Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bamboo Tattoo... at Purdue

For years I have wanted my logo (the Chinese Kanji for "forever" which also happens to be made up of my initials) as a tattoo. One reason or another always prevented me from getting it. Then my friend Lauren lead me to bamboo, I was looking at her photos on Flickr and spotted what looked like a bamboo tattoo on someone's arm. I instantly knew I wanted bamboo, in a sumi-e style with my Kanji as the red signature.

I got to accompany Celie on a teaching trip to Japan 3 years ago, we visited the bamboo forest in Kyoto - the most magical place I've ever been.
I did a bit of research: Bamboo symbolizes longevity because of its durability, strength, flexibility, resilience and grace. It survives in the harshest conditions and it always stands tall and stays green. Not bad. 

I knew I wanted to get it on the back of my right shoulder. I decided I wanted to get it while at Purdue, in Indiana, at the PMC Conference (PMC being my life, it just made sense). Celie was thinking of getting one too, one she's had in mind for awhile.

On the flight, I began drawing it out but a pen wasn't going to do it justice. I moved to liquid eyeliner which worked pretty well! Over the next few days, I obsessively "painted" over and over and over and over, more than 100 attempts at a sumi-e like design. I came up with one that I thought was quite good.

I started telling friends in our pre-Conference BronzClay class and 2 more people wanted to get tattoos too! This became my only topic of conversation for days. For every person I told, I was met with either enthusiasm or tattoo horror stories. I started looking for "signs" that I should get the tattoo while on this trip. Then, standing outside the hotel restaurant, I glanced at their signboard and to my shock, it read "ink special". I realized that someone must've accidently erased the "Dr" in "Drink" but to me, this sign was a SIGN.
So then it became a matter of finding a tattoo shop and a time when we could all go. Another sign occurred on the first day of the Conference, at the beginning of Bill Struve's fabulous BronzeClay seminar. Before his power-point-type presentation started, his computer was on his screen saver - of a bamboo forest. (!) He started by showing the Linear B symbol for Bronze. I thought that would be the perfect tattoo for him and mentioned it to him and Lacey Ann (his wonderful wife) at dinner.

We were thrilled to see our good friend Reiko at the Conference. We spent much of our time in Japan in her company. We had a lovely lunch with her and I showed her my bamboo rendering to which she shook her head "no, no." She looked in her bag and took out her own brush-pen and delicately, precisely and effortlessly stroked the page. PERFECT! I asked her to write out my JK/Chinese symbol as well. I told her "this might be on my shoulder at the end of today!" During our lunch, Bill and Lacey Ann came over to us and Bill quietly said "I want to get a tattoo too!"  
All aboard the tattoo train.
Later in the day we went to a tattoo shop called Custom Creations with Bill and Lacey-Ann. It seemed really chill and clean but I wasn't sure about it UNTIL:
I saw my symbol on the wall...
...and noticed it was right next to a bamboo frame...
...and within that frame...
...a woman touching her shoulder.

I guess this was the place.

Somehow hours passed between me deciding to get it done and actually hearing the buzz of the tattoo machine.  It took about 30-35 minutes and it hurt but it was bearable.  It's not my first tattoo but it's been 11 years and the pain of the first one is one of the reasons I waited so long for another.  
Bill went next... (check out his arm!)
It was almost 10:00 and we were all starvin'.  The plan was to come back the next day so the other four peeps could get their tats.  So we went out for Chinese food, followed by ice cream and noticed that it was a full moon!

I barely slept that night, jazzed from the new tattoo and all the adrenaline still coursing through me.  The next day there was no time to go back to the shop, we were on the move with Conference madness.  (The Conference was great btw, but it went by in such a flash!)  So our tattoo train had disbanded but I'm so happy that I got mine.  
Oh, and I gave my bronze bowl (see below) to Reiko, as a "thank you" for her gift to me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pre-PMC Conference BronzClay class in Indiana

We've been preparing for Celie's "Almost Alchemy - Intro to BronzClay" class for so long and now its over!  What a great class it was, everyone was really excited about this amazing material. Celie started the class by ringing my little bowl with one of her bronze ball pendants. I started making bowls a few weeks back in an attempt to make singing bowls.  This was one of the first ones and I loved its natural edge too much to smooth it out but its still carries great sound when 'dinged'.  The patina on it is just from firing - beautiful.  Celie made these solid bronze balls and the patina on them was extraordinary, speckled and multi-colored.  They looked like little eggs so I took a photo of them in my nest-like bowl.
Ah, life on the road.  Attempting to eat cereal in the hotel room.  I had a spoon but no bowl and the coffee mugs were tiny - hence 'breakfast of champions' a la coffee carafe.
More soon... 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saturday was an amazing day

Everyone at the Market was eating these giant blueberries from Adam's Berry Farm, so good!
These two little angels were getting adorned with glitter by henna artist Rebecca Freedner.
I went to a lovely wedding party right on the Huntington gorge.  Such a great time, great friends, food, music, swimming...even volleyball!  Topping the cake: the best bride/groom/dog figurines ever -Polly Pocket!
This little cutie was all about the watermelon!

Reveling in the beauty outside

Last week I ate fresh broccoli from the garden.  Ashamed to admit, I didn't even know what growing broccoli looked like, it is such a beautiful color!   Never have I tasted broccoli so good, full of vitamins and energy and life.
I was taking photos of poppies and one of them had a bug in its center.  I blew on it to remove the bug so I could take a more 'pristine' photo and the force of my breath caused all of the petals to fall off!  Moral of the story: don't mess with nature, yo.
I could feel my pupils widen when staring into the lilies.  They line the path in front of the house and they are so bright and orange and cheery, an explosion of summer.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summertime...and the livin' is BUSY

I can't believe the summer solstice has come and gone.  This merry-go-round is just going by too fast and I need to be sure to make time to pick wildflowers, watch fireflies and feel the grass between my toes.  The other day, while playing with the dogs on the lawn we spied this colorful little froggie all camo-ed out and deserving of a photograph.  

The Market was lovely, but maybe a bit too hot. At least there was no rain!  I sold a pair of my large crescent earrings to a woman who recently pierced her ears for the first time and I was honored she chose a pair of mine as her first pair.  

I like to hand out stickers to the kids who come by my 
booth.  It always puts a smile on their face and it doesn't hurt to keep them occupied while their momma's have a look-see at my work ;).  I gave some to this little cutie while his mom was trying on some of Claudia Venon's clothes and thus came upon the "market pic of the day".