Mystery guest and local cultural icons at Superdawg.
Welcome to what seems to have become a weekly blog. I am still re-thinking what the blog means for me now that it’s become so public. Until I get that sorted out, it’ll continue to be the watered-down, quasi-diaristic reportage thing it’s become; my apologies to old friends and long-time readers for the change(s).
For the past several days, I’ve been under the influence of a nasty cold, and that is affecting my viewpoint / tone, I’m sure. It’s decidedly been affecting my energy level.
So: last week, a friend came through on her way to a residency, and we had a fine fun afternoon visiting some of the (ahem) cultural high points of my neighborhood, and then made a few sheets of paper in the studio followed by a couple wee drams of the good stuff. To the left is one of our stops, the (I kid you not) Leaning Tower of Niles, IL. (When I first came to this ‘hood, I nearly crashed my car, laughing hysterically, when I drove past it. Scale is 1/3 of the original.)
I got some nice news that I’ll wait to share until there are URLs to go with it, cleaned up the web site a bit, did some writing and a fair amount of research relating to a project I’m mulling over. I also made three new sugetas, and the second and final batch of ethereal paper from my initial milkweed harvest. These were larger sheets, and I pushed the thin-ness a bit too far and lost two of them, but the 30 or so that survived are lovely, and the few that have anomalies will work great in the book I’ve planned. The rest of the time I’ve been reading, napping, coughing, congested, groggy, feverish, headachy, impatient and quite churlish. I had to miss Friday’s reception for On and Of Paper and postpone a few other planned things.
And that’s all I’ve got for you this week, or rather all I can easily share, except that I finally found where I’d stashed this beautiful wee piece of shifu that Velma made and gave me this summer. It was wrapped in tissue and tucked carefully away in one of the books I had brought along to read in the evenings. It’s two inches square, made from spun lokta, and I just love it…it makes me smile, even when I am grumpy.
On another note, regarding local culture: I decided not to go into this competition (even though the potential money was attractive, particularly at this stage of my ongoing unemployment). For one thing, most of my current work was already committed; for another, as someone who has administered things like first-time combined shows in new venues in the past, I knew the initial run would almost certainly be fraught with enormous unforeseen problems…and, sadly, I was right. Really right. I feel awful for Bernard Williams, whose work is very, very strong.
Addendum: Bernard Williams was re-instated a couple of days ago, and now there are eleven finalists.