These days I am blogging way over here. I know you will love my sparkling wit and enormous beauty. Well, enormous something.

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On Friday the 13th my Paper Mache Masks will be a part of a special Artist’s Presentation at UVM in the Continuing Education Building. Please show up and watch me give a fascinating PowerPoint presentation, and perhaps make a fool of myself. There will be only good luck on this particular Friday the 13th!

Details are below. See you there!

Everyone is Welcome!

Artist Presentation

… University of Vermont
Continuing Education
322 South Prospect Street
April 13, 2012

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Women’s Festival of Crafts Wrap-Up

Humouresque Arts Craft Fair booth

My Vendor space

It was exhausting!  At least, I was exhausted when I got home from the show last night.  It ended at 5pm and then the Oaf and I quickly packed up and broke it down.  It did not take long at all.  The car was filled to the top with my craft show stuff, so I had to walk home on my poor sore feets.

My neighbors were wonderful.  I was at the end of a hall and there were four of five other tables along the hallway.

Ingrid of Night Owl Pottery

Ingrid and Night Owl Pottery

I had a great time chatting with my neighbor, Ingrid, of Night Owl Pottery.  She had a lot of very unique pottery that looks like birch wood. On Saturday, she lent me one of her clip lights to banish some of the shadows of my corner.

Next her was a weaver, Debra of Fire and Fiber.  Her husband is a potter and the “Fire” part of the business, but since it is a women’s craft fair, he was not there.  Nonetheless, Debra was very friendly and upbeat and brought round chocolates just at the right point in the afternoon each day.

Jennifer of Love-Lee Crafts

Jennifer of Love-Lee Crafts

The next booth was shared by two ladies, Jennifer and Paris.  Jennifer of Love-Lee Craftsmakes these Kokeshi dolls of polymer clay on a wooden peg base.  They were unusual and  whimsical.

Kokeshi Witch

Kokeshi Witch

I, of course, loved the witch complete with the cauldron and broom.

Paris folding a paper wallet

Paris folding a paper walle

Paris of Sea of Possibilities had a few different things on offer, but the thing that drew my eye especially were these folded origami wallets.  She coats a square of fabric with a product called Stiffy, no joke, and lets it dry.  It comes out like a sheet of stiff paper which won’t fray and can be folded and creased nicely.

There were a couple of other tables in the hall, but I did not get a chance to chat with the vendors or take pictures.

As far as sales went, I had too few to make the show worth it.  But on the other hand I have no regrets, which is my policy anyway.  I enjoyed the experience, on of my beloved masks sold, and I gained some feedback and experience.

It’s hard to tell what would have made the show better as far as sales go.  There are three floors of vendors, and the second floor is the main floor. It is the way most people enter City Hall and there is a large auditorium where the bulk of vendors display their wares.  Customers and visitors start there, and may make their way upstairs or downstairs.  But by the time the get to the end of the line–which was my booth–they are burnt out, over stimulated, out of money, or some combination thereof.  So perhaps being on the main floor would have made all the difference.  I will also see what kind of exposure I get as a result of being there.

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Women’s Festival of Crafts

Every year a wonderful craft show takes place at City Hall in Burlington, Vermont.  It is The Women’s Festival of Crafts.  It is quite an event and fills all three floors of the building.  And this year me and my masks–as well as a few other paper mache items–are included.

Blue Autumn Mask

Autumn Mask

My booth is on the third floor at the end of the hall (just in case you are looking for me).  At first I was whiney about it because I thought it must be the worst spot in the place.  But a woman who had a booth in the basement last year assured me that no, the worst place is in the basement.  I was the first one in our area to make a sale yesterday morning too.  A small owl ornament.  The one on the top left, to be precise.

Paper Mache Bird and Owl Ornaments

Birds and Owls

I also sold one of my newer masks; Whirling Mind.  A delightful older lady named Sally bought it.  She had large square shaped glasses and she tried it on over and under the glasses.  It gave me the idea to maybe try and make some masks to fit over eye glasses.  She asked how I would do that.  I would find a pair of old frames and place them on the sculpt, cover the whole affair with plastic (I use Press n Seal) and start pasting.  I was so pleased and thrilled that one of the masks sold.

Whirling Mind Mask

Whirling Mind Mask

A few weeks ago, I chance upon a paper Mache artist named Gemma Taccogna from California.  She was active in the 60’s and 70’s and is no longer with us, but her work is amazing and I became instantly enamored of, and inspired by it.  The result of all that is these Chalices.  I wasn’t sure what they should be called although I had a clear vision of how they should look.  Just last weekend a friend of mine came over for breakfast and I showed her what was brewing in the studio and she called them chalices.  So poetic!

paper mache chalices with faces


There are some other things which I will babble on about in more detail in the future.  The second day of the craft show is today and I have some things to attend to before I head over to City Hall.  However, I will leave you with a few more images to delight in.  Things are not up on my Etsy shop yet—the ETA for that is Monday or Tuesday—but if you are interested in something specific, leave a comment and I will try to save it out for you.

Orange Lady Chalice

Orange Lady Chalice

Red Lady Chalice

Red Lady Chalice

Paper Mache Mirror with Red Octopus


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Stoplight Gallery, Week 2

The Winooksi Pop Up Art District opened last Friday and it was a great success.  There were masses of people, the governor showed up and art sold.  I did not sell anything that night but one of my gallery mates sold several small pieces.  Other pieces in other galleries sold.

Blue and Red Coyote mask

Sold to a new home

I have 9 masks showing and one has sold; Coyote.  I am pleased because it sold, and doubly pleased because one of the volunteers at the event bought.  I haven’t met him, but I gave him a small discount.

One of my old co-workers came to the opening and was really drawn to the mask I call “Emergent.”  I think it’s a great one and I thought for sure it would be among the first to go.

Mask, EmergentIt’s definately an artsy one, but I really like it too.  I had been alternating between layers of black and white newspaper and layers of more colorful pages to keep myself organized.  When the last layer of the colored paper dried, it looked so interesting that I decided to keep it that way.

I trimmed the edges, sealed it, and named it Emergent.  Actually, the Oaf came up with that name because it looked like it was emerging from a sea of newspaper.  Which is exactly what is going on with these things!

There was a lot of interest in Dragon as well and I’m surprised Coyote went before it did.  That one is acutally wearable, mostly.

Dragon Mask

One of the things I realized is that my masks are not necessarily wearable.  I will make them wearable on commission, but coming out of the studio, they are generally too small or too odd to wear.  They are, well, art.  I have a few masks on the walls at home and they are made to be hung as well, not worn.

Well, there are several more weeks of this gallery so if you are in the Burlington, Vermont area, check it–and the other galleries–out.  There is a lot of amazing stuff to be seen and bought!  Some great talent and skill is represented; some brand new artists like myself and some old hands like Leslie Fry and Robert Waldo Brunelle, jr.

On Sundays there is a farmers market and sidewalk craft sale.  Great fun!

That’s all for today!  More later.

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Stop at the Stoplight Gallery

Winooski Pop up Gallery District

Okay, that’s a bad title, but the project is really cool. In the next town over, as they say, there was a flurry of new building about five years ago. Five years later, and most of those spaces are still empty. The reasons for this are myriad, I’m sure, and probably more complex than my not-so-humble opinion on the matter could hope to illuminate. However, for a period of about six weeks this summer, the spaces will be filled with the Winooski Pop-up Gallery District.

The District is on a roundabout and if you are stopped at the stop light and look over to the right you will see the Stoplight Gallery featuring, among other things, some papier mache masks and sculptures of mine. It is very exciting and I am really enjoying the process for the most part so far.

Measuring the Stoplight Gallery

Lots of potential

The space is large and has a lot of potential, though not much else. Still, it is something. It’s a lot really. I have a really nice spot right in the window. There are eight artists in the Stoplight Gallery, and 50 or so in the whole thing. Some of us went in yesterday to measure the area and hammer out some details. We were there over two hours. I was meetinged out, that’s for sure. And then I realized just how much work I have to do before the opening. A lot.

One of the fine Stoplight Gallery artists.

I took on a few of the organizing duties for some reason. Those things always take up a lot more time than you anticipate. Probably because of the speed of computers and all. And I will have to spend some quality time in the studio if I want to have a decent number of pieces to show.

Dragon Mask

Newest mask. Dragon.

To close, above is one of the pieces I will be showing in the fabulous Stoplight Gallery, if I can figure out a clever way to exhibit it.

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Owls and Coyotes

I have a couple of new masks, and I love them.  The first is an interpretation of a Trickster story.  In some Indigenous American lore, the trickster comes in the form of the coyote, and in African lore there is a story about how the trickster god starts a fight between two farmers by walking down a road between their fields in a hat that is red on one side and blue on the other.

This mask combines the two stories so that Coyote wears the red and the blue. It is a pretty sturdy mask and can be worn or hung up on the wall.

Blue and Red Coyote mask

Then there is Flower Face, or Blodeuwedd of Welsh myth.  That double ‘d’ at the end is a ‘th’ sound, as in ‘there.’

She was the beautiful wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, made for him out of flowers.  But when she became a fully human woman, she wanted to make her own choices which got her into some trouble.  She was turned into an owl as a result, still a beautiful creature.

I made this mask to capture the point between her human face and her owl face.  It, too, can be worn on the face and is pretty sturdy.

That’s all for now.  See you on the Etsy side!

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