Wind Traveler 3
A third Wind Traveler started, this time for China. Luckily I found my template pretty easily in my messy studio. Made a sample with funeral paper scraps.
I also made my first batch of messy calligraphy. Love the Basho haiku I used originally. My goal is to make as many of these breast pods as possible between now and April.
Work completed 4 months after initial concept. What started initially as a piece about the jizo statues morphed into the significance of sewing the garments and dressing the jizos. Work had to be thought through in stages, starting with the papier mache bodies. That took a lot of time and messy work. My studio will never look the same. Patience had to be exercised in the layering and waiting for each layer to dry before applying the next. Thank goodness for good YouTube instructions on how to make papier mache forms. The first one nailed it. I watched two more. The last one was a disaster and if I had happened upon that one first I would have been in trouble. While the layers dried, I knitted the caps. Luckily I had just enough leftover yarn to make all of them. Found a simple pattern on the internet. Of course, I only got the hang of knitting it at the very end. Some of the early caps are quite misshapen. Never mind...Once the forms were strong enough and dry enough I sanded them, added little noses, and put a layer of gloss medium on. Then a couple of layers of black paint. I had initially thought to paint a fancy faux granite finish but the forms looked just as good black. There was a month's interruption with work before I could go back to the project again. Luckily the next step could be done at home. I found all my red and pink fabric from my fabric stash in the basement. At first I used a pattern for aprons, thinking I would need to do it all very carefully. Soon I figured out that I could use a rectangle of fabric and torn strips for the sash. Cut up the fabric into piles of 10. Ten aprons to sew each day. Didn't quite follow that regimen but was close. In the end I even made patchwork sashes. As I tied the completed bibs onto the forms they started to come alive.
I try to make 10 bibs a day towards a final number of 108. It's been fun finding all the red and pink fabrics from my large stash bins. Only took me a dozen bibs to figure out a method for sewing these things. The first ones I used a pattern, which was ridiculous. The jizo shapes are getting nice and rounded with the piles of aprons on them. Sewing is a very calming activity and because I am using multiple fabrics, it is never boring. The very act of making the bibs makes me think of mothers and babies and lost children.
Dolls dressed with the first set of bibs. Haven't decided whether to keep the dolls a uniform black color or not. Have had no time to go into the studio and thankfully the bib-sewing can be done from home. So glad the caps got knitted early. Starting to breathe life into these creatures.
Hats were knitted from an easy baby cap pattern downloaded from the web. All yarns were leftover balls from past knitting projects. I am sticking to a color palette of red and pink. Interesting how the sculptures acquire humanity when these caps are put on.
Three caps knitted
First Cap Knitted
What happens when one becomes impatient and pops the balloon too soon. If one dries the sculpture on the side to air out the bottom, the whole body caves in.
A Pie for Flo: Ideas Stage
Flo Oy Wong kindly invited me to make a pie for her 75 x 75 installation in honor of her 75th birthday. The show will take place at the Luggage Store Gallery in mid-November and will feature "pies" made by 75 different artists. Flo's instructions are to create pies that tell the extraordinary story of an ordinary person or address the deconstruction of stereotypes that have impeded our lives.
My recent driving trip in Pennsylvania gave me some time to ponder over what to create and who to feature. I was on my way to celebrate the life of a good friend who passed away in 2011. I had been making several art pieces to process the long friendship we had, the years of letters and postcards that changed hands. I just couldn't imagine making a pie about her.
But another close friend who died less than 5 months after my Pennsylvania friend was a possibility. She loved food, and much of our time was spent exploring restaurants and cooking. Like myself, she was Eurasian. Unlike me, her parents were displaced from their homes, their comfortable colonial lives disrupted. They went from being wealthy to refugees. Their lives in the new country never went beyond lower middle class. Still, my friend grew up rich with stories of opulence, adventures, memories of survival and accomplishments. And the complexity of being "half" plays a part in her life. She identified with the European side of her heritage, minimized the Asian. But she was conscious that her skin color, a lovely golden brown, prevented complete acceptance by fair-skinned Caucasians.
I just took the first steps towards assembling her delicious life. Yesterday I purchased a stoneware pie pan at Goodwill. I cut up wafer liners for chocolate boxes into pie slices. What will fill the spaces in between? Will the blackness of the wafers dictate my color palette? Or will they simply be fillers for my friend's multi-hued life?
white marker, double-sided tape, scissors, black paint, glue stick