Friday, May 22, 2009

Gold Fish in a Blue Ocean

It’s finished! “Gold Fish in a Blue Ocean” is at Wonderlab to hang for the rest of May and the month of June. It has been a long swim (see the April 25, March 2 and March 16 entries), but the school of gold fish has been united. The fish really are gold, with every last scale a piece of jewelry, beads, button or coin—some are real and some are pirate booty that washed ashore. They’re attached with white glue, which is kid friendly, and the final fishes are coated with two thick layers of polyurethane to help hold it all together. The can says ‘fast drying’, but that was just to get me to buy it. So even though the piece was scheduled to arrive at Wonderlab on the 20th it took an extra day.

The piece itself is quite a mosaic. The weaving is built from ties, socks, lanyards, and cords in a pattern that only a kid could create. The gold fish protrude mightily from the piece, with big eyes built from a small black bead on a big white button. I struggled with how I was going to attach the two, wondering what kind of glue might be best, when I realized that, well, they’re buttons, and I can sew them! I grow as a fiber artist every week. The other big structural issue was the problem of gluing the stretcher frame that holds the woven background to the seashell-encrusted frame that Tom Berolaccini made and the kids decorated. All the wood screws I had were too big or too small, so off to Bloomington Hardware I went early one morning. I had to get to the store, find the right screws, and drive to the Creek-Love classroom (where the weaving was made) in time for their musical performance day. My younger star performer, who is a teacher at heart, demonstrated and explained his Tae Kwon Do forms to the class in lieu of a musical performance. Others did amazing things on the piano, violin, harmonica, drums and guitars, among other instruments. We celebrated with ice cream after school that day, just as we celebrated the performance of the ‘six of spades’ in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in the Binford music room the day before. I recommend investing in Jiffy Treet and the Chocolate Moose as my kids get older.

This was also a full week on the working artist front. Last weekend was the Broadripple art fair, which started out rainy and cold on Saturday. The people were damp and grumbly and it wasn’t much of a day to sell art. Sunday’s weather was just the opposite, with sunny, warmer weather bringing out the beaming art fair participants. I always have delightful and unexpected conversations, such as one with a man who used to work beside felting machines. The temperature around the machines was 106° and he lasted one week. It’s amazing to me to think about the thousands of needles at work on the wool, in contrast to me with a single needle working on art projects. My dandelion piece sold on Sunday (see the March 7 post). Many admired the piece, but some offered me a trowel. I’m sure they’re the people with the monoculture lawns that get watered every night.

The Spinners and Weaver’s guild art auction was this week too. I came home with a huge box of yarn for not a lot of money. I mercilessly put all the yarns in the freezer to kill off any unwanted little bugs that might try to invade my art studio. I also ended up bidding against Ulla for an enormous kit to create a Rya weaving. We sat on opposite sides of the room and kept bidding up the price. Finally I hollered her that I just wanted the yarn! She said she just wanted the fabrics, so a bargain was struck. We split the bid and the materials and everyone was happy. Now I have a box full of fabulous wool in a rainbow of colors. She got an enormous box of materials I would have recycled. But that’s how the world works, isn’t it!

Until next week…

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