Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea

Named for the resin inlaid bezel focal piece that reminded me of  Yukio Mishima's novel, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea, a story of a man with competing passions, a woman and the sea that he feels is his true and only home.

This neck piece is made completely of things found in the process of decay (or change, more accurately), and it is meant to continue changing.  Collaged to the surface of the old leather pouch is antique text, hand stitching, cotton tatters, recycled sari silk and fragrant beeswax.  It's definitely a statement piece, and not for the faint of heart.  Wear it to remind yourself of the sad outcome of warring passions or hang it on the wall. 

I'm in Print!

My fibula made it into Brenda Schweder's latest book from Lark Press, Steel Wire Jewelry -- that's my fibula in the lower right corner of page 23!  And it's also my photograph of the piece (not the same as the one to the left).  I couldn't be more pleased.  But even more pleasing is the whole book with many hints about working in my favorite medium, steel wire, and lots of examples of the work of other artists, as well.  Do yourself a favor and order a pre-release copy , since the book is already making waves.  It has been produced with the great graphic quality Lark is known for, and it is bound to be a mainstay in many artists' bookshelves.  Even luckier, I got to attend a workshop with Brenda at The Ranch in Snohomish, Washington, for 3 days of projects and advice from Brenda, who is an excellent teacher, and generous with sharing her expertise.  It's been an all-around fine experience for me, and I am looking forward to more work in steel.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

May & The Vamp: BFF

They have bonded during the ordeal of their respective facial rejuvenation and makeover, when they met in the waiting room.  The Vamp swears that when the Sheik finds her tent, she will not forget her friend, but set aside some time for them to enjoy a hen party.  (The term may derive from the custom of henna parties, when Turkish women would celebrate weddings with a bride to be and paint their hands and feet with fine henna tattoos.)  Well, the Sheik hasn't yet appeared on The Vamp's horizon, and May has more of an interest in her own inner life, so at this point, the girls are not at much risk of forgetting their pledge of lasting friendship.  They are available as a set, on Etsy, so that their friendship need not be geographically restrained, with a twofer deal on shipping . . .  And may we all remember that a friend in hand is worth two Shieks in the, er, well, you get it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Filling Marionette Lines -- Doll Facial Rejuvination Process


She was getting rather tired waiting for Valentino, and the ennui was beginning to show.  Time for the facial rejuvenation.  Polyester fiber fill is hypoallergenic, and ecologically friendly since it's can be made of recycled plastic; you can see her languor is preserved, but she has lost the slumping cheeks, so perhaps her sheik will remember where her tent is.

Inspired by that old 20s tune (since I got a nice new Uke for Christmas, I am paying attention to such things), "Sheik of Araby," with apologies for ethnocentric misunderstanding those people of the Middle East must endure from us, please just consider it an artifact, just like Aunt Jemima pancakes, and such.  We really meant no harm (at least I think our folks didn't -- it was just sheer insensitivity, you know, unquestioned beliefs?), and we are paying a bit more attention these days, and, I hope, too, more respect, to the culture that brought us Rumi, Algebra, exquisite art, music, and great mysteries that seem to continue to perplex us.  Inshallah, we shall one day all be brothers and sisters, as we should.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

May's Sultry New Look -- Doll Makeover

Just the other evening May sidled up to me and said, “Psst! Psst! You with the needle and thread!  Don’t you think it’s about time I enjoyed un petit revamp de maquillage, ma cherie?  I must also have a spot of bling and LOSE that wretched damn brown beret with the funky Bakelite; it is way too poco for the rakish slouch I prefer and the color is just about as off as a week-old porkchop; I must have un Nuevo Chapeau.  And whilst I still believe, a la Ferlinghetti, that poetry must not be the underwear of the soul, really, a bit of an amp-up will increase my boudoir appeal, which is what I am, A Boudoir Doll, get it toots?”  With that, what could I do but comply, and provide a bit of a touch up to improve her sultry appeal, a new fine black velvet beret salvaged from a little designer label number sussed out at Value Village, some ear-bobs, and a brooch.  She’s still quite her own person, only more so, if you know what I mean.  She yearns for a satin cushion in a boudoir, would even share her brooch with you on occasion, but take my advice, you should cut off the Miss Piggy re-runs.  Enjoy for yourself the before and after, and see if May went over the top (as if she’d care a fig).  Well, as before, she will come to you with a copy of May Sarton’s poem, “Now I Become Myself,” which is what she is, and the old designer label, as well.  A good hat should have provenance.  

Before she got fed up with the hat and all.

So, now May is off to Etsy to try her luck and locating that boudoir to haunt, er, ornament.  And she is feeling much more confident, what with the makeover and all.

The fine poetry of May Sarton is written under her skirts, and the reference to Ferlinghetti is a reminder of his poem , "Underwear," which contains one of my favorite lines of poetry, "there can be no revolution while poetry is the underwear of the soul."

May Sarton's poem that made the inspiration for this doll is this:

"Now I become myself. It's taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before—"
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!"