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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
Inside-out city

Following a tipoff from lyonesse, I braved my Boston nemesis, the subtly menacing Powderhouse Rotary, and wandered around the Somerville Open Studios. A hundred artists each set up a "studio" one can poke about in - churches and cafes and apartments, tents in the street, sidewalks, masonic lounges, schools, museums, salons. Like the city was inside-out, with all the dreams and memories colorful on the surface, under crepe-gray skies.

There were lampwork beads - one woman is experimenting with some of the odd seperation-happy moretti ivories, the way they "settle" into delicate strata, arcs and spirals like the inside of a rib, textured with green and blue, not the brown/yellow I remember from human dissections. Dragon bones, maybe. We had fun talking shop. :) Unfortunately, I can't now figure out who this was.

There was an oil painter, Cindy Pluciennik, who broke everything into square planes - the lines of shoulders and hands and bottles on a table, but painted light curling as soft as thistledown across them. And Stephen Michael Levinson was displaying a million pictures of very small things in snow - dead grass, sticks, bird prints - with a clarity rivaled only by Japanese calligraphy. Melissa Rocklin had very precise hammered silver jewelry (more shop talk!), coiled into squarish spirals like aztec writing.

Doreen Conners was knitting (!) 24-gauge copper wire, which I found fascinating. I'm used to working with metal - blacksmithing, machine shop, casting, "knitting" chainmail (which does not use needles or in any way resemble normal knitting) - but I have never seen any metalwork I would desribe as "etheriel" before. It looked like she was making raiment for ghosts, shining airy sleeved things with long tapered edges.

I ran into (surprise, surprise -- no wait, I wasn't surprised at all) sunspiral, who recommended Nicholas Shaplyko's murals. If you are in Boston, I recommend them to you, too. He has taken over the entire inside of an old masonic temple, and painted every flat surface in a style that looks to me like the bastard child of Nicaraguan Primitivist (pastoral themes. REALLY bright colors) and Russian Iconography. Folk stories - Croatian bird-women, dragons, sky-maned horses, gardens, creation scenes, music and dance, sun and galaxies and fish mandalas and ships, archangels and saluting warriors, viking boats and firebirds and world-eggs and lions and bulls and a plow that sings dry land from the sea.

Mural Pictures:

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

if your lampwork-bead person was my lampwork-bead person (in a tent, actually kind of two tents one behind the other?) it was jacalyn crowe (studio #7, 9 pearson ave).

glad you made it! :)

I’m really glad you got to go to that! I haven’t ever made it to SOS. My friend surrealestate was showing her stained glass; did you happen to run into her?

[...] not the brown/yellow I remember from human dissections.
You’ve dissected human cadavers? That’s so awesome! How did you end up doing that? I don’t know anybody who’s done that who wasn’t in med school.

Unfortunately, my dysfunctional sense of direction limited studios I could visit to ones on College Ave and its side streets. I did not see any stained glass. Bah. Maybe I will be able to join someone else tommorrow and see more.

A biology professor I was taking a medical class from once invited the entire class to come witness a dissection. He normally taught anatomy to med students, so he had access to a demo cadaver. Only six students took him up on it. He did all the cutting up, but we got to peer into/poke at things. It was oddly inspiring - I keep finding bits and pieces of the imagery in my dreams.

I will never forget that dignified, wiry, spare professor vigorously hacking through ribs, or the way all his hair stood on end by the time he was done. :)

If you meet pheromone, remember me to her! (mittel)

Have many funs.

A biology professor I was taking a medical class from once invited the entire class to come witness a dissection. He normally taught anatomy to med students, so he had access to a demo cadaver.
That is seriously, seriously cool. I might consider going back to college just for an opportunity like that.

This sounds absolutely fascinating.

I'm trying to imagine what the product of knitting 24-gauge wire would be, but I can't even imagine it in my head.

Thank you for sharing pictures of the mural. :)

I was just at the Weaving Works today with xiadyn and they had some amazingly soft stainless stees yarn made from 15 micron wires. (They also had retroreflective yarn!) Neat stuff, if expensive.

I love the idea of knitted metal... I wonder where i could find steel yarn here.

What does it mean for something to be retroreflective?

I didn't know either, so I looked it up.


Aw, I was gonna mention the stainless steel yarn. :) It was amazingly soft, and rather thin, for yarn.

The yarn that was a mix of stainless steel and silk (I forget the percentages) was also very soft and extremely neat.

We might have to get Xia to make us something out of it.

hey corvi, you should meet my dear old friend aerialscribe, who lives out in your usual neck of the woods and is a circus artist. check out latest comment thread in my silks post and say hi :)


It was nice to meet you last night at Silks practice! I just read your last entry about Boeing Surplus, etc. I love that place, though living on the other coast, i've only managed to get there once. after reading that entry, i immediately added you to my flist. ["hmm. interest in circus-y things and machine tools. Check."] Enjoy the rest of your Boston trip!

Re: Hi!

Thank you. It has been fun so far.

Nice to meet you! (sunspiral introduced us when you were on the way to the murals.) I'm glad you enjoyed them.

I'm really glad you guys pointed them out to me, and it was wonderful to run into friendly faces, especially since my hostess had been called out of town by a family emergency, leaving me alone in a city where I didn't know anybody! Thank you so much.