my son's first grade class came to redline for a field trip to see what real artist studios look like and to try a little mosaic making. the kids got the hang of it pretty easily and didn't make too much of a mess. they were thrilled by the chance to ride the city bus as an extra added bonus. i was glad to be able to encourage their creative juices and to show them that people really can be artists when they grow up. the best part though, was when he brought his mosaic home from school after they were finished and the teacher handed them out. during dinner he made his papa and i both close our eyes while he took it out of his back pack. when he said "open" he had it proudly displayed in both hands held high with a huge grin on his face.
this weekend brought the spring equinox, ostara, and the fine tradition of ukrainian egg dyeing. it is a fabulous meditative process which i found i had precious little patience for. but oh well, i did the best i could anyway. it is kind of like batiking an egg. first you apply the wax by way of a kishka that you scoop the wax into and heat up over a candle- then you draw on the egg. then you dye the egg. then you add more wax and dye again in a slightly darker color- times infinity. then to get the wax off, you must hold the egg close to a candle flame (but not too close or you might scorch it) and melt the wax and wipe it off. this takes a long time. then, you poke a hole in each end of the egg with a needle and blow it out using a puffer tool or your mouth. this is challenging because if the hole is not just the right size the puffer tool will not work. and if you blow too hard the egg could break. my friends did a great job with their eggs. mine could have been better- but let's just say i save my patience for countless other painstaking tasks. and i am thankful to my friend for inviting me to participate in her yearly ukrainian egg dyeing ritual- because it's always good to convene with an egg- well, at least once a year.
on friday we had our "pulp possibilities" opening at redline milwaukee. it was fantastic the way the show came together and it was amazing to see all the incredible artwork that came out of it. i learned a lot in the process. in the hanging of my nests i realized that i am not very comfortable on high ladders. i learned about lighting a show- hotspots and cross lighting, looking out for bright lights in your eyes. i learned about flow the gallery, elements that draw you in and how to balance the work in the space. i learned about text panels to describe artwork, and the alternatives to them. all good stuff. the best part of the show though, was the inspiration that it provided to learn the art of papermaking and the exploration of the endless possibilities it offers.
lately i have been entirely consumed by making the tiles for a huge ass (okay its only 4 x 4 feet, but to me it has become huge) mosaic. i totally underestimated the amount of time and effert that would go into this project. and supplies. did i mention supplies? 50 lbs of clay- clay is heavy granted, but i thought 25 would do it. and a whole pint of underglaze (jet black.) it took a bit longer than carving a mug- about ten times longer in fact- and all while racing against the clock of drying and cracking clay. it would have been easier if i had planned on being in the studio for three days straight and just cranking it out. but alas, i had not. i had work to do, dinner to cook, a boy to play slapjack with. live and learn. and thankfully so. cuz what fun would life be if we stopped learning? i labeled the back of all the pieces with underglaze according to a grid system to aid me in putting it back together after it is fired. which i do believe it is just about ready for. phew!
La Jessica likes to make things and does so often.