Meow — and Happy Friday. Yesterday was all about cats.
I’m teaching a class called The Mystical Cat Shaman at Artful Gathering this summer, and a group of local friends wanted to try it out. So we scheduled a custom weekday workshop held yesterday (you can do this too, by the way) and created a litter of Mystical Cat Shamans at the Studio!
The “serendipitous surprise” came as we were just starting. Roxanne was late, and she called in with a voice message, “Can you hear in the background why I’m not there yet?” We all heard kitten mews on the speaker – adorable!
She brought the newly-rescued three-week-old kitten to the workshop and we took turns holding it while we worked. Roxanne is a consummate animal rescuer – she even had some kitten milk replacement formula with her. The little guy was pretty hungry.
Of course, the kitten found a home before the workshop was over. Whether it was the kitten surprise or the group energy, the Cat Shaman creations were amazing – each one different, each one magically personal. Take a look.
So if all of this inspires you, be sure that you are subscribed to SHARDS by midnight on Sunday. One name will be drawn to win the Friday Freebie – a Shaman Cat Starter Kit complete with Heart Box body and kiln-fired earthenware head, ready to finish. Even “dog people” are eligible, so feel free to share this post. Hmmm – are Dog Shamans in my future?
Saturday’s Show & Tell was the best kind of connected circle – it seemed as if everyone had a story or an idea that made the collective group smile and even applaud. When you begin with Vicki Siptak’s beautiful necklaces made from socks (1) and end with thoughts from a poet about imagery, words, and art, what’s not to love? Join us for the next one if you can on Saturday, August 29th (2-4 pm), and connect with this creative circle at my Studio. Here’s a video from Saturday.
Another connected circle is getting really huge, as in International – that’s the Spirit Doll connection. It started for me with Joanna Powell Colbert in 2012 and her order for faces from my Etsy site. She and I both started teaching Spirit Doll classes, and the word spread. I’ve sent shard faces to many countries and just got these photos fromJo Rockendorfer, who recently taught a Spirit Doll class in Sydney, Australia – here’s here description: “The red doll is Hummingbird Medicine, the green/blue was for a friend after she did a healing ritual and the last and most recent is Sophia Goddess of Wisdom”
I love the fact that Texas clay enhances Jo’s beautiful work from Australia – and if you’re reading this, you’re connected, too, in our circle – lucky me!Circles unify, art connects – life is good. Have a great week.
Waaa-aaay back in October of 2013, I wrote an article for Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine about Spirit Boxes. This is from the intro: “Spirit Boxes take their roots from art dolls, kachinas, and other meaningful handcrafted figures. They make beautiful gifts, especially if a personal note or small object is tucked inside the box. To make your own Spirit Box, you will need just a few simple materials, and most or all of those can be recyclables.”
Six participants got together at the Studio yesterday to give it at try at our Spirit Box workshop. The results (below) are beautiful, personal, and heartfelt.
So what’s the “box” part of this construction? It’s a recycled Altoids tin (how ubiquitous – they are used from everything from mini-shrines to sewing kits). But by gluing this on to the back of a flat wall piece, you can both lift it out from the wall to “float” it, and also have a secret compartment for life’s little pleasures like Hershey’s kisses, silver dollars, and secret messages! See?
Punch holes and fashion a “handle” out of wire, then glue on with E6000
When I returned from my short trip to Colorado, Michael presented me with an early Christmas gift that he found at El Mercado, San Antonio’s Mexican Market. He said there was only one like it, and It’s definitely unique! It’s a mini-shrine to the Virgin Mary (I’m assuming) that is a concave image – but when the Christmas light bulb underneath the face is turned on, it appears three-dimensional. Check it out:
When you look at the lighted image from the side, the eyes kind of follow you – it really does look rather eerie, but cool.
But the *very* coolest part is that I can use it as a Face Shard mold. Strangely enough, the face that results from pressing into the shrine (below) doesn’t look a lot like the lighted image!Spooky.
Too bad, though, if you wanted a similar gift – I seem to have gotten the only Light-Up 3-D Illusion Virgin in the whole Mexican Market. You can, however, have a face made from this amazing object if you play your cards right.
Artists from Mexico and the Southwest show an amazing array of cool stuff, and I always come away with a zillion ideas. I especially love seeing my friend, talentedLinda Rael, there because she has the best ideas to steal. I purchased one of her wonderful fabric sculptures to examine more closely! Here are some photos from the Market, and under those is a video of some assemblages I finished on Sunday after being totally inspired and excited by all of the things I saw.
Street closed for the market
Lots of great music
Milagros and Fridas
Poetry and prose
Linda Rael’s wonderful work
My purchase from Linda – love it!
Skulls and such
Throngs of people
When I came home from the market, I worked most of the weekend completing a series of Heart Shard assemblages – objects of devotion. These figures represent small iconic blessings, much like my earlier Guardian series. There may be more of these to come, and they will be available at the Saturday Studio Sale with Lesta, Jan and Alison.
Friday night was the opening of the FASA Juried show – I felt darn lucky to get accepted, but never in my wildest dreams expected to win an award – and for People’s Choice! Here are my pals Sidney and Mary Beth getting ready to fill out their orange voting slips for my piece, “Rune and Relic Bundles.” Thanks, guys (and to everyone else who voted)! And congrats to Susie Monday,Dian Lamb, Linda Rael, andLisa Kerpoewho won awards from the Juror. It was an absolutely fantastic show. Look below for the video – amazing work from these fiber artists, and SAY SI! was the perfect venue.
After all that, I was so inspired that I got to work on some new pieces for the Studio show on December 6th. Here are some work-in-progress pieces and one that I just finished from that bunch. I love making these little Shard beings! Every one of them has its own personality.
Finished Shard Assemblage available at the Studio on Dec. 6th
It was a busy weekend, but not too busy to draw a name for the Friday Freebie, a small Guatemalan purse from Friendship Bridge with a Shard Face inside. And the winner is . . Zet Baer! I saw Zet at the Fiber Art show – how nice to draw her name. So congratulations! Let me know how you’d like to receive your FF, Zet, and thanks to everyone for subscribing and reading and commenting.
Now, on to thoughts of turkey, dressing, mmmmmm . . . .
I told my Trinity students that if they finished their websites by class time yesterday, we wouldn’t have class on Tuesday of next week and they could travel home for Thanksgiving. Worked like a charm! Which, of course, means *I* don’t have class next Tuesday either. Yahaha.
And speaking of travels, the little Face Shards that I make and sell on Esty sure get around. I love getting photos of how people use them. This first batch shows detailed spirit dolls made by my friend Ginger Quinn in New Mexico (some of you know Ginger) – and check out the neat mud-cloth jacket she made, also:
Ginger Quinn, New Mexico artist and designer
These photos come from Karen Anderson in Sacramento, California. She created these lovely necklaces using my face shards for her Etsy shop, Catching Waves:
I’m grateful to all the artists who get inspired by these little faces and use them in the most creative ways – and I’m also grateful to you SHARDS subscribers, so here’s the “una mas” Friday Freebie. It’s a sister piece to the Friendship Bridge purse given away a couple of weeks ago with a face shard inside. And if you are a SHARDS subscriber by this coming Monday morning, you’ll have a chance for your name to be drawn. Good luck and have a lovely weekend!
The first video, shown below for your viewing pleasure, is from yesterday’s Spirit Box workshop. As usual, we exceeded our expectations and enjoyed the creative hanging out, the good food, the spectacular results of our labors, and the delightful company of our mascot, Buster the Pup (see him at the end of the video).
The second video is a short little Show & Tell tutorial that I did for you before the workshop started – it’s a look at how to make cheap foam texture stamps from anything you might have hanging around the house (well, almost . . .).
And, finally, the winner of the Friday Freebie Shard Pin Kit is . . . firstname.lastname@example.org !
This is one of those times that I’m not sure of the subscriber’s name, but if you’re out there and reading this, you WON, pjjordan!! (I’m thinking it might be Phyllis . . .) I see you’re probably from San Antonio by your email address, so let me know when you’d like to come by the Studio to collect your loot (or if that’s not convenient, I’ll send it via the Post Office).
Wow. I was just invited to speak at The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology(ASWM) 2014 National Conference here in San Antonio on March 28-30. How perfect! (Thank you, Susan Carlin and Sid Reger.) One of the great delights in my life is hearing from creative women all over the world who are using my Shard Faces in their own work, transforming them into the most amazing Spirit Dolls and unfolding their own myths. Here are some recent messages with photos:
From Vicki in Brisbane, Australia: It’s my first go at making one . . .she turned out absolutely beautiful and I was really happy with the outcome 🙂
From Karen in Washington State: I got the faces yesterday and started on my mermaid this afternoon. She is almost done! Her neck & body are all one branch and the arms are a 2nd forked branch I attached to her back. Working with your faces has opened the floodgates of creativity for me, I am having such a good time working with them.
And I loved this note and picture from Vicky in Canada: I just had to show you the photo that my boyfriend took of my Spirit Doll this afternoon. The last sliver of sunlight was shining on her before disappearing behind our building. The star in the picture is actually captured in the crown that is on the full moon’s face. I actually cried because I was so touched by the picture and my Spirit Doll.