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Showing posts from November, 2011

Fastenation Workshop with Thomas Mann

I think it's always a good idea to take workshops if you can.   And even better if you got a friend to drag along.  My friend doesn't have any experience (none necessary) and I could use some exposure. So we called Angele (she's AWESOME!) and signed up for Tom's Fastenation workshop here in New Orleans.  It's about time this city had some workshops!   
We arrived at Thomas Mann's studio and received our supplies.  It was a box of metal, screws, headpins, faux bone, and a name tag with our names on it!   There was no one from New Orleans.  How can that be?  Me and Tysheena were the only ones.  It felt like we were at a convention.  Fun!  Anyway first things first...lecture on how to do things.  Next...time to use tools.
Look at everyone.  So busy at their workbench.
There's Tysheena using a hammer to give her metal some texture.  
I had to remember that we were there to learn the technique and not to create something spectacular.  I knew if that was my thinking …

And yet another Tiara

Ola! Happy Sunday. Well the weekends almost over but Thanksgiving is next week. This marks the beginning of yummy food and delicious sweeties! Eeeeee! I'm so excited. I love the holidays but it's getting down to the wire and I haven't spent as much time as I would like to in the studio. Okay, I haven't spent ANY time in the studio. Oh bad me.
I know I said I was going to talk about the fabulous workshop with Thomas Mann but I just have to share my latest creation. This is my LSU tiara but I'm not sure how it will withstand my jumping up and down in the stands.  Materials used were Czech glass (6mm and 4mm), silver, and gold pewter. It took about 4 hours to complete.  The technique used here was the same as for the Who Dat Tiara but this was was bigger (taller).  Talk about fit for a queen!
BTW...I was using BlogPress but now I give up.  It just wasn't working correctly. Argh!  More trouble then what it was worth.  Have a great Sunday!


The Bug that gave the World Red

We saw many things in Oaxaca but the most exciting thing to me was a bug called Cochineal (coach-in-EEL).
Just 14 miles south of Oaxaca in the village of San Bartolo de Coyotepec you will find the Cochineal Farm.  The official name of this farm is Centro de Difusion de Conocimiento la Grana Cochineal Tlapanochestli.  

A lot of the textiles are dyed with the blood (actually carminic acid not really blood) of the Cochineal.  Including the robes of Cardinals in Europe.  Listen to Señor Vicente telling us about the Cochineal.  

Did you get that?  Don't you just LOVE his voice? Basically the bugs have this thing for the Nopal cactus (prickly pear) that is abundant in much of Mexico.  They raise the bugs on this cactus (which looks like fungus), dry them out in the sun to make them muerte (that's dead), and then harvest them.  Grind the dead bugs up for the red pigment.
Here's Señor Vicente showing us the red from a living Cochineal. He tells us that we can change the color by changi…

South of the border in Oaxaca, Mexico

I've been idle for too long but I have lots to share with you!
Oh where to begin?

  Let me first say that Oaxaca is a place full of beautiful people.  The city was VERY safe and the place we stayed in was absolutely wonderful.  And the very best thing about it all...the plane ride was only 3.5 hours from New Orleans!  Gotta love that.

I don't want to bore you with all the details so I think I will stick to the art side of things.  Oaxaca is known for their textiles but I didn't take any pictures of any textiles.  :(  Lo siento.

There was this place that we stumbled upon called La Mano Magica #26 Macedonio Alcala 203, Centro.  This place had a variety of high end pieces for the taking and a price.  Off to the side we noticed a show going on and I immediately knew the work.  It was the work of ceramicist Alfonso Castillo.  One of the the great folk artist of Mexico.  

Eeeee!!! How exciting!

EVERY single piece is hand made including those replicas of Frida's paintings.  It'…