Resonant Eye and violet mandorla piscis vescica for dear, sweet Katie.

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spidery.

These are all sold. I have some prints (also here, here, and here) of these available but not the originals….. And yes, these came from a nightmare. (Originally Published on: Oct 23, 2011)

He-AnjiMarth-taxidermyassemblagefdb1c104d062f1d219043b2b2d3511ca-d4ewkg1l_8eea1450-0e1b-11e3-9197-abc795700014spiderbones spider rat taxidermy articulation

 

 

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around the shop

I came in way early (for me) today, and I had a little time to spare, so I took some pictures of things from around the shop.

It’s funny how every shop has its walls of sketches- one of my favorite things to do is look at everyone’s rough drawings.

some of my prints at the shop  (you can dig through them in person there if you're local)

some of my prints at the shop
(you can dig through them in person there if you’re local)

Pig skull tribal mount, hanging among its friends (she is also for sale)

Pig skull tribal mount, hanging among its friends
(she is also for sale)

Lisa's sketches

Lisa’s sketches hanging on her wall

How you can help me. and other medical nonsense!

If you follow my site or know me personally, you know I have been through some medical hell the past ten months or so.

TMI after the break.

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why does everything have those three lines and/or dots in it?

I always use three lines/three dots on anything I do. Sometimes they’re front and center, the focal point of the art, and Sometimes they’re obscured- hidden in the backdrop or repeated in a pattern so as to be less noticeable.

I began doing this because of the greek character Ξ, Xi. There’s a few layers of meaning there, and all of them combined made me interested in the symbol/shape, and that interest led to me using it as a part of my signature for a while. After that it migrated, getting further detached from my initials, and becoming more a part of the artwork. And from there it just sort of infiltrated every piece I make.

Back in the 80s-90s I was really interested in mindhacks and psychedelics and pTv and related art and music.

I did some work with sigils. I’m not a believer, not even agnostic, but I do know that our subconscious is a strong force, and that affecting it, changing it, tinkering in there, can bring some odd results. Working with visual symbols is one of my ongoing experiments- using an eye as the main focal point in a painting that is smaller and might be stolen from a gallery (even the most abstract eye affects the behavior of the people around it- see this study for details) or using hands, in various gestures, to suggest action to the viewer.

So while I have an abiding interest in all these things I am not any kind of believer. I do entertain the idea that Jung may have had a good point about how symbols and visual cues lead us, and have an impact on our lives, so it’s always been my effort to find ways to incorporate these things, at least subtly, into my work. The three lines/dots is a personal symbol, though, which I use in my art to influence MYSELF. So in the sense of it meaning something to the viewer, maybe- it’s done intentionally as a prompt to myself while working, though.

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Bus to CA, poetry from my book "Tar and Gravel"

29157_397937423370_2677846_nfrom tar and gravel

bus to CA

There’s something beautiful and comforting about grey vomit stains barely scrubbed from velveteen seat backs and

something about the dense air and useless frustrated wanderlust of the greyhound station and the greyhound itself, this universe of breakdowns

in Pierre North Dakota and Weed, CA that makes me calm. Patience. It makes my mind shut tight and arrange itself compulsively. checking

repeatedly for wallet, keys, ticket, the automatic functions of the reptile brain fully involved;

Making sure nothing is lost, nobody touches me, children don’t climb and I

in the meantime have killed the upper brain.

 

Feet automatically avoiding the sprawl of wild loud children with sticky fingers and dirty pink too-tight shirts where they sit on the floor at the entrance

to the terminal; thirteen slightly torn and stretched garbage bags full of towels, clothes, toys, no books but I can see the handle of

a cast-iron fry pan

clearly outlined in the plastic, spilling around the children is the detritus of people who don’t

 

realize that frying pans are available at thrift stores in duluth as well as southern california.

Bus to CA, poetry from my book “Tar and Gravel”

29157_397937423370_2677846_nfrom tar and gravel

bus to CA

There’s something beautiful and comforting about grey vomit stains barely scrubbed from velveteen seat backs and

something about the dense air and useless frustrated wanderlust of the greyhound station and the greyhound itself, this universe of breakdowns

in Pierre North Dakota and Weed, CA that makes me calm. Patience. It makes my mind shut tight and arrange itself compulsively. checking

repeatedly for wallet, keys, ticket, the automatic functions of the reptile brain fully involved;

Making sure nothing is lost, nobody touches me, children don’t climb and I

in the meantime have killed the upper brain.

 

Feet automatically avoiding the sprawl of wild loud children with sticky fingers and dirty pink too-tight shirts where they sit on the floor at the entrance

to the terminal; thirteen slightly torn and stretched garbage bags full of towels, clothes, toys, no books but I can see the handle of

a cast-iron fry pan

clearly outlined in the plastic, spilling around the children is the detritus of people who don’t

 

realize that frying pans are available at thrift stores in duluth as well as southern california.

Three things I miss about 1989.

tumblr_llv78nlRaH1qepg0fo1_500I miss watching Female Trouble a few times a week.


It was the first movie I had ever seen that completely acknowledged how I felt about life, that made perfect sense to me. It was reassuring in all the right ways and it influenced my speech, my life in fact. It made me feel all right about being a xenophile, and being unable to fit in. We were strange people and the world shit on us regularly- and somehow this movie made it all ok, because it meant there was a whole world of other strange people out there, and they all had been through it and survived. 

And yes, it came out in 1974- around when I was born(ish). But I saw it in 1989 and that for me is the era I associate it with, being that I was only a toddler when it was made.

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SYTYN zine, 1993

When I was much younger I put together about ten issues of a zine.

This was in the early 90s, when such things were able to be picked up at bookstores, record stores, and the like.

I loved zines, loved them so much.

I built this with the assistance of my good friend and roommate Jen, she wrote a lot of stuff and drew things.

It’s amazing to look back and see how much and also how little my politics and deeper feelings have changed over the years.

more after the jump…

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poly clay pipe bowl, process summary one.

I’ve been doodling schematics to build an e-pipe out of an old wooden pipe I have (which has its own long story, too) and decided that I needed a bowl to play around with- maybe two, or three. In reading up on traditional pipe woods, and researching blank pipe blocks and such, I came to the realization that I have a little pile of perfectly-beautiful rootstock driftwood with awesome grain…but I don’t want to start with something difficult. I want to test my schematics, and get some practice in with figuring out placements, sizes, and specs before I pour time into a piece.

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So I am using poly clay to map out my ideas. Since there will be no fire, no burning, and the bowl of the pipe will not be in anyone’s mouth- it’s perfectly safe to use as a pipe for vaping (PV style- I don’t smoke pot so I have no clue about the temperatures for that, or if poly clay would work, so you’re on your own, potheads.)

I’m using liquid acrylics to make the ivory clay different tones. This first time I’m more concerned with getting the size right and the shape and stuff, or as close to ok as possible, than with prettiness, so I am just using a couple browns I like and aiming for a kind of general pale woodgrain thing.

Here you can see, poly clay, warmed up and kneaded, and two colors of liquid acrylic ink. On top of my schematic sketches.

After getting my clay warm and ready, I broke it up into a few balls. Then I added some color to one-

CAM02685[1]Just enough to tone it brown, warm. And then kneaded it in (I do not have any tools for working clay, I do it by hand and then work over the baked pieces with a dremel) You have to knead it in until there are no bubbles, and no more “pockets” of ink or paint in it. It shouldn’t really be homogenously colored, for what I’m doing, so I just worked it in until it was pretty well the same consistency throughout.

I’m using Waverly acrylics here- Bill makes amazing tattoo inks for professionals, and also has this sideline of making incredible paints.

His brown is incredibly intense on paper. Here, it ends up very diluted.

My hands get really gross from this paint.

You have to get poopy hands to do this stuff properly. If you wear gloves, you’re cheating and your stuff will come out ugly. I swear it.

CAM02686[1]I did the same for a nice antelope brown, it’s a sort of olive green/yellowish amber color that is hard to pin down.

It’s another one of my favorites for painting, FW makes very fluid inks and paints.

I used a bit more of this color and more clay in this color, I really like it.

To be noted: I now have moldy, poopy hands.

If you want more color saturation, you can use tube acrylics, or even oil paints or pigments. Just make sure that the clay stays elastic, bendy. If it starts to fall apart, you’re watering it down too much with paint. You want the clay to be able to set up strong and hard, not crumbly or brittle.

I ended up adding about three rounds of ink. I just squeeze some out onto the blob, knead it in and spread it around the surface. I try not to trap any liquid or any air inside the blob either, bubbles will bake to the surface later and wreck the finish.

At this point the clay is really warm and goopy.

I did a third ball of amber tone brown, I won’t show that one as it is pretty boring to see pictures of a poopy, exorcist-pukey, moldy hand.

yes, that's an old 510 battery as a mini rolling pin.

yes, that’s an old 510 battery as a mini rolling pin.

Now you roll out all three balls into flat pieces. I make them about an eighth of an inch thick at this point. I don’t want the colors to get muddied or blend together too much.

I’m also being lazy.

Roll out all three, then make a sandwich of them. I put the greenish brown in the middle and the creamy amber on top. It doesn’t matter much though, because once you stack them? pat them til they meld together a little, then roll THAT out into a thinner piece.

I did this once. again- lazy.

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CAM02693[1]CAM02694[1]Take a break for some iced tea.

Now, I took a baggie. I put some black ink on top of my sandwich of clay, then folded it in half and put it in the bag. Then I rolled it out again. Then I folded it over.

Then I rolled it out again. I kind of did this a few times at random angles, trying to get the black to make layers.

I did this only until I felt like the pattern was sort of woodsy (that word. I love anything woodsy)

By this point everything is covered in poopy mold and pea soup. It’s awesome. Sometimes a mess is what you need. I had kind of a rough day, I couldn’t sleep last night, I’m waiting on someone I did a commission for to let me know they got my email, and I am broker than usual…which is always depressing.

So this messy clay is therapeutic.

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CAM02697[1]Now I took whatever was handy (a pen) and mushed the clay layers around into each other, poking dents into the clay, making little hashmarks and stuff. I find that if you do this in an organic pattern- not perfect or symmetrical, but simply balanced in randomness with some repeating elementsthen it looks more like wood.

I’ve made wood-grain clay before, and it came out better than this will, because I was more concerned with the graininess that time.

Then I get out my one-dollar cure-all shank knife, and slice the ragged edges off.

I used the little bits left over to plug up the depressions and dents.

This kind of makes “knots” if you do it right. I didn’t do it quite right.

Then roll it out one last time, and check it- it looks like MEATWOOD!

seriously. meat, wood.

seriously. meat, wood.

CAM02700[1]CAM02702[1]Now I can start to shape the bowl. Finally. I made the rolled out clay a little too thin this time. I think I should have made it maybe twice as thick as I wanted the bowl to end up, the walls of the bowl. But I made it only a little thicker, so I ended up making the bowl thinner-walled than I’d wanted. I kept lining it up with my to-scale sketch, to make sure I wasn’t making anything the wrong size for the hardware I’ll be putting in later.

I even tucked the tank wize I will be using on it, into the stem to check. I did however forget to account for shrinkage- polyclay shrinks a bit when you bake it.

But there’s a simple fix for that- I can just kind of ream out the stem (shank?) when I get to the dremel stages, and make a little more room- or use a little bit of epoxy in there to hold something tightly in the shank.

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I got pretty close to the right size and shape.

,

double checking stuff against my very precise planning sketch.

double checking stuff against my very precise planning sketch.

oh man, that bowl is crooked. I'll mess with it some more.

oh man, that bowl is crooked. I’ll mess with it some more.

Now that I’ve got things sort of situated, I get a sheet of aluminum foil out, big enough to make a tent all around the pipe. It shouldn’t touch the clay at all, or it’ll singe it. I packed all the holes with coffee filters torn and mushed to the right supporting shape, and put a folded bit of filter under the base of the pipe, between the pipe and the foil.

Then I stuck it in the oven at 275 and waited about forty five minutes.
Then I yanked it out fast and dunked it into very cold water for about five minutes.
Then I wiped it off and took more photos.
The next step after this is the dremel, rasps, files, and sanding. I will probably buff a mild shine on the surface but I don’t like the glassy look too much so I may tone that down. Or even engrave with the dremel a nice testure to match the “grain” of the wood. I think it came out pretty well for a first attempt at this, and tomorrow I’ll post either the second attempt, or the pictures of this being worked over and finished out.
I’ll probably have to add a third post to show the wiring and stuff I’m planning; but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I have a nice unfinished “wood” clay pipe to work with.

Sorry for the dark photos, I will get awesome bright daytime ones tomorrow, I promise.
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