Christmas time comes with a lot of baggage for us all. It certainly comes with some for Sufjan Stevens, an amazing artist I’ve admired for quite sometime. I think the hardest thing in the world might be to write a Christmas Carol that won’t drive the masses to insanity when played over and over in malls and commercial enterprises. You see Sufjan is a Christian man who has horrid memories of Christmas, thus he started making a cd a year for his family instead of being present himself. In 2006 a 5 cd pack of Christmas music was release under Asthmatic Kitty Records, those very cd’s for his family from the last five years. The albums include Christmas classics with banjo and new tempos and new songs with myriads of witty and angelic lyrics. Sufjan is genius and is guaranteed to make any Christmas brighter with these, even if it is through blunt truth.
I found myslef talking about letters and the holiday season today. I said “this is a holiday all about letters, first Christmas letters and then thank you letters”. You see I was raised to get a thank you letter in the mail the day after opening a gift, it usually happens about two weeks later these days. But, at least it happens. I am a sucker for good paper, postage and pattern. There are some wickedly great crads out there. I also dig making them out of random things or found artist cards. I got these in the mail this week (and of course they have ended up in my sketchbook). Two of them are hand made and two of them are found- Australia has propaganda post cards for free on every corner, so great. I failed when it came to getting Christmas cards out this year, but it is never too late I am thinking around the end of January I’ll get it togather or maybe a summer Christmas postal homage. But if you get me an awesome guest I garentee you you’ll be getting a stellar thank you.
Hells ya. It is snowing. Here is to GTing and book nostalgia
Sketchbook: Sketchbooks are important. I carry mine about and use it often. I usually don’t let a soul look at my sketchbook- too personal, too sacred. Still, it is a huge huge part of my practice and process. And so I will hark back to the ever so wise teachings of kindergarten and share fragments that some of you might enjoy.
Well, it is all done now. I am happy to report that it was a success. I am ready and rare’n to go for next year! I enjoy the body of work I created but am even more excited about where it is going. A few things came from the experience…
– I got some commission work and am glad to say that the face plates I’ve done in the past totally have potential and I am pretty excited about the possibilities there.
– I discovered a new market for my work that I didn’t expect: Hunters.
So you know how women drag their husbands to crafty things come this time of year? And just like good men they go a long and quietly twiddle their thumbs while gandering at the things they would seldom indulge on but their wives swoon over? Well, I’d look up from my wanderings around the floor and all the burly quietly sauntering men would be fumbling about with my mugs laden in wild Canadian fauna! It is of course the women that bought them in the end. But, I had some good conversations with the husbands. It does make scene after all, I am attracted to the imagery I am because of my relationship with the forest and they are drawn to it for the same reason!
I also got to trade so things with fellow artists (see scan of textures above). It is so satisfying to trade something handmade for something handmade. I like the direct application and recognition of skills. I may not have money but I do have skills and hey so do most people so let’s make it happen! I had such high hopes for the barter fair this year held in the Kootenays every fall and I didn’t make it this year. I’ll be there next year, you can bet on it.
The Review: This section will be me reviewing a publication, exhibition, article.
I started this blog largely to keep me on the ball and clarifying my processes. I have been going non stop in the studio getting ready for the upcoming Christmas Sales. It has seriously dragged me underground (my studio is in the basement). The good news is that I may have pulled it off. Only two more firings and one more day to go before my work is due. This week check out what I’ve been doing. It will be a comprehensive crash course into ceramic madness. I have just done in a week what should have been in two months.
Today I stumbled across this on http://lantinceramics.blogspot.com/ it is so true and put a smile on my face. I know I am at least trying to do something on this list at any one time. This sucker is getting hung in my studio to entice sanity.