Pondering Blue Hair

OK, honestly? This post has NOTHING to do with polymer clay. So if you're looking for reflections about shows and life as an artist... maybe another time. Sorry about that.

I'm thinking about visibility, and age, and the funny things that happen when you stop doing what's "proper" according to someone else, and start doing exactly what you want to do. When my kids were in middle school, they periodically dyed bits of their hair blue, or magenta, or green, or whatever. I was jealous! I had my sensible conservative work clothes and went to meetings and didn't have an awful lot of leeway to experiment with crazy looks. 

Time passed - I progressed from being a woman who occasionally got appraising glances or even cat calls (which I hated!) from men on the street, to being a woman of an invisible age, slightly round with graying hair. That was just fine for me! I never lost my longing for the ability to play with brightly colored hair - it was folded up somewhere in the box with other odd wishes I couldn't act on. But I certainly didn't mind being invisible.

So when I walked away from the day job, it didn't take me long to beg my hairdresser for a blue streak. And it didn't take me long after that to start applying multiple colors of blue directly from the tube to my head every couple of weeks. I LOVE it! My inner 2-year old is rolling in the paint and wiggling all over with the color joy. Blue hair is now something I just kind of take for granted.

My lovely neighbor, who is a barber, is always interested to see the latest iteration, and always has something nice to say. Some of my friends think I'm nuts - but they've gotten used to it. 

The people on the street, though? The ones that never used to see me? WHOA! When I was weeding last week, a pickup truck came by and the driver yelled "Love the hair!" A woman driving her daughter to school pulled up and asked me about it - we must have chatted for a good 5 minutes. A piper at the Irish Festival last week said "Wow - it's a Smurf!" - honestly, I didn't like that one, but it wasn't deliberately nasty. There is rarely a day that goes by where someone doesn't comment on it - and the comments are universally kind, and frequently include a "how do you do it?" component. Who knew? 

It was a little unnerving to become visible after a comfortable decade or so of being totally invisible. But I think I like it. And I think I'll stay blue for the foreseeable future.

I'll write about polymer some other time.

 

 

blue hair

Time flies!

While I've been busy being busy, spring has arrived full force in Ohio. The lilacs are blooming outside my window, and the roses have budded. Daffodils, crocuses, redbud and cherry came and went while I was prepping for the first shows of the season.

On Monday, I returned from two weeks of shows in Virginia. They were my first out-of-state shows, and the first shows I traveled to on my own. The weather pulled out its best challenges for the occasion - cold soaking rain on April 22, and blistering heat and humidity on the 29th and 30th. Set up and tear down went fine, and I really enjoyed myself, although I was beat at the end. Old friends - some of whom I hadn't seen in years - showed up in droves, and I had lots of help with tear down both days. I am grateful, and happy, and definitely applying next year.

Before I left, I did a little experimentation with Devon Palmer on turning polymer. Now that I'm back, we're going to continue the experimentation - I should have something fun to share next month. There's got to be a good way to use the polymer shavings! Please post a comment if you have a suggestion.

More Collaboration and Cross-Pollination

I had a perfectly lovely week working with other artists... sculptor Kristin Morris, jeweler Steph Garland of DeWitt Bead & Wire, polymer artist Anita Behnen, and laser master Evgenii Dvoretckii. I am constantly reminded of the incredible supportiveness of the arts community here in Columbus, and very grateful that we landed in a city with such a vibrant panoply of local art.

Sculptor Kristin Morris made the little spaceman, who inspired the hinged spaceship on legs.... the door does open, and the spaceman fits inside!

Sculptor Kristin Morris made the little spaceman, who inspired the hinged spaceship on legs.... the door does open, and the spaceman fits inside!

Jeweler Steph Garland got me started on wire wrapping

Jeweler Steph Garland got me started on wire wrapping

Evgenii Dvoretckii helped me cut the stamps that texture the sides of these boxe

Evgenii Dvoretckii helped me cut the stamps that texture the sides of these boxe

Anita Behnen taught whimsical sculpting techniques

Anita Behnen taught whimsical sculpting techniques

The Joys of Cross-Pollination

Today was the last day of the Buckeye Bash - a polymer clay retreat initiated by the Dayton and Columbus Polymer Clay Guilds. This retreat is one of my favorites, and I always come back energized and bursting with ideas. This year is no exception - Mari O'Dell shared several techniques she has developed recently, and Marie Segal, Beth Curran, and Sue Hartman all shared new ideas. I did a refresher session on silkscreen, and all 48 of us shared tips across our work tables. 

In a world that feels like it's gone crazy, four days concentrating on growing our skills is an incredible panacea.

Robots with resistors and circuit boards from Mendelsons third floor (amazing surplus story in Dayton)

Robots with resistors and circuit boards from Mendelsons third floor (amazing surplus story in Dayton)

Box exterior using Mari O'Dell's ceramic glazing techniques

Box exterior using Mari O'Dell's ceramic glazing techniques

Box interior using silkscreen and Mari O'Dell's ceramic techniques

Box interior using silkscreen and Mari O'Dell's ceramic techniques

Layered earrings showing the incredible translucency of new Cernit translucence, thanks to Marie Segal

Layered earrings showing the incredible translucency of new Cernit translucence, thanks to Marie Segal

Getting Ready for Spring

The post-holiday relax, regroup, research and reorganize is almost over, and the first show of the year is around the corner.  These quiet times go by too quickly, but I am in pretty good shape to start building up inventory for the new season. In the meantime, the old inventory will be for sale at steep discounts next weekend - January 28 & 29 - at the Ohio Designer Craftsmen's studio clearance sale.

On deck after the clearance: some new teaching adventures, new collaborations, and new designs for vessels, lamps and boxes. Stay tuned.

2017

Oh, how I want to start this post with exciting news and blazing headlines! But 2017 is starting on a prosaic note - with inventory tasks, website development, software tutorials, tool design, and show applications taking precedence over actually getting messy.

So, I'm off to do my chores after the new year's festivities, and I wish you all health, happiness, and a sense of purpose as this year gets rolling.