February 26, 2011

More felty bits...

I made these today and yesterday. They began as flowers at my daughters friends house that I cut and assembled while hearing all about the WEV (women's economic ventures) program her friends parents are taking. I love that this recession has made people think more seriously about developing their real talents and turning them into a viable business. The part I don't like is that everyone is broke.

These folk were totally interesting and their daughter who I really like, made flowers with me while my daughter explored her toys and we all drank coco until it was time to go and then the girls ran topless in the pouring rain, screaming with delight and sitting in rivers of water.

This morning when I opened my felty bits bag I thought they would make sort of cool shirt patches for kids, so I kitted them out for that. The photos I took of them individually are terrible - or the color is so I will post them at a later date.

Allison, the intrepid blogger at aliblahblah, asked for a tutorial about the hair clips I had made for our friend Kate's birthday. I promise to do that when I can post these individually Allison, and in the meantime those clips are some where in this blog... under felty bits maybe?

Is it snowing where you are?   

February 22, 2011

Meet the Pocket Bots: Dot and Scott

Meet Dot and Scott the Pocket Bots!  Woo hoo!

Thank goodness for children eating things that have such cute little boxes!

and I made them out of this stuff...

February 20, 2011

More Beach Plastic Sculpture

Right now I'm listening to a band called the Books - I really like them. My friend Dustin turned me on to them.  We had art studios in the same building about 10 years ago in Arcata... that was when I really had a chance to go for this series of sculptures - all from plastic that I found on the beach.

I always liked Dustins taste in music and still do it turns out. I made allot of these sculptures in that studio, listening to music and the BBC which was on the radio up there.

We even had a pirate radio station in our building. It was a pretty cool scene. 

I was up there with Richard, the father of my child, who was writing his dissertation about the Humboldt Timber wars. I'll put a link at the bottom so you can BUY it!  It got published by university of Minnesota Press. I haven't read it - but I lived it. It's going to have allot of LONG sentences and be genus.

Earth Firsters would use my studio sometimes to paint protest banners. Julia Butterfly was sitting in her tree then.

I knew some of her support team through Richard and his research. They were trying to save the last small bit of old growth forrest standing. They were committed, 

guitar playing, fairly scruffy and fearless forrest defenders. It makes  me want to cry thinking about it. It was beautiful what they were doing...at least some of it was.

I did this sculpture on the day the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddha. I can't even read what it says now, but everything and anything that was around me then had the potential to be woven into one of these sculptures. 

I was reading Lacan  too - the Language of the Self? Is that what it's called? It's funny because there are German words in the sculptures that I cant remember the meaning of now.

This one says "Creating intimacy to stall production". It was a Richard line and I can't remember if he was quoting it or not - but I love it.  So hard to know if its a good or bad thing though! 

I would do one a day, using apoxy and wire (glue guns work too if you  varnish them afterwards.) The "subject"  tended to be extracted from the present - news events, feelings, dreams, words or concepts from books I was reading - but the structure, the concept and the skeleton came from something more historic. That is my childhood. I wrote a bit about that in the beginning of this blog - the origins of the lemon grove 1 2 and 3. I will be writing more.

The links below are more to do with the reason i was in humboldt for a year, Richard and his research - but what actually happened there for me, who I met and what I created was pretty different. 

I missed the big city and urban stuff - music, art, an edge...thats why I was so happy to be around artists who were also passing through and were tapped into something/somewhere else...like Dustin and Scott and all the rest. While Arcata was crawling with people who had generally fled civilization as we know it, and the the environment right outside our door was under siege, we were inside making stuff, listening to alot of music, eating lunch together and playing.

Talking about trying to make it as an artist, what we were doing and how it had any meaning and what that meant. I was taking plastic from the beach and transforming it into weird little sculptures...that I quite like. What better way to promote change than to seduce it into existence, I thought - and the sculptures all have quite playful but suggestive little bits if you study them. It seems like the quickest way to get people interested in a thing, to pay attention is to make it sexy. I was trying to make trash from the beach, a fairly repulsive and destructive phenomenon, something that people would pay attention to. 

I also noticed that a great deal of what I found could be: inserted, rubbed on ones lips or body, put in ones mouth, sucked on, licked, and so on.  I also think it is incredibly ironic that there are so many water bottles polluting our water. It's huge - and the irony is even huger. It's cultural self sabotage - don't you think?


These are just little observations and theories that tend to change over time.  

I am a great believer in the significance of little actions, of tiny steps of an individuals potential to influence great big things. I believe in the power of love over fear. Life is too too short to not be engaged and take action. It's too short to be scared to reach out and help someone if they're asking for it. It's too short to be afraid of looking weird, of being abnormal, of being different and rejected because you have a different idea about the way something should happen, look or be said.
Thats all....oh, and don't forget to have fun!



February 18, 2011

Another life for that poor cardboard box...

On my daughters 6th birthday I had loads of plans for games, months before...but like most things I think of ahead of time, I fell behind, then was out of time. 
Saul, my very cool old studio mate, had given me a bunch of cardboard, so the day or 2 before said party, I whipped up this game, and it goes like this...

 you have 2 teams, someone hides all genetically engineered insects all over the yard (they're like a foot and a half each), there are two of each and  the first team to find them all (one of each) and return them to home base (the flowers) wins. 

The real thrill of the game isn't that great hunt around the garden, but the fact that its grown ups against the kids.
I thought it would be boring for them (too little house on the prairie) but they LOVED it... until they realized that  they didn't actually get prizes for winning...then some had a little moan.

Ok and I just have to add the birthday cupcake photos because my daughter made them with the Fitton boys and I think they're fantastic!

February 16, 2011

What to do with a paper bag...

...put it on your head, mais bien sur!! So sophisticated, so sexy! Create your very own scene, wear one out on the town, or to a cocktail party...well, maybe not (unless you do indeed want to have a party of one) but they are darned easy to make and its so fun

when several people are wearing them! The silver in these is from the inside of those juice box like boxes - with the silver lining....

Now this thing is reminding me of Mexican crosses. I might need to do more with this now.

February 15, 2011

Children's projects from reused material

I loved these monsters. Someone must have stolen them a long time ago now...but I am still mad about it.

These are all little projects I made while I was at AFS. I wish I had more photos of the LOADS of others...but I don't seem to. Oh well. 

This one is  buttons, pipe cleaners, straws and that weird shipping padding.

The flowers are just recycled paper and magazines cut out.  Hot glue and buttons for the finish.

The dragon below was fun to do. I THINK I formed it on egg cartons, but I'm not totally sure.

Aaah - and there's the old CD case frame....

They're actually pretty cool - easy to decorate and hang, or open and stand. Versatile little things. 

This, believe it or not, is called an "Exquisite Corpse", based on the Surrealist game in which one person draws the head, folds it over and another person draws the body without looking at the head. The cat is a version of that.

R RRRR. YE old pirate box matie. Just little thoughts.

February 14, 2011

Sometimes an object is just an object

What is it? Aside from the sum of its discarded parts...it's just something I wanted to make, and thats ok.

I saw a performance in Glasgow once in which a woman spoke about a brick that she liked very much.  She had tied a jute rope around it and that was all that distinguished it from all other bricks. I liked that.  

I already loved these things. They are the bottom of egg cartons. 

Today, I felt like slathering them with glue and turning their innards sparkly pink. 

So I did.

Then I glue gunned them together into what reminds me of a dia de los muertos disco ball, which amuses me but I could have stopped sooner, after  their little pink innards had been coated. That would have worked for me today.   

February 13, 2011

Reuse project # ?: burning stuff up

I like to temper my successes with... pyromania, near misses and experiments gone bad.  The worst part about trying to "draw" with matches was the great glob of smoke I got in my eye at one point here.  It hurt.  Forget that.

No. I was raiding Ian's recycling...this is what I pulled out. I got excited about the big tube.  I made one mistake then I remembered our needs at Fittonia - the magical land in which I live when I'm not dodging bullets (ninja spy...).

 NAPKIN RINGS...not terribly sexy, but the prospect of not having to do so much laundry was exciting none the less.

La la la la la. Snip snip snip.

OK - I had just taken my FIRST Ducati ride with Ian...the recycled motorcycle magazine called me from the recycle bin. Elmer's, tempera, scissors and VOILA! 

Napkins rings for the Fitton boys...now for the rest of us.