Currently at Gallery Context suite 262
5701 6th Ave S #378, Seattle, WA 98108
My last few projects might have been inspired by my recent role of teaching my youngest offspring to drive.
Take it Slow:$1250 : 22″ tall, 18″x18″ top
Available at Gallery (context)
Suite 262 Seattle Design Center
5701 6th Ave S #378, Seattle, WA 98108
*The used street signs were purchased.
People often say that artists suffer for their art. This is a short re cap of a painful lesson I learned recently.
In preparing for our July 3rd Thursday event at the Seattle Design Center I was working overtime trying to get a few last minute projects ready for the show. To understand what happened I need to back up just a bit.
It was Thursday July 12 and a friend came over and helped me clean out my closet. I have some awesome cotton shirts that were in less than perfect condition and my friend suggested that I toss them out. I decided to keep one as it was my favorite and since it was cotton as I could wear it to work in.
Now you might be thinking oh no, I know where this is going and you are probably correct.
Later that day I was trying to get things finished up and I had that awesome shirt on that my friend had suggested I toss out.I needed to do some welding so I stuck my long sleeve shirt over the top and buttoned the top three buttons to keep from getting any flash burn on my neck.
I was working away and tipped the piece upside down to do a few more welds. I was kneeling on the ground and since a lot of my art supplies are old car parts I am used to having some of my pieces burn off old grease so a flame now and then does not usually surprise me. However, I am not used to having flames shoot up 2 feet over my helmet. Apparently cotton made outside the United States is not really cotton. My favorite shirt went up in flames. I yelled, Fire! Fire! Fire! Lucky for me I had a friend helping me out and he came running and managed to help put me out. I asked my friend to help get the tools put away then I told him I think I better go to the hospital.
By the time I reached the ER my husband had already checked me in and I was taken back to a room right away. On the way to the room I did apologize for not being more prepared for bikini season as I had not planned to be walking around in my bra. The male nurse did not seem to have much of a sense of humor.
Three hours at the ER with a nice pain med IV, the staff cleaned my wounds. I had third degree burns from my panty line to just below my breasts. It would have been so much worse if I had not had the 2nd shirt on as it worked to block the fire.
Friends have told me, “You need to invest in leathers.” I have had to admit that I already own leathers. I had them covering some parts of the art so that it would not get hit with sparks! Another friend told me, that the healing begins when you figure out that your body needs protecting not your art.
I did go back to my shop a few days later and finish the piece I was working on for the July 18th show. While there I modeled my old favorite shirt. ( see above photo)
The finished pieces are currently in the window of Gallery ( Context) suite 262 at Seattle Design Center.
I don’t think I will be starting anything new until the burns heal.
A year ago, a couple of friends talked me into applying to participate in a fundraiser for Issaquah’s artEAST Art Center.
I decided to accept the challenge and submitted samples of my work. Then I waited and waited — and waited — to see if I was going to be one of 20 artists to create a heron for the artEast Art Center Rookery project.
I was pretty excited when I was notified that I had been accepted so I went down to the gallery and picked up my rock base along with a flat wire heron that was to provide me with inspiration.
I sat and looked at the piece of rock and the bird — and nothing happened.
I spent months looking at my inspiration.
Friends told me, “Oh you should create a bird out of nuts and bolts.” So I picked up a bunch of nuts and bolts — still nothing.
I wanted to do something special. After all, this bird would be seen by real artists that reside in my community and I was worried that since this was my first bird it might just not be so wonderful.
I finally decided to use coat hangers. That idea was short lived.
I knew I wanted some type of wire but copper is expensive — so back to the drawing board.
I was frustrated and wanted to give up but I knew that if I did not produce a heron I would never be able to walk around downtown Issaquah again.
That is about the time I got a phone call from a friend. He had found the perfect wire for my bird! Only one catch, it belonged to his dad.
I was able to make my friend’s dad an acceptable offer and I got a huge roll of copper coated steel for a really good price.
Next was the job of cleaning it! It was old telephone wire and was covered with a nasty black rubber material.
Time was running out. Herons were being delivered to the gallery weekly and they were all amazing!
I was feeling crazy for even trying to compete with such amazing work!
The stress of making a bird for an art gallery fundraiser was a driving force.
I was driving back and forth from Issaquah to Prosser each weekend to work on the bird in private.
I was worried about getting him done in time and then there was the daunting fear of what if no one bought him!
I welded outside in the carport until it got so dark I could not see what I was doing. The 100 plus temperatures during the day made wearing leathers unbearable. I only had a few weeks left to make the deadline!
As soon as Sundance was finished, I called up my friend CD and said, “He is done — 170 hours of grinding, welding and scraping nasty rubber goo off the metal to create a bird for the local auction!”
She said,” Bring him by to watch the sunset!”
Photos by CDStuder Photography
ArtEAST Art Center is presenting its Heron Rookery Project 2013 at an opening reception on August 1, 2013, 6-8 pm. The show will continue from August 1-25, 2013.
Contrary to my fears, Sundance, the heron, sold at the 2012 auction. He loves his new private life and won’t be attending this year’s show.
Greg Bartol aka the real Bird Man, thanks for saying you should make a bird… No really here is the paper work!
Denny Croston aka Junk yard art Icon of Issaquah, for saying make a bird , and for supplying the neck and for giving me a reference.
Brad Isley for helping me find what I needed and for all the hours of help you gave me! I knew what I wanted to do and you told me how to make it work!
My family, thank you for not complaining about all the hours I was spending in Prosser with not much to show for it besides burn holes in my clothes.
I am grateful for my new friend CDStuder Photography for all the hours she spent taking photos of my processes! Without her Sundance would be just a memory. He sold the day I dropped him off!
After spending months getting all moved in to my new shop space and making sure that I could weld without burning the place down I was finally able to spend a day in my shop!
I started off with a few small projects so I could see if I have set things up in a way that makes sense for working. From left to right meet Flora. Gala, and Helen.
Fireworks stands pop up over night, people rush to them the same way they run to the malls in the middle of the night for black Friday! They stock up and then those with little or no self control start celebrating as soon as they get home and get the car trunk open.
Earlier today I posted on Facebook that ,” I hate fire crackers” and a friend jokingly called me, The Bad Santa. Fireworks make every muscle and nerve in my body tense. This causes stress which causes me to be jumpy and grumpy.
Today is America’s birthday 237 birthday! The noise has been non stop all day. If there was a scheduled time frame for civilians to set off explosives as a way to celebrate it might not be so agitating . Ppublic shows with a start and stop time they are okay. But come on people! When you buy the boxes of racket makers to set off all week are you thinking about the people with PTSD, or the pets and wildlife your disturbing ? Are you thinking of your neighbors? What about the risk for starting a fire? The below photo was taken today July 4, 2013 in Prosser Washington, caused by fire works
I often wonder if people ever wonder where fireworks come from, or who makes them. Most are made in China and India, so when you are spending your hard earned dollars on explosives you are not supporting the American economy.
Before you go and say that I am not being very Patriotic please understand that I am very patriotic. I served in the united States Army and am disabled war veteran.
I personally prefer the sounds of Peace over the Sounds of War.
Happy Birthday America!
Now I an off to watch the musical 1776, hopefully the music will drown out some of the outdoor noise!