A plumb bob isn't something you'd usually see on display to admire. The typically acorn-shaped weight is used behind the scenes, by the likes of carpenters, architects and artists, to note the vertical of a surface. It's rarely seen as a work of art in and of itself.
A close-up of one of Gary Schott's plumb bobs.
Gary Schott begs to differ, though. The San Antonio metalsmith has a new series on display at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft that asks you to admire the plumb bob for its aesthetic contributions in the solo show "The Ornamental Plumb Bob."
More than a dozen plumb-bob weights line the center's artist hall, suspended from the walls in between the artist studios. Historically, these weights have taken the form of anything from fruits and vegetables to nautical designs and the standard acorn. Schott favors the latter, with weights that look like ice cream cones. They're painted bold colors and hang from decorative plaques of varying shapes, sizes and colors, like ornaments or earrings. Though they all serve the same purpose in the end, each one is unique.More »