Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.

Translate

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Wishes To All




THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS 
STOPPED BY HERE AND GIVEN SUPPORT
IN THE PAST YEAR!

SENDING OUT WARM WISHES FOR A
JOY, PEACE AND GOOD CHEER
IN 2011




Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Meditation...Reflections on the Unfolding Future

Winter Meditation No. 6


We had a wonderful visit with my family over the Christmas holiday and now we are settling back home, hunkered down as a blizzard blazes a trail across the midwest.  The year is winding down rapidly, even as I try to slow my pace to one that invites a bit of contemplation.  This is a time ripe for reflection, looking back and looking forward.  I am just so grateful for the changes that have happened in my life over the last year.  I have met an amazing number of people across the world, seen so much art work that has both humbled and inspired me, and reached people with my own work in ways I never dreamed possible! And to think, this year was just the beginning...so much more to learn, so much more to explore!  Thank you all for being a part of my unfolding future!

Apparently all those late night meetings I talked about in the blog a couple of weeks ago came quietly to an end.  I think everything resolved itself without my having to attend another one.  In fact, I got a simple memo in the wee hours a few nights ago and it barely disturbed my sleep.  It was the answer to the big unresolved question about A Walk Through The Universe and the final piece in the puzzle of how this blog will evolve in the coming year.  I think what I have in mind is exciting and I hope you'll think so too!  We'll try this out and see what we all think....if it's meaningful for readers and for me and if it provides a nice balance.  Here's the plan for the 2011 Missouri Bend Studio blog!

Monday: studio visit with Ms. P (that's me)....who knows what I'll share....what I'm making or thinking about making, joys, frustrations, inspirations, etc.

Tuesday: A Walk Through The Universe.  This feature is taking a fork in the road for a number of reasons.  While so rewarding to do, it has taken a lot of time and energy away from the studio, which is where I need to refocus my energy.  And, I'd like to expand the horizons and make connections across disciplines, including the sciences and humanties when possible.  The "memo" I got in my sleep the other night just had one word scrawled on it, which was "Color".  Voila! It's the linking topic that will provide the focus for each month.  Looking at a different color from lots of angles...through the arts, nature, history, etc.  I'm excited to begin!

Wednesday: Word of the Week. This will be a weekly linking look at words found in the dictionary.  Like the initial structure of A Walk Through The Universe, the idea is that each week's word/definition will lead the one for the following week. 

Thursday: Made By Hand.  Designed to be a tribute to the art and craft that is made by hand.  In a world increasingly monopolized by technology and speed, I want to honor the importance of things made by the human hand.  This will be a kind of visiting artist/craftperson feature.

Friday: another studio visit with Ms. P.

This may all sound rather more ambitious than what I've been doing, but I think I have a handle on it and can make it work...famous last words!  Hope you all have a fantastic year....work hard, enjoy life and watch for the little points of light along the way!  Cheers!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Walk Through The Universe: Week 4


Late December greetings!  Here we are, still on the winding path, with the last post in A Walk Through The Universe for 2010!  I'm happy to continue the contemplation of the vessel with words and images from Louise Thompson, a New Zealand artist. Louise has a delightful etsy shop, Bibliographica, which I came across some time ago. I was struck by the beautiful journals, but also by the jewel-like vessels that contained them, as well as her etheral photographic pieces. Louise has shared a few of her thoughts, along with a few images and relevant links for each. Links for her shop, blog, flickr follow at the end.  

Thoughts on the Vessel

First and foremost, a journal is a place to express. Somewhere safe, to let the mind run free, boundaries only limited to the cover; the imagination paramount.  Open, it is a boundless sky…the universe, a realized dream, a deep vast sea. It respects the scratch of the pen & listens; providing questions & answers.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/60764914/exotic-writers-elixir

It is therefore a vessel… a container of thought, a reliquary. It is a mind keeper, protector, friend & mentor.  It is both the ego and the oneness of all things.  Some days it is loved more than others, but always will it be returned to; by a pen in hand.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/62595363/mini-treasure-chest

And after a while, the vessel speaks. It tells stories, shapes futures and opens doors while closing others.

As a child I loved wooden Russian dolls…with their differing sizes, each lived inside the other. At finding the smallest; I grew puzzled, for there was a tiny space inside, but empty… what was I going to put in there? 
http://www.etsy.com/listing/62215231/la-petite-bibliotheque-en-bois

Is it our expectation, to fill a void - to make a vessel out it?

When I came across my little trinket boxes and treasure chests, all I saw in them were tiny little journals. This way, each can become the other as much as something in itself.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/60035196/la-petite-bibliotheque-de-trois




Thanks so much to Louise who took time out of a very busy season to share her thoughts and work!  Hope you've enjoyed these small gems and can check out the  links provided! See you soon, back on home turf in South Dakota....I have to say the temperatures here in the sunny south aren't all that much higher than up north where I live! 

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!





Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Southern Winter Wonderland

Happy post-Christmas greetings to you all!  I'll be back tomorrow with a guest artist to feature for A Walk Through The Universe post, but thought I'd share the winter wonderland we are currently experiencing here in Athens, Georgia....where it is looking not much different than the South Dakota I left behind! I believe I heard it is only the second white Christmas on record!  The snowfall is beautiful, of course, but after five years in South Dakota....not the novelty it once was! Hope you are enjoying a lovely holiday weekend with friends and family!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Walk Through The Universe: The Vessel, Week 3

Welcome back to A Walk Through The Universe in the middle of a busy December...no matter where you are on the planet, it seems! It's no different here on the Northern Plains! I am posting this one day early, as I'll be visiting family for a bit and won't get to the blog tomorrow! 


We have been considering the vessel or container this month and I've been using those terms interchangably, always aware that there must be some subtle difference in the actual definition of each.


ves·sel  (vsl)
n.
1. A hollow utensil, such as a cup, vase, or pitcher, used as a container, especially for liquids.
2.
a. Nautical A craft, especially one larger than a rowboat, designed to navigate on water.
b. An airship.
3. Anatomy A duct, canal, or other tube that contains or conveys a body fluid: a blood vessel.
4. Botany One of the tubular conductive structures of xylem, consisting of dead cylindrical cells that are attached end to end and connected by perforations. They are found in nearly all flowering plants.
5. A person seen as the agent or embodiment, as of a quality: a vessel of mercy.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin vscellum, diminutive of Latin vsculum, diminutive of vs
con·tain·er  (kn-tnr)
n.
1. A receptacle, such as a carton, can, or jar, in which material is held or carried.
2. A large reusable receptacle that can accommodate smaller cartons or cases in a single shipment, designed for efficient handling of cargo.


So there is a lot of overlap, but it seems that the vessel, when used as a "container" refers more to something that holds liquid....


So, I had this idea to take photographs of many of the containers we have in the house filled with all manner of little things, but the camera batteries died, so at least I have this first one to show for my efforts.  I would maintain that this this little bowl, made by my husband Johntimothy years ago, is a vessel, not just a container.  It is totally filled with sharks teeth that we collected during summer sojourns to the beach at Topsail Beach, North Carolina, where my family would gather for a week summer after summer at this central location for those of us coming from various parts of the country. Sharks teeth galore! Many hours were spent, especially by Johntimothy, combing the sand for the color and shape that might indicate a shark's tooth.  His eyes were more attuned to the hunt and he always collected vastly more than the rest of us combined.  I have fond memories of those weeks...we watched my nieces and nephews grow up, as we saw them anew summer after summer. The sun and the sea, fine food, good conversation, the dictionary game, Scrabble, so many books to read between us all that we were afraid the "book police" would come and confiscate our loot. 

Those sharks teeth aren't liquid, but that's really only part of what fills the little bowl...the memories of those summers flow freely into all the spaces between the teeth and fill it to the rim.   You see, I had no idea what I would write when I began this post with that little bowl of sharks teeth...but the memories came flooding back and then they came pouring out...the bowl contains something liquid...it must be a vessel.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winter Meditation No.5

Winter Meditation No.5
A little time squeezed in downstairs in the studio for another quiet meditation on winter.  This must feel foreign to those of you in the southern hemisphere who are experiencing plenty of sunshine and warmth...at least in theory!

I'm glad to hear, from the comments on my last post, that I am not alone in being called to these late night meetings!  Surprisingly, the big meeting where all the final decisions will be made hasn't been called and I've had a few uninterrupted nights of sleep, with what I hope have been pleasant dreams!
I didn't mention to you the close alliance between The One Who Loves To Make Art and MissouriBendStudio The Blog, who sat quietly in the back at those last meetings.  They were both in agreement and of one mind that this blog is a creative act in and of itself and that The One Who Loves To Make Art, as the self with the most clout in the meetings, would speak on her behalf.  And of course, early on, there had been the tug-of-war between Missouri Bend Studio The Blog and The One Seeking Balance about the idea of five regular posts a week....it seemed, at first, that more work was being generated, rather than less, but everyone in group listened carefully to each other (for a change!) and it was agreed that it would be feasible to have five short and meaningful posts a week that actually left more time for The One To Who Loves To Make Art to get her momentum back.  She loves the blog and all her blogging friends as much as Missouri Bend Studio The Blog! 

And now, as I have my last push to tidy things up and get ready to take a week off for the holidays, I have begun to feel a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and look forward to spending a week with my wonderful husband and my family who will be gathered in Athens, Georgia.  I'll be posting A Walk Through The Universe tomorrow night before we leave and have a featured artist scheduled for the 27th, so you'll have that to look forward to!  Sending my warm wishes to all of you for a joyful and relaxing holiday season....with eyes toward a fine and prosperous year in 2011.  Thanks so much for your support and a hearty welcome to the newest followers!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Meeting of the Minds, or The Observer and The Observed



So, night after night I find myself in these 3:00 a.m. meetings at a conference table with all my various selves, going over and over the same topic and trying to resolve the same issue...this blog.  Everyone wants to have a say and everyone has their pet project as the number one priority for the blog.  There are quite a few folks in the room, but after the first couple meetings most of them are now silent and merely watch the main players work out the final details. I can't quite figure out who is in charge of keeping the order in these meetings, but I ask the one who seems to take charge, why in the world we must hold these sessions in the vast darkness of the middle of the night, rather than have them called during the sensible daylight.  I am told in no uncertain terms by the One In Charge that it should be obvious that all these selves are quite busy at their various tasks during the day and the only time that the entire group can be gathered at one time is at 3:00 a.m.  Once again I am interrupted by the One Seeking Balance in Life who is repeating for the umpteenth time that the blog will have posts each day during the work week, with weekends off.  A whine issues forth from those who fear their pet project will be cut from the list.  The One Who Seeks New Knowledge is quite insistent that one day of the week be devoted to her project, which seems to revolve around a kind of trip through the dictionary, taking a word each week whose definition provides the springboard for next week's word. Oh no, groan the One Seeking Balance and the One Who Only Wants To Make Art in unision. That's way too involved, they say, and will end up taking over our life like A Walk Through The Universe...a great idea in theory, but it's going to get out of control and take way too much time. Not so, insists the One Who Seeks New Knowledge, the plan is just to photograph the word and definition right in the dictionary and post it once a week....it'll be fun, she insists, and who knows where it will lead!  Ugh, more groans from the crowd, exactly what everyone is afraid of. The One Who Only Wants To Make Art stands to command attention, excusing herself, but reminding everyone that really, isn't this blog about the studio practice.  She then delivers an ultimatum that there will definitely be two days of the week devoted to what is happening in the studio.  A snicker and snort from the Lover of Found Text Poetry.  I don't see you down in the studio much these days, says she, as she adopts her well-worn martyred look in an attempt to get out from under her daily ritual.  Not to worry says the One In Charge, it's already been decided your blog is going on hiatus and you will be invited to post a poem once per week on the Missouri Bend Studio blog.  That leaves just two days a week to fight over.  Once more, The One Who Is Passionate About Holding On To The Fleeting Moment wants to have it out with anyone who will keep her from having a day to herself on the blog, but she can't seem to make up her mind about what she wants to do.  She keeps talking about documenting the day, the moment or the hour,  with a simple photograph to be posted once a week on her appointed day.  Everyone wants to know the theme...how does she plan to document this life shared by all in the room.  She refuses to be pinned down and says she'll get back to us by the New Year when the revised schedule goes into effect.  Trying to wrap up the meeting so we can all get some sleep, the One In Charge goes over the preliminary plan.  Two days a week devoted to The One Who Only Wants To Make Art so she can take everyone to the studio and talk about art, mark making and creative practice.  She nods triumphantly, especially when it is announced she gets the bookend days of Monday and Friday...everyone claps...settled.  The Lover of Found Text Poetry volunteers eagerly to take Wednesday....she's just so happy to be able to relax a bit, she'd be willing to take any day of the week.  That leaves The One Who Is Passionate About Holding On To The Fleeting Moment and The One Who Seeks New Knowledge to decide who will take Tuesday and who will take Thursday. They say they'll sleep on it and get back to the group.  The One Seeking Balance in Life is beginning to relax, knowing that this new schedule might just work out and perhaps she would actually begin to have a say in life. The One Who Loves To Sleep has just come into the room wondering if the meeting is over yet.  Almost replies The One In Charge, but she is interrupted by The Lover of Books who had cast her vote for a regular slot on the blog long ago, but has been obviously outweighed.  She is quiet and unassuming and won't insist on her way, but she makes one more vain attempt to have a voice in the new year. The One Who Seeks New Knowledge has wrongly assumed that her dictionary project will take care of any needs of The Lover of Books.  The One Who Only Wants To Make Art goes to give her support and vows to share some of the time during her two days a week with The Lover of Books, reminding the rest of the group, afterr all The Lover of Books is an important source of inspiration for the One Who Only Wants To Make Art.  The One Who Loves to Sleep looks anxiously at her watch, tapping her foot insistently.  The One In Charge adjourns the meeting.  Oh no....everyone forgot so easily! A Walk In The Universe has just come sauntering back into the room, having stepped out to make a phone call.  There are worried looks all around....no can bear to disappoint her.  The One In Charge calls another meeting for the following night to resolve the final issue....when will we have A Walk In The Universe?  She's kind of new to the group, but she's become pretty important and although she seems assured that she will not lose her job altogether, she fears she will be curtailed by quite a bit.

I'm just the Observer and I've taken all the notes for these meetings....I guess I'll be reporting back on how everyone works this all out....I thought we had it resolved, but not quite, it seems! Hope we can all get at least one good night sleep!

The Meeting of the Minds, or The Observer and The Observed



So, night after night I find myself in these 3:00 a.m. meetings at a conference table with all my various selves, going over and over the same topic and trying to resolve the same issue...this blog.  Everyone wants to have a say and everyone has their pet project as the number one priority for the blog.  There are quite a few folks in the room, but after the first couple meetings most of them are now silent and merely watch the main players work out the final details. I can't quite figure out who is in charge of keeping the order in these meetings, but I ask the one who seems to take charge, why in the world we must hold these sessions in the vast darkness of the middle of the night, rather than have them called during the sensible daylight.  I am told in no uncertain terms by the One In Charge that it should be obvious that all these selves are quite busy at their various tasks during the day and the only time that the entire group can be gathered at one time is at 3:00 a.m.  Once again I am interrupted by the One Seeking Balance in Life who is repeating for the umpteenth time that the blog will have posts each day during the work week, with weekends off.  A whine issues forth from those who fear their pet project will be cut from the list.  The One Who Seeks New Knowledge is quite insistent that one day of the week be devoted to her project, which seems to revolve around a kind of trip through the dictionary, taking a word each week whose definition provides the springboard for next week's word.  Oh no, groans the One Seeking Balance and the One Who Only Wants To Make Art in unision.  That's way too involved, they say, and will end up taking over our life like A Walk Through The Universe...a great idea in theory, but it's going to get out of control and take way too much time.  Not so, insists the One Who Seeks New Knowledge, the plan is just to photograph the word and definition right in the dictionary and post it once a week....it'll be fun, she insists, and who knows where it will lead!  Ugh, more groans from the crowd, exactly what everyone is afraid of.  The One Who Only Wants To Make Art stands to command attention, excusing herself, but reminding everyone that really, isn't this blog about the studio practice.  She then delivers an ultimatum that there will definitely be two days of the week devoted to what is happening in the studio.  A snicker and snort from the Lover of Found Text Poetry.  I don't see you down in the studio much these days, says she, as she adopts her well-worn martyred look in an attempt to get out from under her daily ritual.  Not to worry says the One In Charge, it's already been decided your blog is going on hiatus and you will be invited to post a poem once per week on the Missouri Bend Studio blog.  That leaves just two days a week to fight over.  Once more, the One Who Is Passionate About Holding On To The Fleeting Moment wants to have it out with anyone who will keep her from having a day to herself on the blog, but she can't seem to make up her mind about what she wants to do.  She keeps talking about documenting the day, the moment or the hour,  with a simple photograph to be posted once a week on her appointed day.  Everyone wants to know the theme...how does she plan to document this life shared by all in the room.  She refuses to be pinned down and says she'll get back to us by the New Year when the revised schedule goes into effect.  Trying to wrap up the meeting so we can all get some sleep, the One In Charge goes over the preliminary plan.  Two days a week devoted to The One Who Only Wants To Make Art so she can take everyone to the studio and talk about art, mark making and creative practice.  She nods triumphantly, especially when it is announced she gets the bookend days of Monday and Friday...everyone claps...settled.  The Lover of Found Text Poetry volunteers eagerly to take Wednesday....she's just so happy to be able to relax a bit, she'd be willing to take any day of the week.  That leaves the One Who Is Passionate About Holding On To The Fleeting Moment and the One Who Seeks New Knowledge to decide who will take Tuesday and who will take Thursday.  They say they'll sleep on it and get back to the group.  The One Seeking Balance in Life is beginning to relax, knowing that this new schedule might just work out and perhaps she would actually begin to have a say in life. The One Who Loves To Sleep has just come into the room wondering if the meeting is over yet.  Almost replies the One In Charge, but she is interrupted by The Lover of Books who had cast her vote for a regular slot on the blog long ago, but has been obviously outweighed.  She is quiet and unassuming and won't insist on her way, but she makes one more vain attempt to have a voice in the new year. The One Who Seeks New Knowledge has wrongly assumed that her dictionary project will take care of any needs of The Lover of Books.  The One Who Only Wants To Make Art goes to give her support and vows to share some of the time during her two days a week with The Lover of Books, reminding the rest of the group, afterr all The Lover of Books is an important source of inspiration for the One Who Only Wants To Make Art.  The One Who Loves to Sleep looks anxiously at her watch, tapping her foot insistently.  The One In Charge adjourns the meeting.  Oh no....everyone forgot so easily, A Walk In The Universe has just come sauntering back into the room, having stepped out to make a phone call.  There are worried looks all around....no can bear to disappoint her.  The One In Charge calls another meeting for the following night to resolve the final issue....when will we have A Walk In The Universe?  She's kind of new to the group, but she's become pretty important and seems assured that she will not lose her job altogether, but she fears she will be curtailed by quite a bit.

I'm just the Observer and I've taken all the notes for these meetings....I guess I'll be reporting back on how everyone works this all out....I thought we had it resolved, but not quite, it seems! Hope we can all get at least one good night sleep!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Walk Through The Universe: The Vessel, Week 2

Greetings from the cold, wintery American Midwest!  Another treat in store this week...I took a very long walk through the universe and found myself in contact with Kaija Rantakari in Turku, Finland!  She is a follower of this blog and some of you may know her work, both as a fine bookmaker and the creator of some little bits of magic that come in the form of matchboxes.  These tiny containers are pure poetry for me...hope they will be for you too!
 I fell in love with these matchboxes when I first saw them in her etsy shop many months ago and thought she might have some important things to say about the "vessel" or "container". I asked Kaija a few questions and her replies, as you'll see, are thoughtful and eloquent.  Each image pictured below will also have the link to the original blog post where you can learn more.  


http://paperiaarre.blogspot.com/2010/07/matchbox-monday.html
tissue paper, cardboard, buttons, linen thread, text from a vintage dictionary

1. In your Etsy shop descriptions on each matchbox, you talk about how the series developed...could you briefly talk about their history for the readers of this blog?  You are continuing even now in the form of these "love letters" in a matchbox.

In spring 2008 when I started at a new job I made a matchbox a day (for 16 days) to keep my creativity in a functioning order. In spring 2009 I did something a bit similar. Not a matchbox a day, more like five a day when I felt like it. I wrote letters, in Finnish, to my creative English speaking friends. It was like telling secrets, because even if the dictionary works, my handwriting doesn't. The letters became parts of my matchbox sketches, created with materials within arm's reach. I didn't go out and buy anything or spend time going through my massive stash of stuff looking for just the right color for this or that.

Now I'm writing letters to strangers. All one of a kind, some of them include a letter, a poem or a word. Recently my matchboxes have become more focused on the visual side. I don’t write letters by hand, I share secrets by other means. Now I spend much more time considering the materials and the visual entirety, and the matchboxes have become even more personal than they were when I hid letters inside them. Each box has so much of my own personality and personal history in it that I could probably speak for hours of each and every one of them. I use materials I’ve saved for years for something special; those tiny scraps that are too beautiful to be thrown away, but they’re too small to be used for anything else; those tiny scraps that have been an inspiration for so many different things before they finally found the perfect use. I truly feel like I’m creating something the very roots of my creativity when I make these little boxes, and I haven’t found a better way to describe them than as letters to you. It is me sharing something private with you, the person experiencing my art. I hide layers of me between layers of paper.



http://paperiaarre.blogspot.com/2010/08/matchbox-monday-6.html
paper, vintage book page


2.The matchbook is small and intimate...how did you choose the matchbox as the vessel or container...what does it mean and/or how does it function for you?

I can’t remember how exactly I came up with the idea of using matchboxes for my daily creativity exercises, but I do remember making things out of matchboxes even as a child, maybe drawers for the doll house and things like that. Also, I’ve always been fascinated by sorting bits and pieces into tiny compartments according to various criteria. Matchboxes are perfect for storing tiny treasures, so I guess they were the natural choice of a container for secrets, too.

The tiny size of a matchbox is one thing that keeps inspiring me. I love how there cannot be any excuse to why not display it. It’s so tiny it will fit on display anywhere, and at the same time it’s tiny enough to be kept as a secret. I know someone who carries one of my matchboxes with her just about everywhere. It’s her “little box of calmness”, something she holds on the palm of her hand when she feels the need to daydream a bit.

To me the act of opening the matchbox, the revealing of a treasure or a secret is important. Whoever receives my matchbox letter becomes a participant in our correspondence when they open the box. Usually my letters go unanswered, but I believe it’s only fair since I’m so terrible at replying to others myself.



 http://paperiaarre.blogspot.com/2010/10/matchbox-monday-10.html
vintage book page, paper, board


3.  I sense these little communications/letters are very intuitive....is that the case or do you envision them in a sense ahead of time?  What is the process you go through to make each one?
I usually begin just by browsing through my materials and pick something that pleases my eye and fits my mood. After that it’s like putting together a puzzle. The image of the finished puzzle may be missing or very blurry, but once I’ve got the right pieces in my hands, everything falls into place. So yes, the creation of these is very intuitive, but so is everything else I do in my life. I go by gut feeling whenever I can. I have very strong likes and dislikes and this plays a large role in my creating too. Everything needs to be aesthetically just right and as I’ve grown more aware of my personal taste I’m spending more and more time going through everything I own, looking for the perfect paper or thread or illustration to finish a piece. I can easily go through all my belongings to find some little scrap I have in mind but have last seen it months or years ago. I’ve never failed finding what I had in mind.



http://paperiaarre.blogspot.com/2009/12/seventeen.html
tissue paper, hand dyed thread, permanent marker, metal


4. Do you have a sense of where these might be going...do you have ideas for what you might be doing with the matchbox perhaps a year from now...or is that too much of a projection?
I had no idea this project would grow into such a large one when I began making Letters to you, but I’m glad it has done so. I enjoy creating these tiny things and even though I sometimes feel like I’m running out of ideas, new ones miraculously appear when I give them a moment to surface.

I would love to have a large exhibition with at least a hundred matchboxes, but I don’t really know how it could be arranged. The matchboxes are often quite fragile and need to be handled carefully. In a gallery environment this isn’t always possible, so the boxes would have to be on display already opened. This takes away the experience of revealing something that was hidden. These tiny but important things can be problematic, so I still need to put some thought into the details.



 http://paperiaarre.blogspot.com/2009/12/three.html
book pages, ink

5. What is your hope for these pieces?
This is a really difficult question. I hope the pieces I have created are as loved as they were when I made them. I hope the pieces I have yet to create will keep on evolving into something even more special than they are now. Maybe that’s one way to sum it up.



I just love the intimate nature of these little containers and all that they convey through the fragments of the every day objects we often overlook.  Kaija's Etsy shop Paperiaarre, where you will find the matchboxes along with her beautiful bookworks, cards and jewelry, can be found here.  She also has a delightful blog by the same name that you'll want to visit! 


Thanks for stopping by and hope you find these little matchboxes speak to you as they do to me!!!  See you soon...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter Meditation No.3

Winter Meditation No.3
Winter is clearly upon us now, as a blizzard has brought several fresh inches of snow, drifted into bizarre formations from the 30 mile an hour winds!  These are busy times for every one, but still I find myself reflecting on plans for the coming year.  I am rethinking the blogs, including this one, MissouriBendStudio and MissouriBendPaperWorks, where I have a daily posting of a found text poem.  Keeping up with two blogs is getting to be too much to handle and I think I will combine them in some way, but things haven't quite settled into place yet...still in the pondering stage....the kind that occasionally wakes you up in the middle of the night with the nudge of an idea, then keeps you tossing and turning for hours on end!  I need the structure of a regular posting, but I just don't have the time I did when I started that first blog nearly a year ago.  My plan was to do the daily found text poem for at least a year and then reevaluate.  I love making those little poems, but don't know if I can still make it a daily ritual.  I had absolutely no idea that first week in January 2010 where my life would be at this point in time....does any of us really?  The blogs are important to me, so I'm still working out how to make sure the blog I end up with is as meaningful for you as it is for me...a place to learn and grow and share!  Once again, I'm here to thank you for your comments, your support and the thread you each represent in a the woven fabric that is my life.  I am looking forward with great cheer to see what happens next!  See you here tomorrow with a new posting for A Walk Through The Universe!  Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Page From The Book Of Pondering


Here is Page from the Book of Pondering, which I posted today in my shop.  I'm in a pondering frame of mind today, as it is my birthday! What an astounding difference a year can make.  A year ago I was quite miserable in a part-time job that was more than underpaid, trying to figure my way into a new life.  In the first week of December I heard of Etsy for the first time.  If someone had told me on my birthday last year that by the time I turned one year older...I would have an online shop with over 100 pieces of artwork in it, be keeping up with two blogs and all manner of other social networking tools (most of which I'd barely heard of a year ago), and making dear friends all over the face of the earth...well, I'd have probably laughed through my tears.  But here I am and its all true...one of the biggest blessings is the connections I have made in the past year with all the kindred spirits across the globe, too numerous to name!  Thank you all for making my life a joy.  And today I am also pondering the amazing coincidences in the parallel lives that Gabriella of Two Tigers Creations and I have lived...and now I must extend a hearty birthday wish to her as well....I read on her blogpost this morning of yet one more coincidence....we share the same birthday, albeit 5 years apart.  Cheers to the folks who stop by here to read....many more than I'm sure I know...thank you.  Hoping my year of being 53 is going to be even better than my year of being 52...there still so much to learn about being alive in an astounding universe.


Monday, December 6, 2010

A Walk Through The Universe: The Vessel, Week 1

December is here, although I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone of that!  It's chilly outside, but we're still on our endless stroll through the universe, having taken a new path for December to ponder the notion of The Vessel.  I was fortunate to meet Lynnie Ashworth through the recommendation of our featured artist last week, Abby Leigh Johnson. We've corresponded through the week and I'm happy to relay to you her work and her thoughts about a subject we have each experienced in our lives: loss.  Lynnie deals intimately with loss through the small vessel form, in ways which she will describe first through a slightly edited form of the artist's statement from her thesis exhibition and then in the answers she gave to some follow-up questions I posed.  



Dad, 1-2" high



Loss is a happening, an emotion, or feeling.  It is a universal concept, an essential component of life, and part of human nature.   Each of us has suffered a type of loss.  For some, it may be the kind of loss that leaves a gaping emotional hole that is difficult to recover from.  For others, it could be a type of loss that might be forgotten by the end of the day, such as a pair of sunglasses or keys.  While there are different types of loss, it is very much a part of the living processes.  This idea or concept is not only part of being human but part of life in general.  Most living forms encounter loss, whether it is a tree shedding its leaves, or a lioness that has taken down an antelope’s young.  It is all loss, a cycle of living life.

Being human and suffering loss is ubiquitous.  Around the world people and living creatures are enduring losses of all kinds and of varying degrees.   We see these losses documented everyday.  The compartments and the divergent types of loss that we as humans suffer is part of who we are as people.  Loss for the majority brings change, whether it was desired or not.   Some of the adaptations from loss will cause individuals to experience growth and transformation.   For others, they may find it debilitating. Sometimes people suffer the same loss, like the death of a father.  Yet their reaction and coping with that loss can and will be very individual and unique.  Loss is a phenomenon that we all endure and go through, however there is no set way to react, feel, or understand a particular loss.

As humans we also, compartmentalize our losses throughout life; this is part of being a higher intelligence, unlike other living things.   Some people experience loss to point of having different personalities, but this is the extreme.  Most of us shelf or contain these losses each time we sustain them.   Some “containers” are large, small, battered, cracked or banged up.  Loss can be documented by a memory, this memory maybe painful and may be contained and put away.  Some vessels maybe reopened over time, while others will be hidden among the past evidence of loss that has been purposefully forgotten.  The owner, never knowing if the vessels will expose themselves again and with what kind of force they will unleash.

As we travel through our lives and the lives that are to be born, we will endure varying degrees of loss like all other life forms.  However, our lives will be molded and modeled by the losses we experience.  Our emotions and cognitive thinking will decide how we compartmentalize what we have undergone.  We as humans cannot see, feel, or understand loss without love.  We are ruled by love and thereby will forever be affected by loss.  Loss is sustained by love and love always cohabits with loss.

Below is a selection of Lynnie's work, beginning with a brief description of each grouping and the interactive nature of the pieces.

 Rings constructed in copper and rubber...they all will hold water but it will leak out causing loss.





The set of four brooches are perfume vessels that have a silver bottom with holes.  They each leak onto the wearer to illustrate various types of loss, ie: one that leaves a mark (this vessel holds ink) another is a burning loss (this vessels holds bleach), one loss that is tearful (this vessels holds salt water) and finally a lingering loss (this one holds perfume).


From these I ventured into Loss, the 25 brooches.  When a brooch is removed from the frame it too suffers a loss, as an echo of it's form is left behind. 


The other work is also from my thesis show.  Each person got a pin at my show.  It was a portion of a larger vessel (Life's Losses).  The glue I used on the brooches was intentionally poor.  I wanted the viewer to feel the loss of the clay bit from my show, leaving behind only the pin mechanism.

Badge of Loss, 1-2"


Life's Losses

Further elaboration came from Lynnie's answers to my questions below:


I'm curious about your background and whether you were already a sculptor/jeweler or someone working in three dimensions and you wanted to deal with the subject of loss or whether you felt the need to deal with "loss" and decided the best vehicle would be the container or vessel that allowed a very visceral idea of the idea.


I guess I was a bit of a "chameleon artist" for most of my teaching career.  It seems whatever my students were studying I ended up working in myself.  I have always leaned toward the 3-D aspect.  However, painting miniature water colors is what drew me to jewelry.  I had done some commission work for a woman that wanted to know if I could "set" a painting in a piece of jewelry.  And so I rallied up books and equipment and have never looked back.  The subject of Loss was one I turned to because I desperately wanted a concept that most every person can understand.  The irony is I highly doubt I would have gone to grad school, had I not lost my Dad to cancer.  In many ways it was his influence on how I dealt with his loss had a direct impact on each piece of my work.  There are two pieces that truly reflect the different stages of my personal loss.  Albatross, the large vessel with the visible cracks and holes that weigh around one's neck is how I felt for many years.  Where as the chatelaine, more of a badge, reflects where I am today, 14 years later.  It all became very cathartic process. 

I find it fascinating that you gave each person a pin at the reception for your thesis show, but intentionally, making it so that they would, in effect, fall apart, causing the person at some point in the future to experience loss in a real way. Were they at all aware that this might happen? Did you hear from people who had lost their tiny container and what was their reaction?


I put a lot of thought into viewer with regards to my show.  I wanted them to interact, not just see.  I invited people to handle all of the work. (I had friends walking around encouraging this to happen)  One of my fellow grads was shocked when I preposed the idea.  My comment was, "well if it breaks or is stolen, isn't that Loss?". Each piece sat on a tea stained pillow, when the viewer removed the work there was an echo of what was there, so that the display space suffered the evidence of loss while it was handled.
I was contacted by a few people asking if  they could get another pin because their's had fallen apart. I obliged saying and warned the same thing would happen. I even had one rather rude person chastise me for using poor glue.  With tongue in check I asked her if she recalled what the concept of my show.  She said she did.  I replied "well then, my point has been made, you have experienced a sense of loss through my poor choice of glue." 

As you talk about in your statement, the experience and sense of loss is universal and an ongoing part of life. Do you think you have fully explored loss in these small vessel forms or are you still finding new ways to talk about this subject and its meaning in our lives. I guess the short form of this question is....what's next?


I think in the sense of the vessel form I have explored these forms for now.  I am still working with the idea of Loss, however being more focused on different types of loss.  I am presently tossing around the fact that I think children are losing so much of their childhood today because of the lack of "play".  I am investigating this idea with the toys we as 40+ played with.  I hope to draw a memory or smile to the viewer about the childhood we have lost.  And cause them to wonder what the youth around has lost not having played with toys that use the imagination and hands on concepts.  Like the original Loss work, I hope to have them interact with the viewer...
I will also be doing some collaborative work with Memory and Loss with your last blog highlight Abby Leigh Johnson in the near future.

Lynnie did provide a few more images, but alas, Blogger is giving me fits and it's quite a feat that I have been able to assemble this feature into some form of coherence with what I've posted....so I'll leave you here with some links to Lynnie Ashworth's website here, as well as her blog, and brand new Etsy shop (not yet stocked, but I'm sure you could stay tuned!)

Hope you all are enjoying the early days of December...some of us are warm and some of us are freezing...just how it goes!  Thanks for reading this post and hope you've enjoyed meeting Lynnie!
























Friday, December 3, 2010

Page From The Book of Frozen Moments






It's been a long week, trying to get caught up with all the things that didn't get done over the Thanksgiving break...but I think I'm back on track.  And today, finally, a relaxing day in the studio with a flow of bringing new things into being....like this little book page from The Book of Frozen Moments.  It's so nice to be able to relax once I remind myself that there are no rules....we are most ourselves when we are free to play....I had a nice play day in the studio!

Hope you all have some time for play...and enjoy the weekend!  See you on Monday for new posting in A Walk Through The Universe!