January is here! Here in Girdwood we welcomed it with a little gathering of friends which evolved into a joyful romp around town, each of us clad in homemade party hats and outlandish, costume-y dresses, in pursuit of watching fireworks. Sadly, I do not have any snapshots from the night as they would be amusing. With a little imagination perhaps one could envision our party of 8 in pointy, painted, paper hats with winter coats over-top princess-like dresses for the girls and regular pants for the boys, rubber boots and ice cleats were worn all around, as was the passing of a bottle of New Years champagne; the group gazes ever upward and cheers with every explosion of colorful light but is quiet at the grand finale of a hundred paper lanterns slowly taking flight. A fun night indeed.
This week that has followed has flown by, as often happens, but not without some accomplishments on the artistic front. My idea for a selkie like wearable form has come to completion and I am rather happy with her. For it I used a piece of fossilized mammoth ivory that was given to me by a native ivory carver when I first moved here. I think the resulting piece has a native quality itself, which seems only fitting. The material was different to work with than pre-ban elephant ivory, vegetable ivory or bone; it felt almost gummy under the file and carved very smoothly with my chisels and knife. For a finish I just used high grit sandpaper and whatever oils escaped my hands. The colors in the ivory are so pretty I was afraid to mar them. To make her wearable I boiled seine mending twine in beeswax and spliced a loop through her arms and made a sliding loop with a fisherman's knot through her flippers. I like the green with the hews in the ivory, its a quiet combination. She was a little tricky to photograph but take a look, I would be happy to receive feedback!
A periodic glimpse into the artist's surroundings, processes and resulting handy works.