors that open to reveal smaller prayer shrines inside the interior. There are often hidden elements in the designs that are only apparent upon close inspection. Occasionally, clock cases are designed with a special "theme". No design is every repeated, and most pieces take over six months to construct.
Often asked what message she is trying to impart to the viewer, Tracey says "My work is not about a particular statement I am trying to make, but an invitation to reflect, and realize that the power to overcome our own personal obstacles lies within us. Hopefully, it reminds us that we are not alone, and there is someone that loves us completely, forgives our imperfections, and is there to take our hand if we will only reach out." Copyright protected.
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