Works well under pressure…

Truth be told, deadlines are my friend. I am focused, organized, and have been doing this long enough to expect roadblocks, detours, and the myriad of things life throws at you when you are planning something else.

Like a fractured shoulder the end of December.

Like another flood in my sewing room last week.

My shoulder is progressing. Chris, my PT, is confident that I will gain back most of my rotation, and he doggedly pursues a course of action that is helping slowly but surely. He knows what he is doing, that is pretty obvious, and I trust the professional. I’m about 75% there, but that obviously doesn’t stop me. I’m always a woman on a mission, and figuring out how to meet deadlines in spite of what the universe throws at me, is my specialty.

Tuesday morning I had the plumber in, because once again, I took water in the basement sewing room. It was a bad storm, on top of an already ridiculous water table in NJ, much of the town flooded, but I should not have taken water under the wall in the corner where the sump pump lives. Turns out the hose of the dehumidifier was laying on the float, probably causing it to work improperly. You can’t make this crap up. So plumber installed a completely new sump pump, because why not, I don’t want to take a chance with a unit that is probably 25 years old, now that NJ is slowly sinking into the Atlantic, and the dehumidifier hose is properly mounted so it doesn’t interfere. Meanwhile, scrubbing the concrete floors and mats with heavy duty cleaner, on my hands and knees with a fractured shoulder that is still healing wasn’t my idea of a fun and entertaining couple of days…

But I persevered…

And was hugely rewarded. I will be honest and say I’m so freakin’ proud of myself, in spite of the tears these last couple of months. I had a deadline and I had to meet it. Three years ago I was asked to be an invited artist at the Convergence Fashion Show in 2020 in Knoxville, TN. I of course agreed, and started thinking about what I would send. We all know the curve ball Covid threw into the works, not only was the conference postponed for two years, but I retired from teaching on the road, and spent those two years developing content for my YouTube channel, The Weaver Sews. I’m not planning to be at the conference.

And so, back in January with one arm in a sling, I looked at the loom with the narrowest warp, which happened to have two shuttles, and I wove slowly, 6 inches a day, with one hand. Just clearing that 4 yard warp was a feat that I still marvel that I accomplished. I had no idea what I was going to do with a 9″ wide 8/2 tencel warp, about 3 1/2 yards long, but then I saw this piece from Urban Outfitters. I have not been able to find the piece on their website.) It was part of an article on sustainability with fashion designers, trying to use what they have. (Shacket is the term for shirt/jacket, apparently)

The shacket is not my taste, but it inspired me to do this.

My jacket is constructed almost entirely by hand and is completely reversible. The most challenging part was finding a reversible separating zipper. Though the piece doesn’t fit with my regular body of work, the response to everyone who has seen photos of it has been really wonderful, Jennifer Moore, whose workshop I wove the double weave fabric in, was really hoping to see it at Convergence.

The pattern for the jacket is from my pattern collection, a combination of the #800 vest and the armholes and sleeves from the #1700 tunic.

Meanwhile, if you have been reading my past posts over the last couple of months, you know I’ve managed to design, set up, and weave off yardage, hand dyed yarns, mixed structures on 12 shafts, inspired by a puzzle we were fixing. All with a fractured shoulder. I was able to get this walking vest out of the fabric I had, and I’m so freakin’ thrilled with this.

I used scraps of a caviar leather I had to make epaulettes, since there was no way I could match the shoulders, and there is leather piping down the front and armhole bands. I finished up the handwork yesterday. The pattern is from my collection, the #600 Walking Vest. It has pockets!

And because this fabric, woven a couple of years ago, kept calling me from the shelf, (it sat on the shelf for the last couple of years because I couldn’t think of what to make with it) asking me to make a dress. For the runway. Something that celebrated the stripes. Bias… I listen carefully to my materials.

I’m not certain how the dress will ultimately perform, it fits like a dream, being bias and all, but how will it hold up on exhibit in a fashion show? Normally I would have the dress folded on the shelf. I’m still up in the air whether I should send it. But I love the look of the dress, the way it chevrons on the side. The yarns are a combination of a bunch of stuff that was on my shelf, including a hand dyed warp from Blazing Shuttles, that’s the aqua tones large stripe. Again, a combination of structures, plain weave, twills, and some supplementals. And it has pockets! I modified my #900 bias top pattern.

So I’m sitting back and smiling at myself and all of my hardwork these last couple of months, mentally, physically, and all because of a postponed deadline from two years ago. I am my happiest when I meet a personal challenge head on and win. And I won this one.

Stay tuned…

Slow and Steady…

I’d like to think I’m a patient person. I suppose it depends on what or whom I’m required to be patient with…

I’ve undertaken a couple of major projects in the studios, which completely thrill me, yet create stress, and challenges, and a couple of probably unrealistic deadlines. That’s my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I work best under unrealistic deadlines. Except when my body doesn’t want to cooperate…

Though my fractured shoulder is improving, little bits at a time, I’m impatient. I’ll admit it. I carry on with great fanfare, but secretly cry a little bit each time I am held back from what I want/need/have to do.

The Rainbow Double Weave Jennifer Moore Workshop sampler turned into a completely reversible jacket is nearing completion. This wasn’t so physically challenging, I just had to sit for hours hand sewing. And I mean hours. About 90% of it is sewn by hand. Including the entire interior. All that remains is the collar, and I hope to get that finished up this week. At least get it mounted on the jacket and ready for handwork.

I am just so in love with this jacket; it is how I imagined it in my head. I combined my 800 vest, with added seam allowances on the front, with the armhole and drop shoulder sleeve from the 1700 tunic, patterns from the Daryl Lancaster pattern collection. There are two layers of wool suiting to create the garment, basted together, with windows cut out, where the double weave cloth fits between the layers, and both layers are then sewn to the double weave cloth in reverse appliqu√©. Once the individual sections are completed, the outer garment layer is sewn together by machine, and the entire inner layer is sewn by hand at all the seams and hems. There are days I think I’m absolutely brilliant, and there are days where… I’ll leave it up to your imagination ūüôā

The fabric inspired by the Magic Puzzle Company Busy Bistro Puzzle I fixed with my daughter, has proven one of my most difficult physical challenges. I use a heavy end feed shuttle, which is tough enough on my poor fractured shoulder, but the loom I’m weaving on, new to me, is a monster. 12 shafts and 54″ wide. The beater alone could kill you! Yet it is gorgeous and comfortable in the hand. Assuming the hand isn’t attached to a fractured shoulder. The most difficult part though, is lifting the shafts. Most picks required lifting 6 of the 12 shafts, and each shaft had 225 inserted eye heddles, which I didn’t remove because there was room on the sides to store them, and I spent so much time putting them on to begin with! Trying as hard as I could, I just couldn’t consistently lift 6 shafts and get a consistently clean shed every time. I’m past my mid-60’s and my joints just can’t lift what I could in my 20’s.

I’d lay awake at night, with my fractured shoulder aching, especially when bad weather approaches, and think, how am I going to weave this… If you ever watched the Queen’s Gambit, a Netflix series, you might remember how the main character, I’ve forgotten her name, could see chess moves happening across the ceiling. That’s the way I sometimes think, I can see the mechanics behind a draft, and how things need to move up or down to create what I want. And what I wanted was a clean shed opening. When that happens in any other situation, I revert to using two feet to help lift, break apart the tie-up, and figure out a logical treadling sequence that will get me what I want with a lot less physical effort. I watched the ceiling in the dark and saw how I could do it. I flew out of bed in the morning and went to the software and reconfigured the tie up and crossed my fingers. (An apology to my non-weaving readers, this all makes no sense, just know it worked.)

The original tie-up and treadling
Revised tie-up and treadling using two feet.

It was miraculous, and magical and I just wove like the wind, or maybe a slight breeze because I’m still dealing with a fractured shoulder. I use to be able to weave like the wind. Maybe someday soon. But I’ve got a deadline now, and I’m frantically trying to pace myself to get what I need to get done before April 15th. That’s the deadline to submit the five garments I’m planning to exhibit at the Convergence Fashion Show this summer, sponsored by the Handweavers Guild of America, in Knoxville, TN, as an invited artist. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to send, but I want more choices than I have, from what I’ve made in the last two years, and I’d love for this puzzle inspired fabric to be one of them.

So given my arm limitations, I’ve just resigned myself to only empty one pirn a day, with 2/12 wool, which is about what my shoulder can handle. Still, that’s about 15″ and that adds up. I looked at my warp beam, and was shocked to see the I’m on the last round of paper. This was a seven yard warp. I’m almost there…

What really surprised me, is I’ve had no tension issues at all so far, which I completely expected given the dozens of different yarns I’m combining together in a dozen different structures. It will be interesting to see what happens when the fabric is off the loom and washed…

On a completely different note, spring is here, though we are supposed to get one last frost tonight through Tuesday, but in celebration of my late husband’s 71st birthday last Tuesday, my daughter and I went to the garden center and bought a couple flats of cold weather greens, and some pansies. We got everything planted, started the spring clean up in the yard, which means bags of animal excrement, because, well, if you have dogs, you know what spring means…

The garden center was just a riot of color…

And last Tuesday I was interviewed for the Handweavers Guild of America series Textiles and Tea, which I adore; The Textiles and Tea interviews are the highlight of my week. They are live interviews, over zoom, but also simulcast over Facebook, and of course recorded. You don’t need a Facebook account to watch, it is a public site. The recording will eventually be posted on the Handweavers Guild of America YouTube channel, (it might take a couple of months) but for now, if you missed the interview, you can watch it here. Kathi’s questions were thoughtful, and fun to answer. Apparently there were 600 people watching in the webinar, and another couple hundred watching the live Facebook feed, which they said was a record. I don’t know, I just had fun answering the questions. Everything for me has a story, which is why I still have something to say after almost 14 years of blogging. I know few people blog anymore, and far fewer people read the blog than did a half dozen years ago, but that isn’t why I write it. I used to journal, but it is more fun to type what I’m thinking and be able to add cool pictures, and then be able to go back and search for what I want, because blogs have that built in feature. And it is there forever, or as long as I pay for the hosting fees…

So dear readers, spring is upon us, and that means outdoor stuff, and I have a lovely garden with ponds and fish and places to sit and weave, all coming to life, and I’ll have a garden full of salad fixin’s, and I think, each spring, that this season I’m going to spend my time outdoors and do fiber-y things, and by fall I realize that none of that happened. It is an amusing cycle, but still, I am determined each spring and we will see how the year progresses… Deadlines await…

My Convergence To-Do List…

I’m nothing if not organized. ¬†Compulsively organized. ¬†Obsessively organized. ¬†I took a daytimer, the old fashion kind you write in, and I plotted out everything that needs to get done before Convergence, crossed off days where I wouldn’t be in the studio, and carefully filled in the remaining days so I had a feel of the time crunch ahead of me. ¬†It all fit in nicely, and I did a little exhale. ¬†And then the universe laughed at me. ¬†I know well that nothing goes as planned.

First thing up on my list, which I started Tuesday afternoon, was to finish the Rest in Peace¬†Diptych. ¬†The story here, is I created one of my woven postcards, a Diptych, and entered Small Expressions. ¬†The piece wasn’t accepted. ¬†So I decided to send it to the faculty exhibit for Convergence. ¬†No problem there. ¬†Except I entered an exhibit in Massachusetts on a whim, and of course, it got in, and the timing is too close to ensure it will be back from one exhibit, to turn around and ship to the other since I’ll be leaving more than a week ahead for Convergence. ¬†(For a mini vacation with my husband, can you believe it?)

The exhibit committee, graciously agreed that I could send a replacement piece to them, actually the same piece in a much larger scale. As long as it matched the photo of the original piece. ¬†Which meant I had to weave it. ¬†One of the panels had been finished last year, but I needed to do the second one. ¬†That’s the piece I wove last month when I ran out of warp. ¬†I squeaked it out, splicing in 900 ends. ¬†So all I had to do was mount the two pieces, right?

I budgeted a day for this effort, maybe a day and a half. ¬†Silly me. ¬†I spent an entire afternoon at the art supply store, just trying to figure out how to mount the two panels, so they would look like the original. ¬†The original piece was 6″ x 10″. ¬†I mounted the woven fabric by wrapping it around stiff interfacing and used the spine of a spiral notebook for the bridge in between the piece. ¬†The replacement work is nearly four times that size, roughly 24″ x 38″.

I bought all kinds of stuff, and came home and plowed in head first. ¬†After careful measurements, the pair of 18″ x 24″ canvases I purchased were actually one inch too wide. ¬†So I consulted my tech guy, who happens to be in the country for a brief week or two before heading back to Saudi Arabia (I hear this will be a year long back and forth commute, and I’m trying hard not to think about that). ¬†He came in an with a few swipes of a utility knife, he sliced off the offending inch, and now my canvas backboard is 18″ x 23″.

I wrapped the canvas board in two layers of craft fleece, and lashed it on the back side in both directions so it was really drum tight. I covered the lashing with two layers of fleece, and stitched that all the way around. ¬†Then I decided that I’d like that side to be face up. ¬†It was slightly more rounded.

I wrapped the entire panel in grey silk, and carefully pinned that together. ¬†Then I stitched the grey silk all the way around. ¬†I laid the woven panel on top of the grey base, and turned under the edges until everything measured perfectly and pinned. ¬†I wisely decided not to stitch the panel permanently at this point, until I mounted the second panel. ¬†So I started the process all over again for the remaining panel. ¬†Now I’m seriously into day two of this project. ¬†And it isn’t looking good for finishing any time soon.

I got to the part where I started to pin the second panel to the second grey silk covered backboard and I did a big fat groan. ¬†Bet you heard it all the way to Canada. ¬†See, when I printed the second ¬†8 1/2″ x 16″ silk strip to create the image, at the very top of the strip was a little plop of yellow ink jet ink, right at the top edge, in the sky over the twin towers. ¬†There were only two choices, to reprint the strip, but that would mean replacing the cartridges, which I didn’t have, and then it would more than likely not match the first half of the image, or make the whole image a half inch shorter. ¬†I chose option B.

No matter now I stretched and shrunk, and manipulated the second panel, (which was actually the original panel, woven in full last year), there was nothing to be done but take out two rows of the design. ¬†Because you know, fabric only stretches and shrinks and can be manipulated when you don’t want it to…

So I pulled out two silk strips, and then carefully pulled out the tie down threads at the top of the panel. ¬†Each thread had to be pulled through to the back and tied off. ¬†Now I’m seriously into day 3. ¬†I’m groaning because my to do list is already off by a couple of days and I don’t know where to put all the things that were on the list that haven’t gotten finished. ¬†Or started for that matter.

But the good news is now the panels are exactly the same size and the second panel (which is really the first, is anyone still following this whole escapade?) perfectly fits the back board.

I stitched the panels onto the grey silk back boards, all the way around with invisible stitches. ¬†Then I had to invent some kind of spine in the middle. ¬†On the original piece, the spine represented a child’s copybook or a photo album, and alternately represented the barbed wire that wrapped the perimeter of the roof of the World Trade Center. ¬†You can see it if you look carefully in the photo of my two kids on top of the World Trade Center Tower, which we took two weeks before September 11. ¬†I remember at the time looking at the barbed wire and asking about it and being told that it was there so the public wouldn’t climb past the railing and do something like try to jump. ¬†And I thought about all those people jumping off the towers two weeks later and I remembered the barbed wire…

I found the perfect spiral wire in a sketch book at the art supply store. ¬†I could only find it twelve inches long, but I figured I could splice two end on end and come up with the 24″ length I needed. ¬†And turns out there was enough spring in the wire binding that it could be squished to 23″. ¬†I carefully removed 100 sheets from two sketch books to get the binding wires. ¬†Then I had to figure out how to stitch them onto the two panels. ¬†With a series of long straight needles and a curved one and some strategically place T-pins, I managed to lash the wire spine to the two panels. ¬†Now all I have to do is mount some kind of hanging device on the back, take a formal photo of the piece, label the back, and figure out how to invent an additional two days over the next couple of weeks to accomplish everything I didn’t do while I was working on mounting this diptych… ¬†No sweat…

Re-Entry…

I’m home now, having safely returned from Monterey, VA, where, in spite of actually being paid to teach, I had a wonderful restful, restorative week with two women whom I adore. ¬†Both creative spirits, felters, not weavers, but both interested in using their skills to create art clothing, and it was a pleasure to work with both of them.

The flight home was a bit frustrating, though I’ve had much worse experiences, I was anxious to get home, since I hadn’t seen my husband in almost a month. ¬†We were to fly in 10 minutes apart. ¬†Sadly it wasn’t meant to be, he made it in, and then a line of severe thunderstorms moved in, over the mid-Atlantic region, and our plane had to turn around and land back in Richmond. ¬†We waited out the storm, and finally got clearance to return to Newark, where I battled lines and angry New Yorkers, and traffic, and delays, and I exhaled slowly and remembered that this is home and I really do love to live in the metropolitan NY area. ¬†Mostly…

I took some lovely photos, and I hope to refer back to this blog periodically to remind myself of this lovely get-away, in this lovely mountain town, in lovely western Virginia. ¬†Did I mention it was lovely? ¬†From the sunrise in the morning, tea on the porch before walking into town for Evelyn’s egg, bacon and cheese croissant, across the street from the studio.

There were dinner parties in the evening, Lisa’s friends joined us or invited us to dinner, each night I got to share in some of the wonderful stories of small town life. ¬†They write books on this kind of stuff. ¬†Everyone was so gentle, so friendly, so helpful, and I feel like I have a new family there. ¬†We visited Deborah in her home further up the mountain, isolated, and full of the sounds of the tree frogs, and the birds. ¬†She cooked us an excellent meal, including fresh garden pea croistini, and cold avocado soup. ¬†I wanted to live on her porch. ¬†The view was incredible. ¬†(And then the rational part of me took over and all I could think was, who cuts that lawn?)

Gisela and Lisa worked hard, we all did, Gisela created patterns for simple garments, we did two and three muslins before we got them right, fine tuning the fit, so she can use the basic shapes as templates for her lovely nuno felt.

Lisa got a bit sidetracked on one of her muslins, and dug out some felt scraps, and veered off onto an adventure that netted this amazing vest. ¬†She worked furiously to finish it so she could wear it to the final dinner party at Deborah’s.

We talked at great length about turning this into an annual retreat. ¬†There was a lot of interest from the local residents of the town, in joining the class, there were quilters, and those interested in making garments, and we are looking at dates in May of 2011. ¬†Once a decision is made, I’ll post the dates in my schedule on my website, and consider joining us on this retreat next year, for a Wearable Extravaganza. ¬†We will more than likely be limiting the class to 8, and Lisa has an entire house available for lodging, which from what I understand will be included in the cost of the retreat. ¬†There is so much to see and do in the area, I wished I’d had a few extra days to play tourist. ¬†As it turned out, I settled for lunch time wanderings in the local craft shops and galleries. ¬†Of course I did my best to support the local economy. ¬†And Hap’s Sweet Potato Fries are the best!

I’m still unpacking, but I managed to get through the stack of mail. ¬†One media mail package intrigued me, I didn’t recognize the return address. ¬†I did one of those, “Gee, wonder what I ordered?”

I couldn’t believe it when I pulled out of the envelope three Award Certificates. ¬†My Frosted Florals Dress took first place at the Fiber Celebration 2010 exhibit sponsored by the Northern Colorado Weavers Guild, held in the Tointon Gallery for the Visual Arts,¬†Greeley, CO . There were some photos of the exhibit posted on the internet, though I didn’t see my dress in any of the photos. ¬†There was a monetary award with the first place certificate, and then to my incredible surprise, there was another certificate under it, for second place (with another monetary award) in the functional division for my Celebration Bag. ¬†I’m really thrilled to get this award, since I had entered that bag in the Convergence Tampa Bay Functional exhibit and it wasn’t accepted. ¬†And so it goes…

The final award of the three turned out to be the Halcyon Yarns Award, no mention of the criteria, but with it came a book on Collapse Weave by Anne Field, creating three-dimensional cloth. ¬†I already have the book on my shelf, but I’m sure one of my guilds could use it in their library, or I’ll start a library collection for my daughter… ¬†Maybe this is a sign from the universe that I have to actually open the book and experiment with the structures…

So now, I have mapped out a strategy for preparing for two very intensive workshops, one at the Newark Museum, a fiber boot camp, no experience necessary, just four days of all kinds of fiber techniques, great for fiber artist¬†wannabes, and of course, the¬†unwieldy¬†Convergence, where I’ll be entertaining more than 230 students in six seminars and a day long workshop. ¬†I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little overwhelmed… ¬†So the next couple of weeks, interspersed with some family events and getaways, will be all about printing, prep, packing, and preparing for both of these events. ¬†Oh, and there is my Weavezine column to write… ¬†But first, a trip to Jerry’s Art supply in search of a 24″ spiral bound notebook so I can use the spiral ring in my Rest in Peace faculty piece… ¬†Stay tuned…

Blogging is not publishing…

Or so the word came down from the mountain last night, as I finished up my blog post.¬† I’m guessing Julie Powell (of Julie and Julia fame) would probably disagree, look where her blog got her, and of course TLo, with thousands of followers, probably the best source for who is wearing what in the fashion world, a fashion icon in and of itself, I’m going to guess they would probably disagree that blogging is not publishing.¬† It all doesn’t matter really, as long as the answer is, for the purposes of HGA and entries into their Convergence exhibits, “Blogging is NOT considered published by anyone’s standards.”

So there you have it.¬† Thanks to those who emailed me about this subject, and thanks Cally for starting the conversation.¬† I have so loved following the whole design process, especially in bloggers like Tien, from the initial idea, “I’m going to weave my wedding gown…” to the final days of hems and appliqued lace, and beaded trim.¬† It would be so great to see a garment you’ve been following like that in a Convergence exhibit, so I’m glad to hear that blogging doesn’t count as publishing as far as the HGA is concerned.

That said, I woke up this morning, and rethought how I finished the piece I pulled off the loom yesterday.¬† First, the piece is titled, Rest in Peace.¬† It is a diptych, for those who haven’t studied a lot of medieval art (like my poor husband who said last night in the pizza restaurant, “What’s a diptych?”) here is the definition courtesy of Answers.com.

diptych n. A work consisting of two painted or carved panels that are hinged together. An ancient writing tablet having two leaves hinged together.

Having looked at my share of ancient art, diptychs and triptychs have always fascinated me, two or more images that tell a story of sorts, where the images together tell a more powerful tale than each alone.¬† With that said, I had two images that I thought, needed to be “hinged” together, and so I wove them side by side in my inlay technique I’ve used for much of my two dimensional artwork over the last two years.

RestInPeaceHere is the shot I showed yesterday of the two images before I cut them off the loom and separated them into two.¬† The image on the right, is of my two children on top of the World Trade Center, in August of 2001, two weeks before 9/11.¬† We decided on the spur of the moment, to take a couple of days at the end of the summer, 2001, to take the kids into Manhattan, we live so close we never think of it as a vacation destination.¬† The view from the Top of the World was breathtaking.¬† And I noticed that all around the perimeter of the tower, behind the fence they were leaning on, was barbed wire, coiled high, to prevent the ultimate suicide I guess.¬† Little did they figure two weeks later…

The photo on the left was a shot either my husband or I took of the towers, graphic, like monuments rising to the sky, like tombstones in a graveyard.¬† (We both shot lots of images that day, and are both claiming rights to this one…)

I created little postcard packets from each of the images, like I’ve done with others in my Personal Post Series.¬† And then I went in search of a way to hinge the two together, like a book, like a diptych.¬† My first attempt didn’t work at all, I took apart a small notebook, but the spine wasn’t a continuous spiral, and it was too big and cumbersome.

Diptych_RestInPeaceMy second attempt, shown here, was to hand sew jump rings between the two halves of the diptych.¬† The rings were small, and problematic, without soldering them together, they kept slipping out of the thread connections that held them in place.¬† I didn’t want to have to take a trip to a store to look for round rings that weren’t split.¬† So this is where I left off last night.

This morning I woke up with a brain storm, I keep a stash of office supplies in the guest room cabinet, and I rooted through to see what notebook spines I could find that could work here, like a spiral tube.¬† I found the perfect spine in an old notebook of my son’s.¬† (He would start a notebook, three pages into it, he’d lose it, so I have a lot of almost knew notebooks from his school days, with only two or three pages written on…)¬† How poetic.¬† So I cut off all the jump rings and replaced them with this continuous black ringed spiral which so much more resembles barbed wire.¬† Or a kid’s copybook…

I called the piece “Rest In Peace”, it tells the story of two buildings that were brought down in a horrific way, and I paired it with an image of my children standing on top of those buildings, the day the towers fell is the day my children’s childhood ended.¬† Life would never be what it was for them before 9/11.Rest_In_Peace_DiptychDetail They now live in a world where people are willing to die to make a point, where orange alerts, and bag searches just to Rest_in_PeaceFinalgo visit an art museum are all very ordinary.¬† They now live in a world where we are at war, in places they had yet to study on a map in elementary school.

My son is in boot camp, as I write, training to fire an M-16, to become a soldier.¬† (On a brighter note, I got another letter from him today!¬† Woo Hoo!)¬† So this piece is pretty powerful to me.¬† I don’t expect a juror looking through hundreds of images on a computer screen to get all that from my drab little piece, but I’m really happy with it.¬† Here are the final shots, with the barbed wire/copybook hinge.