A few days ago the holiday season hit me, and yes, that is how it felt!
So I made myself a very personal holiday season “tree”, after realizing that my resin casts of a piece of coral would be great hanging ornaments! Yes, it looks a bit more like a menorah than a tree, but that is coincidence: the brass candlestick is just heavy enough to balance my chosen curly branch, and the design went from there based on just the right things coming to hand in my studio. Well I did spend an hour searching for the dried poppy heads after realizing the one at hand was so perfect!
I had already started on “Three Ships Come Sailing In” but only have two ships so far…
How I did the Colors:
I experimented with brushing in powdered pigment, in addition to adding pigment to the resin. This fast cure polyurethane resin is bright opaque white, so I added a little pigment to make a light warm grey throughout the first cast, and a lighter off-white on the second cast.
Brushing color into the mold is always an experiment, as you cannot see in advance how much color is collected by rougher surfaces of the mold, etc. I tried for a light touch with highlights, which is more difficult than a full surface coverage.
I was not satisfied with the results, which were too patchy and high contrast, so I brushed & rubbed additional colored powders directly onto both casts until I liked the result better. I used a clear matte acrylic spray to fix the color. This surface color is thin & susceptible to scratches, but then that’s art for you :-)
Limiting the Edition:
I have offered the first one to a friend who may want to buy it. Her price is based on my rough estimate for the cost of materials… and this price is for friends only! But she may prefer to hold out for another material or different coloring. I do plan a few more casts, but will limit the number. Not sure about the size of the edition, but under 25, I think.
I have managed to drag success, kicking and screaming, from potential disaster:
This is art as a technical challenge: I made a really bad silicone mold of my carving Bluestone Ruins, ruining a layer of silicone with the wrong pigment, then running out of material. But I was able to salvage it sufficiently for this resin cast, and I may be able to get 1 or even 2 more from this very problematic mold.
This “Blue Ruins” cast has two layers of tinted resin. The upper layer is more translucent, but both let some light through. I won’t back light it, since the fiber and a sheet of mesh in the bottom layer would show up too much. However there is a subtle effect from light around the edges in the right light.
Note the effects of lighting: the first 3 images are the dark translucent resin cast under different light. In the 3rd image there is an optical illusion created by the scanner lighting. The relief appears reversed, with all the “outs” appearing to be “ins” :-). I have added a hanger & protective piece of acrylic to the back, so the piece hangs well now. It would definitely benefit from careful lighting however.
I certainly hope I do a much better job with my Moon Snail mold, coming next: the materials are on order.
what I mean, that don’t go looking for the
laces of elaboration, puffed sleeves. I want to
keep close and use often words like
heavy, heart, joy, soon, and to cherish
the question mark and her bold sister
want to write while crossing the fields that are
fresh with daises and everlasting and the
ordinary grass. I want to make poems while thinking of
the bread of heaven and the
cup of astonishment; let them be
not a hope, not a promise. I want to make poems
that look into the earth and the heavens
and see the unseeable. I want them to honor
both the heart of faith, and the light of the world;
the gladness that says, without any words, everything.
Working on variations of an unfinished pastel:
Despite appearances the much modified print at left is the larger of the two, at 18″x12″. The print at right is only 11″x8.5″. I printed the smaller size accidentally due to a glitch somewhere in my Epson printer software, which sometimes fails to update both paper size and a separate setting for print size same as paper size!).
In both cases I printed my unfinished pastel drawing on a special Epson watercolor paper for inkjet, then worked further to make each a completed piece. The larger one on left, with the pink, is all pastel over the archival inkjet print. The smaller one has both colored pencil and a touch of pastel over the inkjet base.
The larger piece retains the softness of the original concept, with much more refinement and additional colors and shades. The pink evokes early morning or late evening light in the far north.
The smaller piece is darker, and has greater sharpness and detail. The blues are more predominant for a very different mood: perhaps early morning at a different time of year.
I hope to visit both of these in my dreams :-)
Just hung this piece (first showing) at a group show 1012 Coffee on Lawrence St in uptown Port Townsend, the work to the right is by Geralynn Rackowski, Kathy Panks, and Noa Piper:
Also made a trip out to Adelma Beach Road to buy a little stone suitable for carving! 60 lbs. of limestone and 50 lbs of alabaster! Now we have tools and stone; what more could we want? A bit more expertise :-), but that will come with practice. Stronger younger tendons & muscles would be nice too, but those are less likely to develop, I fear!
When requested to come up with some visual imagery, my response today was verbal:
My Thread is a Rope
The thread I hold is a rope.
My thread is not a delicate silken floss,
Bright with color.
The thread that I hold onto is a rope:
Strong, dull, dun colored,
Dirty, encrusted with the juices of sixty-two years.
Years of living, struggling, crying
Laughing, making, and holding hands.
Tarred by many more years of history,
Family stories, memories not my own.
Some strands of this rope are loose,
Unraveled, untidy, adhering to people and things
Left along the way.
But the rope is strong: I can
Pull, and lean, and even hang limp
From this rope.
The original request came with a poem by William Stafford:
AN OPEN EXPERIMENT for anyone interested:
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
~ William Stafford ~”
- What color do you envision your thread?
- What does the matrix to which it is attached look like? How big? What is inside of it? Does it have color?
- Can you draw what you see in your mind’s eye of this matrix?
- How is the thread connected to you…… in your hand? or imbued thoroughly in your whole body and spirit. What color is the you holding the thread?
- Would you mind doing some drawings of these images and bringing them next Wednesday? I am going to try it myself and ask others to try embodying in art form these images, too.