Thursday, July 30, 2009

ROOTS OF CHAINS


Last night my friends Margaret, Lisa and Todd came over to crochet some chains for the Mother Tree Project. It was a very relaxing evening. We had some cheeses that Todd brought over, a nice mixture from a soft ripened crème to a deep rich orange French cheddar. I made a peanut butter bread, from a Gullah recipe I found online. We also had chips and bean dip and, of course, some wine. Since it has been so hot here in Phoenix, Margaret brought over all the ingredients to make fruit and yogurt smoothies. They were delicious. We crocheted the chains and talked and laughed and had a really good time. We all enjoy participating in the project and suggested that we might try to get up to Portland to see the exhibit together. I will be sending the chains to Helen soon, but there is still plenty of time to have another get together as they are not due until February 2010. Read more about it on Helen's Blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

IN THE TRENCHES PAGES 1 & 2


After making the paper with Mary C. Leto in her Moon Tide Paper studio in South Carolina I was determined to come home and make all the pages for this book immediately. Well, that was at the end of April. Sometimes I get sidetracked by work, other times by other projects.

I am now focused on the book and have made some of the preliminary items: a bunch of gocco baby heads, some inkjet prints of names and some hand typed hang tags.

Then I created the first set of three page ones.

I love the texture of the paper and the rich color that we got from dying it with black walnut "ink" that we made ourselves. We also used a gelatin sizing. Mary and I are working separately in our studios on the pages, promising to make 8 sets each by August 12th (an arbitrary deadline).

This page has one "trench" that is machine stitched and contains a list of the dead from September 1881. On top of the list are hand stitched heads that I converted from photos from the 1800s, treated them in photoshop, made master copies and made gocco prints from those.

When I am working on them I think about their mothers...
Did they have little handmade baby clothes never to be worn?
How much did they miss their baby?
How did they grieve for them?
Did they even know where they were buried?

EXHIBIT NO. EIGHT


The past Friday we held our almost bimonthly "art night" where a few friends come over and we eat a shared meal and then get creative. This time I wanted to work on a piece for the project "Domino Mystery". This one is 6"x6". (Mary and I have not decided quite what the final project is going to be, but I am continuing the oil pastels on canvas.)


Todd was here working on a beautiful watercolor of a street in Provence, Kyria made a folded box project and watercolor and Jake did his usual block printing. All are really wonderful.

YARNS FOR THE MOTHER TREE


I will be inviting over a group of friends next week to start the chains for the "Mother Tree Project" by artist Helen Hiebert. We are using only natural fibers in earth tones as requested by the artist. These are a sampling of the yarns I purchased made up of hemp, cotton and bamboo.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

CURRENT PROJECTS

"In the Trenches" collaboration with Mary C. Leto
15" x 12.5" x 3.25" artist's book (edition of 3) on handmade paper, printing and multi media
depicting the dead babies buried on Hart Island, NYC
inspired by the Hart Island Potter's Field and the work of Melinda Hunt

"Domino Mystery" collaboration with Mary C. Leto
series of oil pastels and an eventually an artists book
depicting found objects with suspicious intentions

"Rights of Passage"
film series on modern immigration
currently editing Renate Hess: East Germany

"Potato Famine Series"
glass bottles containing miniature potato farmers, catholic iconic medallions and aged irish linen labels, wrapped in wire, beaded and sealed with wax with added irish postage stamps
depicting the Great Famine of Ireland 1845 to 1852

"Portraits of Ageism"
6" x 6" oil paintings on canvas
depicting personal portraits of individuals affected by age discrimination in the film CUT BACK: facing ageism

"People Say We're Fat"
a series of glass vials filled with miniature people from all professions, wrapped with hand-stamped tags, a series of "labels" that read chubby, fat, plump, pig and big, in juxtaposition to these tags is a hanging heart
depicting our society's obsession with thin

Participant in the "Mother Tree Project" by Artist Helen Hiebert
Mother Tree will be a life-size handmade paper dress, a work in progress that will be created in Feb/Mar 2010 as part of the Portland Building's Installation Space program funded by the Regional Arts & Culture Council
invited a group of crocheters to my studio to make and send some of the 20 foot long strands that Helen is going to use in the installation

Participant in Hyperbolic Coral Reef Project
crocheted abstract hyperbolic "sea coral" as part of a collaboration and exhibition of crocheters from the Phoenix Scottsdale area