May 10, 2015

In which a mysterious casket is opened

Rummaging through the collection acquired from the old charwoman, an oddly marked box  caught my eye. Made of wood, but encased in figured copper with a strange symbol burnt into the top.


The box was sealed with wax, but a few moments with my trusty penknife was all that was needed to break the seal and discover what was waiting inside.

An odd and exotic mixture of smells wafted up from the small casket as it was opened, revealing a startling object resting inside. My initial shock at making the gruesome discovery soon gave way to curiosity.

The box contains what appears to be the mummified hand of a small woman or child, which is holding a key.
My impression was that the queer object was quite ancient, but I gingerly removed it from the box for closer examination.

Much heavier than it would appear to be, the hand is quite solid and did not crumble as I had feared when lifted from its resting place. A ring with a large blue scarab beetle upon it encircles the third finger. Is this truly that old? Or simply decorated with a much more ancient object? The key is certainly much more recent, and presents many more questions of its own.

May 7, 2015

Review so far

Today is day 7 and I have been forcefully reminded of why I don't toddle off to a job every day *grimace* .
I have to conceded that 31 days of projects is going to take a damn sight more than 31 days.
I suppose this is what one calls Adapted Art Blogging!
Going to try to figure out stuff that can be accomplished more easily between lie downs or while prone.
NOT giving up, going to do this. Will just be done more...creatively!

May 6, 2015

Day 6

Worked all day on a couple of projects, bones and jewels.
Just got hit by a bad case of vertigo, so no photos or more progress tonight.

May 5, 2015

Krahe project completion

I am so very, very happy to finally complete this project. And I hope CL loves it too!

I am gonna say here - my sculpting skills far exceed my photography skills. This guy looks so much better than I can show here. Which means I need to up my game. Better lighting and maybe a dedicated spot for photos!

May 4th Progress photos

Continuing work on the Krahe for my FiL:

As I mentioned previously, he is assumed to have his carpetbag under his wing on the side not seen in the painting :)

May 4, 2015

A Crow for my Father In Law

Far too long ago my beloved Father in Law asked me to make him a sculpture. He had seen a painting once that he fell in love with. He described it to me as " A crow in boots walking across a field carrying his carpetbag". I immediately recognized the image he described and pulled it up on my computer:

A wonderful image by RUDI HURZLMEIER  (note: site is in German)

As you can observe in the image, the carpetbag was something his memory placed there - but no reason it can't be on the other side where we just don't see it!

The base was one of those projects started long ago that has just sat, so what better time than now to finally get it done!

 Progress that I completed yesterday:

A quick aside and then back to Art!

The recent death of a friend juxtaposed against the building political campaign season has me contemplating once again the idea of Justice.
My friend's death was completely unjust. She deserved so much more, had earned it with her life, and in my view she got shortchanged by the universe. It made me so very angry - like going and tearing the branch off a tree and beating it on the ground while roaring angry. This was not necessarily HER view, but I have seen the same often enough to recognize and react to the random injustice of the universe.
This lack of an observable balance of justice has been noted since we started telling stories around the fire that was holding back a night full of things that wanted to eat us.

WARNING: Oversimplification of Complex Belief Systems Ahead! Please keep your hands in the car and remain seated.

We have created cosmologies, religions and philosophies to explain the lack and to justify it. Original sin is one that is currently popular - we are all basically bad people who do not DESERVE justice in this life. Reincarnation is another one that reinforces the idea that you must have been a right bastard in a previous life so OF COURSE this one is awful.

Fatalism can be associated with the belief that you basically deserve no better, or it can be a separate thing - "whatever is going to happen will happen/is already written and I have no control over it anyway so why try". Very popular among those who believe in predestination.

Another school of thought states that since the universe is observably lacking in Justice, then this must be the natural state of affairs and thus is How It Is. This sort of pastoralism equates things that are natural or unaltered by man as being the pure and correct state of being. We see this in those who look to the animal kingdom for cues on how humans "should" behave.
My personal biases have tended towards the first and last: This is just how the Universe works, so no point in getting upset about it - just deal.

I have also looked to primates to explain human behaviors - not to justify them but to understand them. And what I discovered among primates, among other animals as well was an innate sense of justice! Altruism has been demonstrated amply, but critters also can identify an injustice being done and will protest it. Granted, much like humans, this is generally in those instances when they are on the smaller slice end of the equation!

So where does that leave me, the armchair sociologist and philosopher?

Justice is something we need, we crave it. From infancy we expect and demand it, we have to be TAUGHT it is not the natural order of the Universe. So we must create it. We have to . Justice is an essential vitamin we require to grow and thrive, and we have to synthesize it.
We have to create systems that are fair, balanced, and provide justice for everyone. Not easy, and not a job you do once. You have to constantly service and maintain the machinery of justice because the universe is constantly supplying randomness, entropy and oxidation.

No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.                           Martin Luther King, Jr

May 2, 2015

Day 2 - Inspired by a lovely friend in Canada.

Today's project was inspired by Jaelle!
The shawl is handwoven (not by me!) alpaca that I dyed a beautiful peacock blue, and then embroidered with some magic!

 *the tiny word below the text is ...sometimes

Also - I have decided to modify my month of projects. I caught myself deciding not to work on some projects because they would take more than a day to complete. Which really defeats the purpose. So I will post daily updates of works in progress if a project is going to take multiple days to finish!

An Odd encounter in an alleyway.

Strolling the darkened street late one night I happened to come upon an elderly woman who was struggling with a large box. I offered to assist her, and she informed me that she had just finished clearing out the room of a tenant who had disappeared under very unusual circumstances.
After some prodding, she was willing to disclose that the tenant had been involved in some occult practices and had apparently vanished after completing a particularly involved and messy ritual. She was unsure as to how much of the ensuing chaos had been part of the rite and how much had been part of the tenant. Suffice to say she felt confident he would not be returning for his things.
Intrigued by this tale, I offered to take the entire box off her hands right then. She agreed quite readily and even refused payment, stating she just wanted the items gone.

Exploration of this collection of esoteric and odd items has revealed a few treasures that shall be revealed over the coming weeks.

Today, I present a somewhat stained and worn satchel that has been stitched with some arcane wisdom. As well as some tentacles...

* Bag is hand-dyed canvas embroidered on the front flap as well as beneath the front flap.

May 1, 2015

May 1st, a time of new beginnings and pine needles in your drawers.

It is a truism that talent and productivity do not necessarily go hand in hand.
Being good at something doesn't really mean a lot of you never actually DO EEET.
Not really an earth-shattering revelation.
So I have taken a page from the book of much more talented and successful folk and am making myself a challenge for this month: The Project a Day
I am throwing aside my propensity to contemplate projects in the hope that the most awesome thing ever will bubble out of it and then get distracted by the next shiny inspiration, resulting in many projects in various stages of completion as well as a backlog of vaporware.
I am calling this project


The other part of the project will be inflicting daily updates on the interwebs. Due to the fractious nature of my vestibular system, I am giving myself permission to cheat a bit and play catchup on postings if needed - but the end of the month should see 31 finished products, tracked on my awesome calendar from my friend Crowgirl  (a REAL artist) who inspired this madness!