Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Artist, Kyle McDonald

Kyle McDonald started a project, the goal of which was to trade a red paperclip for a house. It took him one year and fourteen trades to achieve his aim. His first trade was for a wooden fish pen belonging to two vegan women who (being vegan) didn't really want a fish pen.
He traded the pen to a Seattle sculptor for a handmade clay doorknob.
From there, he traded for a Coleman stove which he exchanged for a generator, followed by a keg of beer with a neon Budweiser sign, next for a snowmobile, and on it went until he actually had a house. A nice house.
He tells the tale in a book called One Red Paperclip but you can read about the series of exchanges and adventures on his blog. It is a very entertaining story, and he tells it well.
I think of projects like this as a form of performance art (art in daily life!).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Porcelain Jewelry

green (unfired) porcelain jewelry parts waiting to be sanded

Not content to let Mr. Cranky have all the fun, I have been making jewelry too. These pieces will be grouped into necklaces. I am making some beads to dangle down from them too.
slip-trailed decoration

Here they are after decorating with cobalt slip.
I think they look like candy. :) Or cookies! (eat your heart out, Martha)
Tomorrow I'll bisque fire them, then I'll put a clear glaze on top and fire them again.
I'm thinking brooches and stick pins would be nice too, but I'm waiting to see how these look.
Now I have to research findings and cords and such.
Anyone have any good resources for jewelry parts?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tales, introducing Bothell T. Mole

original Bothell scrap-of-paper sketch

Bothell has a kind and gentle nature, even sappy movies make him cry. Possessed with a sly and understated sense of humor, he may or may not be joking, it's sometimes hard to tell. He believes that he can run faster than those high altitude jets, because when he looks up it seems like they are barely moving. He also thinks the moon is following him. He loves Clementine more than the whole world. He's impatient and will start flapping his hands wildly and blurt out whatever is on his mind if you ignore him for too long. Bothell is deathly allergic to nuts and plasters anything remotely suspect with Mr. Yuk stickers. He hates getting lost, which happens frequently because he gets bored and starts thinking about other things instead of where he's going. He applies salt evenly and methodically to his food before he even tastes it. He is Lucy's brother.

*I can't decide about the glasses, they're kind of cute but he looks a bit stupefied and confused without them. Which is also cute. Lucy thinks she should be the only one who gets glasses. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a little present

Today was supposed to be Bothell's (Bothell T. Mole) debut in the Tales series, but I got behind writing his bio.
So here is a little sweet diversion for you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inspiring, Puch'ong Bowl

Korean bowl from the 15th century. Inlaid and stamped decoration; scroll of peony leaves.

I have tried this technique in the past, it's called Mishima. It is very time consuming; carve the image, fill the carving with slip, scrape excess slip off. It's not my favorite process, but I love how it looks when rendered skillfully (as above). This bowl has a tiny chrysanthemum in the center. tiny chrysanthemum leaves

Monday, March 23, 2009

Artist, Bovey Lee

Bovey Lee says "Although the hand cutting process demands from me extreme concentration and fastidiousness, it is also at once immensely gratifying and spiritual."
Wow, I would hope so.

I would like to have one tenth of her talent and skill.

via design*sponge

Friday, March 20, 2009


From the whole crew: Jam, Malone, London, Woodrow, Lucy, Ranger, Clementine, Bothell, Yeti, Gwendolyn Fig, Little, Arturo, Ruby, Ivy, Boise, and Bear.
It looks like Bear is sulking, but he just needs a break from everyone (except London).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

this will make you feel good

Playing for Change is a group of artists who have come together to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music.
I love this song.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

the art of going to an art museum

Beaded bag from the Columbia River Plateau

We finally discovered the best way to approach going to an art museum. Usually, we try to cover all the exhibits and spend way too much time all at once. We are just so greedy.
After years of post-museum burnout, our new modality is to choose one exhibit per visit and really allow ourselves to become immersed in it. Our very favorite exhibit at the Portland Art Museum is the Asian Art room,

but we forced ourselves to pass it by last time and focus on our second favorite, the Native American exhibit. We spent just over an hour there and left, sated but not exhausted. I suppose if you are traveling you can't afford yourself the luxury of such a slow method of perusal, but for your home museum I highly recommend trying it this way. We see new things in old pieces every time we look. When we are viewing work from the perspective of potters, I usually look at surface treatments and Mr. Cranky looks at form. first new necklace, stones, fir round, rufous-sided towhee feathers, elk hair

But now, because we are making jewelry, we have a whole new point of view. We see tiny details, methods of attaching things, ornaments, materials. Work in progress, shell, found wood (oak) piece, shell, mallard feather

Mr. Cranky is now obsessed with abalone shells and elk teeth and porcupine quills. He wants to use natural and found materials only and attach them in the most simple and direct way, so the Native American work is right up his alley. Work table for jewelry

We went to a bead store later that day and found abalone beads. We found an abalone shell too, but I can't remember where. And Mr. Cranky has a call in to a hunter friend for elk teeth. Now we regret not collecting the bear fur we found picking huckleberries last fall.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Signs of aging

Obsession with birds is a sure sign that you are getting old.
Mr. Cranky does LOVE feeding the birds every morning. They pester him when he is late getting the birdseed out. He perceives that the birds know and appreciate him, so he is taking the bonding experience one step further:

He stands calmly on the terrace with birdseed in both hands and, yes, on his head.

He has achieved the much sought after triple landing, with a bird in each hand and on his head, but I did not have the patience to document it that day. Maybe later...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tales, Bear's fear

Bear fears love. There is a gash in his heart from a long, long time ago that still bleeds.

Friday, March 13, 2009

alan watts

This is too good (and too true) to pass up.
Alan Watts is a clever guy.
*via Jess Gonacha's great blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tales, Boise shreds

Boise has been tempted to turn pro on several occasions. Having mastered the fakie-to-fakie frontside cab 540, the 900, and the 360 varial McTwist, he has been resisting repeated invitations from Tony Hawk to join the Birdhouse Team World Tour.
Mature beyond his years, Boise is dedicated to continuing his formal education.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tales, Bear's rescue

The ice floe has nearly melted completely. It's time to bring Bear back. Lucy and London bring a few things to warm him up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tales, Little's birthday

Little had the worst birthday of her entire life.
First of all, she was released from the hospital (remember, she's accident prone...) on the morning of her birthday and was still quite weak and tired . Then, her best friend missed the breakfast date they had planned. That evening, she found herself at a party surrounded by malicious, spiteful fools whose callousness and insensitivity completely ruined what was left of her birthday (*illustrated above).
The following day, only one of the six invitees to her birthday dinner was able to come. Plus, Lucy was so thoroughly stressed-out from the week in the hospital that she had a major melt down at Little's expense.
At least it's over now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dead Duck

Don't be shocked; I warned you in the title.
Mr. Cranky has taken to making jewelry out of found objects, specifically wood rounds cut from fallen branches and feathers collected from the woods around our house. Now he is madly collecting beads and stones and other paraphernalia to enhance the objects. However, he is experiencing a feather shortage, so imagine his glee when he spotted a dead mallard on the road. I won't trouble you with the details of the harrowing driving I was required to execute as we whirled around the 45 mph four lane road attempting to maneuver as close to the carcass as possible. I will also spare you the details of Mr Cranky sprinting to the median with a paper bag and his running leap back into the car with his treasure. We are now the proud (?) owners of one dead mallard, which promises to yield many feathers.
So far, he is making necklaces, but I think broaches and earrings will be next.
Not wanting to be left out, I snagged some to burn images on. I like them plain, but feathers and beads will most likely be added once Mr. Cranky steals them back from me.Here is Woodrow T. Owl looking very shy and subtle.And here is Little Bird, who is well know for getting into everything.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tales, Bear's birthday

Happy birthday Bear! I am glad that you were born. <3

Pisces Horoscope for week of March 5, 2009
Verticle Oracle card Pisces (February 19-March 20)
"The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little," wrote the spiritual activist Thomas Merton. Judging from your current astrological omens, I suspect that's a warning you should heed. The time has come for you to consider the possibility that you aren't thinking big enough . . . that you need to actively rebel against the voices telling you to sit back and accept your comfortable limitations. In a sense, the cosmos is giving you a poetic license to ask for more.

Don't you just love Free Will Astrology?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Artist, Brock Davis

I just found this picture via Burstoid and proceeded to get swallowed up in Laser Bread's photostream on flickr. Creative, versatile, clever, fun.This reminds me of my series in Tales where everyone gets a pet (upcoming).
I really want to steal this image. So great.
More here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tales, Ranger's pet

Every since the Tales characters found out that Ruby had a parakeet, they have all wanted pets of their own. Ranger has always wanted a chicken. He gets to have the first pet because he was so traumatized by the barbed wire experience.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Artist, J. Morgan Puett

J. Morgan Puett is crazy-creative and versatile.
She is represented by Alexander Gray Associates in (where else?) New York.