Why are you so obsessed with that bowl?

That’s what my better half keeps asking. I don’t know the answer. There are a lot of bowls in my work.

Some are tea bowls. Some are oryoki bowls.  Some are broken, some are not. Sometimes a bowl is just a bowl.

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Which is nice . . .

So this came in yesterday’s mail. I’m always happy to see it. But this time I was even happier than usual. One of the items chosen for display in the Reader Challenge Results, which featured hand carved stamps this time, was something that looked awfully familiar. This:

My sneakers! They were in amazing company on these pages–such beautiful things the other contributors had made.  I blush. Okay–done now. I’ll try to restrict myself to quiet giggling.

“Look at me making art!”

Monoprint van gogh's baby by floating ink
Quoth a friend of Second Child’s, who had come over to spend the weekend with us.  On Saturday I made large sheet of gelatin and brought out the watercolors, but the girls came nosing around and I turned the place over to them. SC’s friend, who was not having a good day, really got into making monoprints, and at one point threw her arms up in the air and shouted “Look at me making art!”
Made my whole weekend.
Just over a week later, I suddenly realized I’d stored the gelatin sheet out on the porch inside the gas grill, intending to go back to it on Sunday. Then I forgot it. By the time I retrieved it, the gelatin had frozen and thawed maybe 4 times. and it was really in bad shape. Sort of crumbly. Not good. But before throwing it out,  I got out some sheets of paper and the paints–nothing to lose, right? I ended up with some nice pieces–they’ll be perfect for backgrounds for . . . something. That’s one of them at the top of this post, and another that’s become my current header.

Lagniappe

Just a little something.

Another stab at organization

Magazine holder close-ups by floating ink
Magazine holder close-ups, a photo by floating ink on Flickr.

The art supplies are taking over the house. In an effort to corral some of the papers and paints, tools, brushes, books, and so on, I spent a little check I got for Christmas on some Ikea shelving. While I was there I also grabbed some of these easy to assemble cardboard magazine holders:

This afternoon I pulled out a huge roll of heavy brown kraft paper, some of my hand carved stamps and some Stayz-on stamp ink, and started working up some covers for the plain white boxes. You can see I used my official weights to hold the curled up paper in place, and the very correct pizza boxes that I use to transport my stamps:*
Within an hour or so I had three neatly covered boxes, the ones you see at the top of this post. I’m pretty chuffed about them.  I’m especially pleased with the scissors stamps, which I made by photocopying my two favorite pairs of scissors, cutting out their paper images, then tracing them onto kids’ craft Foamies (is that what those sheets are called?), cutting them out (with their original real-life counterparts), then using a dead ball point pen to make impressions of their details before stamping with them.

Anyway, I think they look great in the new shelves. If only they didn’t show up the way-overdue-for-fresh-paint walls behind them!

___

*Thanks to a generous donation from a friend, I may soon have a much classier way to store and transport the stamps–stay tuned.

Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain

I’ve been working steadily throughout the first 12th of the year and just want to let you know that the art-making has been continual and fairly serious, but there hasn’t really been much to show, for various reasons.  One newly finished mixed media piece was a belated (okay, seriously freaking belated) Christmas present for my mother, which has finally gone out in the mail but which will remain, for the moment, mostly private. The little bit above is a detail from the piece. Here’s another:

The very fetching child in the bottom row is yours truly at about three years of age.  See? I am still working.

 

Glass ornament on tree

Glass ornament on tree by floating inkI can now show you some of the things I made to give as holiday presents.  Here are some I feel somewhat guilty about, because the first one was heavily inspired by one I saw in a shop. I say only somewhat guilty, because what usually happens when I’m inspired by the work of someone else is that I try hard to reproduce it–figuring out the materials that were used and what techniques were employed to put it together and so on. And then I might make one or two such things–never to sell, but perhaps to give away.

What happens next is that I make yet another of whatever the thing is, but now the thing begins to take on a quite different form. What if I do this instead of that? What if I employed a radically different material that makes the old thing a new thing, or takes it in an unexpected direction? By this point my mind is happily racing ahead and within a few hours I’m off making something that was definitely inspired by the original thing, but which is now something completely new.

Like this:

Glass ornament on tree, a photo by floating ink on Flickr.