Friday, July 27, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
Boston was quite the trip! 15 years ago, when I was fresh out of high school, I briefly went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Our recent trip was the first time back and, as is always true of big cities, Boston had changed in some ways and in some ways not at all. It is still a remarkably fast-moving city and so similar in style to San Francisco (I just wish our subways moved as fast as the Boston T!). In retrospect, the week we spent in Boston was a whirlwind tour full of sights, family and new experiences. When the weather went from 80 degrees one day to 30 degrees with a blistering windchill 2 days later, we got a small taste of the variability that Spring on the East Coast is capable of. I enjoyed my experience at CraftBoston, which is indeed a high-caliber arts & crafts event where I was delighted to meet some extraordinary people and reconnect with artists from previous events.
Since we got back from Boston, we’ve had just a few days to pet the cat, remember what our house smells like, see the tulips flowering in the garden and now we are off again to visit family in Texas, where the bluebonnets will still be blooming if we are lucky. I look forward to seeing my family & playing with my nieces (3 & 6 years old). I am bringing some fun books and lots of crepe paper and fuzzy-ties for us to play with! We also need to get there in time to help my mother make gumbo for the Easter family gathering (Houston is close to Louisiana and shares many cultural & tasty traditions of this part of the South).
Please pardon the repeat of images from earlier years. I am trying to freshen up the blog by pruning through the past posts going back to 2006 (or 5?! it is a blur), so it has been a great opportunity to revisit past photo projects. Spring is all about making new room, shedding old skin, and new growth of the personal, spiritual or physical kind. Wishing you all a regenerative & creative Spring!
Saturday, February 4, 2012
HARLEQUIN FELTWORKS: Model: Amber Wrap: Harlequin Feltworks Makeup & Hair: Kenya Aissa for Ruby Envy Photo: Moja Ma’at
This, my latest wrap, is the culprit behind my pulled pectoral muscle.
It is important to stretch out before large projects and I am guilty of carrying more than a reasonable amount of stress lately getting ready for upcoming events. This pulled muscle has grounded me for today, so that I can recuperate. If it were not for Advil and hot baths, I would be in much worse shape.
Felting is a full-body activity and one should approach the physicality of the medium with care. This injury has definitely taught me to pace myself and I hope I will have the full use of my left arm again if I can be careful to not over-exert it in the future.
Still, today was a good day for catching up editing the images from the last shoot. It is a good feeling to have current images of recent work, especially when working with such a talented team!
Friday, November 18, 2011
Felt Pelt: Zebra by Jenne Giles 2007
I hear that animal patterns are back in style in a big way. Truly, animal patterns never seems to stop being stylish. Whether we like it or not, it is one of those classic fashion motifs: sometimes classy, sometimes clashy.
Animal patterns have historical and cultural roots. They can remind us of African animals, as many of our most recognizable patterns come from the unique fauna, namely Leopard, Cheetah, Zebra, Tiger, and Giraffe, from this part of the world. They can remind us of the Age of Empire and of safaris and sport-killing, which fetishizes exotic animal skins as the ultimate trophy, an emblem of wealth and status. How masculine, we think, is a room with mounted heads on the walls and animal skin rugs on the floor? Perhaps a more modern sensitivity thinks: “how macabre?”
Animal patterns came back into vogue in the 50s-60s as a popular Bohemian motif, a symbol of sex and women’s sexual empowerment. This time, we were not talking real animal skin but a symbol of the wild animal within. ”It is Cadillacs and wildebeest, hippies and hunter-gatherers, Zulu royalty and the Rolling Stones, Mickey Hartigay & Jayne Mansfield and Adam & Eve.” (~quantumbiologist) No matter how you approach it, animal patterns have an undeniably primal power.
From time to time, I like to return to the rich conceptual material of animal patterns and skins. I don’t know if that means I endorse the idea, but it holds tremendous fascination and potential. Felt can recreate the fetishistic “realness” of the animal pelt to a disturbing level. Though no harm has come to any animal in the process, it seems to cross some forbidden line back into the animal zone. I definitely noticed an element of alarm or danger in people’s reaction to animal-inspired pieces. Well, art is about asking these sorts of questions: if it is a perennial classic in fashion, what does it mean about why we wear it? As women, are we the hunters or are we the hunted when we wear animal symbols? Interesting issues….
A fascinating article on animal prints:
Leopard print has never gone out of style — and has probably never notbeen in style, somewhere on Earth. (Many paleontologists believe that dinosaurs wore leopard-like spots.) Perhaps the reason for its endurance is that its parents are these two very different nostalgias. One is a deep-seeded yearning for the Paleolithic and pre-civilization, a length of time far longer than post-civilization humanity, when we as a species were in a more even conversation with nature and depended more on our physical prowess, our animal senses, and our understanding of the wilderness. To be sure, there are many people on Earth who are not far removed from this lifestyle, but for those of us in the “first world,” nostalgia for the time of spears and shamans exists as a distant cultural memory, perhaps stitched into the threads of our genetic code, like a dream we can’t quite remember yet which tugs on our hearts upon waking. We cannot shake the feeling that something, somehow led us astray from our true identity as the human ape, and adorning ourselves in leopard print reminds us of our species’ connection to wildlife of the world and our once-intimate relationship to it.
The other type of nostalgia, of course, is this: