Hey, Ladies

3/11/2020==> This looks good!: IN OUR PRIME How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead  by Susan J. Douglas  Here’s a review at NYT:   Stop Telling Older Women to Step Aside  by Leslie Bennetts   Let’s beast it, ladies!!! We’ll change the world!

3/5/2020 ==> The hits just keep on coming! Here’s another article confirming my experience in the world:  Nine out of 10 people found to be biased against women  This is an article from The Guardian tells us what we’ve already sensed through our lives’ experience–men, and WOMEN, mostly don’t consider females the equal of males. These findings are a result of a UN Development study and tell us in no uncertain terms that people have a long way to go to become fully human.

2/28/2020 ==> I just came across this PBS video about an artist who addresses in an immediate way some of the issues I discuss below: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Visual Artist: “Stop Telling Women to Smile”  This is really worth a watch!

ladiesMan1 copy

“Womanizer”    hammer, women’s purses   2013

This piece and incident, as described below, came to mind just yesterday as did an article from last spring, I think as a result of several things currently in the news: The WaPo’s Robin Givhan’s “Let’s talk about ‘Project Runway’ stars using ‘old lady’ to describe unflattering clothes” from April 23, 2019. Fashion, women who wear it and the men who get to decide…

This grad-school piece above was a ‘first draft’ attempt to express some degree of my lifelong rage at misogyny and the males who perpetuate it. When I presented it to my class, four young-ish men, the response was muted (these guys generally did not acknowledge the facts of sexism and they practically rejected the existence of ageism), but two of them did criticize my choice of purses. I had dug around in my own stuff and had rooted around a couple of thrift stores to find an array that suggested women of different ages, styles and incomes. These classmates told me with straight faces that the purses weren’t expensive or stylish enough, that they weren’t adequate; I could tell from their expressions that they were offended by the low-end items. In other words, these young men with limited experience in life and no experience as women, concluded my piece did not work because my materials were not expensive and designer-made, not because they did not communicate my intent. The instructor did not challenge my classmates; he pointed out a couple of confusing aspects of the piece, then hurried along, clearly not wishing to spend time talking about the world women exist in. It was a lost opportunity for all of us, I think.

So, this is what I was paying for, this is what ‘the academy’ allowed, rewarded and perpetuated. This was a few years ago; I look at today’s news and wonder how much has changed…

 

Jalopy, a self-portrait

 

This is the unfinished final project from my first semester at woodworking school; the assignment was to make a box of some sort with hinges. My classmates made large boxes for storage–some of them turned out beautifully–but I had run out of wood so I made a series of boxes with various elements (different angles, finishes, cuts, hinges, etc…) to try to cover the things we’d learned over the semester using the scraps I still had and pieces I could scrounge from the trash bins.

I really did learn some new things doing this piece, which was a bit too ‘arty’ for the class, frankly. A picture of it, still unfinished, with the roof (beautiful wood!) is below. I really should finish it and take a few pix before I disassemble it and put lids on the boxes for actual use. (I don’t think the instructor understood my approach, but, whatevs…I got a lot of practice in, which was the point, I thought.)  

House structure made of stack of handmade and finished wooden boxes
Jalopy, a self-portrait from later middle-age. Various techniques and materials.

‘Appaloosa’

Appaloosa_nearly finished!
The table’s done except for a missing drawer face. The holes are for s-hooks and other hanging tools. The drawer is for pencils, etc, so it’s cool that it’s so shallow. Because of the coloring and how I did the legs, I’m calling it “Appaloosa.”

Here’s my table, just about ready to roll on home!

transit talk!

In a coincidence, this week’s “On the Media(radio program from WNYC) is all about public transit and how our lives/living environments are designed by/for car use (and presumed car use), just at the moment I’ve decided to present among my artfolios images from my MFA Thesis show, “Points of Interest,” an installation to promote the bus system in the city where I was attending university. Many of the issues discussed in the OTM segments are issues and ideas I thought about, researched and discussed with my Thesis committee. Although I did not address every one of these issues in my project, I did read, listen and watch a lot of materials about these things. This topic is vital to social and environmental justice and I’m gratified to hear this week’s program.

I am still digging up images, etc, for the POI artfolio page, so it’ll be complete in the next week or two.

 

‘La Piña’ and ‘Shop Class’

 

Hey all right, I’m almost done with my two required chairs for this semester in my craft woodworking course! I’m just a couple of hours away from sitting down!! (and, boy are my feet tired…) A little more sanding, some glue and a quick coat or two of finish and La Piña is good to go; a little more sanding and some screws in the seat and back (which will rest much higher on the frame) and Shop Class is done. I took it a little slower than I should have, but that said, there was (IS) a lot to learn about the process and there are always going to be some unexpected tasks so this was a fairly slow process. Next chair–much faster!

I designed La Piña myself and I took the design of Shop Class from Design Your Own Craftwork by K. Barkley and W.E. Brooke, a 1969 book on making your own furniture. Love it! The fabric is commercially printed (right, below) (Spoonflower is a wonderful resource!) from a monotype (left) I made several years ago. I think it’s a perfect upholstery fabric–curtains for the living room, too–and I am gratified to see my art in a form that will be used daily.

 

 

 

have a seat…

Actually, neither of these is quite done, but in the next two weeks, they should be ready for some action. The one on the left, “La Piña,” just needs some more sanding (I’ve been giving it some dimension by carving and sanding “leaves” on the back), some staining and some fastening down. The other chair is also nearly done; staining, some final sanding, leg leveling and then the padded seat and back, which I will cover with fabric commercially printed from an old monotype I did.

stuff i did today

These are the things I worked on today in my woodworking class: Yet another acorn! I finished it by drilling a 5/16ths hole in it, which really seemed like a beauty mark, or a dimple–it really amped up the appeal! Super cute! On the right is a self-portrait; I gave myself 30 minutes to create a piece with just glue (and a little sanding) and here is the result. Me! On the lower left are the main components of “La Piña,” my pineapple-inspired chair. Actually, aside from some sanding and waving stuff around, I did most of the work on the not-shown (and unlikely to be seen much when finished) supporting structure…that’s still on my bench. I was a little disappointed in my accomplishments today, but looking at this, I have to think, not bad.