I woke up tired this morning, not enough sleep and the Tree that Ate Cleveland tapping on my subconscious like a crazed squirrel at a window. I had coffee, one of life's wonderful necessities and hit the studio, still in my pajamas. Hey, its Saturday, its the closest I'm going to get to a day off!
I started fighting with the circle cutter and here's what I know: circle cutters hate thin old paper. You have to work to find something acceptable to the infernal machine. I used most of the sturdy sheet music, tried several old books and wound up dragging out a 1987 map atlas which worked well. Also learned to open the "holes" in the balls as I go, stretching them out to make a pretty full circle when done. The glue dots were okay but I went back to the glue gun for speed and sturdy to finish my big batch.
It took all day, but I got a batch of the metal cutouts polished off with bows and final touches and ready to pack in addition to finishing 20 paper balls. A few of the balls are all done, I had to have something to keep me going besides scorching my fingers so I glittered and bowed and baubled some to just enjoy the prettiness. A bunch of them are sitting on a tray waiting for the last touches tomorrow.
I want the paper done because next project is doing the glass. I keep finding more salt shakers I cannot resist and I have old postcards that I am shrinking and enclosing in sheets of glass, leading and soldering them. They should be pretty, I am shooting for about 10-20 and that should get me close to my goal of 300 ornaments.
Blessings on the gallery that shows my work, Matter Gallery, and Jo Gallaugher, the owner. Matter artists have created 12 ornaments which I will pick up tomorrow and cannot wait to see! I will put up photos of the ornaments too.
I am at the list making stage and into some serious time management at this point. Next Sunday and Monday are Up With The Tree Day, and Tuesday is the gala cocktail party pre-launch. After that, the public pays to tour the forest along with a whole week of breakfasts, dinners, events and finally the big gala auction. Funds raised go to community health, I'm paying it forward with my work, knowing someone will get care they might not otherwise get with the proceeds.
I don't mind not directly benefiting, its been a wonderful experience and it has been good for me to understand that I can do this stuff, soldering, glass work, wire, paper, you name it. I know I can do lots of amazing arty things and I'm good at it too. Now…if I could just make a living at it…I will be teaching classes in the studio in the spring, a great start, thanks to the encouragement of Carolee and Jamie.
Exciting stuff! Tree Week, I am only attending the cocktail party for the Chritmas Forest and representing me, the Artist's Market group (rock on independent artists!) and Matter. I'm pretty sure no one has ever seen a tree like this one with 300 completely handmade ornaments. I am just hoping like hell people get the concept. I always doubt everything I do of course.
Which brings me to something I wanted to observe. Paul Sparks, my all time favorite college professor, held that the presentation and finish were as important as the art. I have always taken that to heart and everything I do is finished as completely and as perfectly as I can make it, even if you can't see it, its in the details. Yes, its made the tree ornaments longer and harder than a Wal Mart run, but I am really proud of this work.
I'm hoping to get the Tree stuff polished off and do some joyous stuff to sell through Matter and my Etsy site. If folks want my ornaments, give me a shout and I'll get them mailed quick as a bunny. (shameless plug for Running Rabbit).
Stay tuned for details on the upcoming Artist's Market Gala and my show in December, but for now its late and I think I'll go fall face down in a pile and sleep until the squirrel starts tapping on my unconscious again…