Thursday, August 29, 2013
Studio as Dentist's Office
I started today's drawings early, sitting on a mat in my studio. The first things I drew were some dental tools that a friend gave me years ago. Nothing is quite as handy as a dental pick or scraper for cleaning out the gear teeth on my press or for scraping rough spots on printing plates. Next I drew a thin plastic glove, the kind my dental hygienist wears, one of a pair that I wear while working with rubber-based inks and paint stripper. Up on a shelf I spied (and drew) a green marble mortar and pestle. I use this one for grinding dry pigments into binders. My dentist uses one for doing something to the material he uses in fillings. I drew a scattering of Q-tips, the best thing for clearing whites on a monotype plate. And finally I drew my large white porcelain mortar and pestle, which I use for reducing the particle size of some pigments.
Having exhausted the dental motif, I turned to the collection of small dolls that nestle inside the large mortar when it's not in use. I've made a dozen or so of these over the past couple of years. The two on the left are definitely influenced by West African and Haitian paquets, but the two on the right are just little stuffed dolls based on figures that I remember from my elementary school days in New Orleans. They're around 6 inches tall and started out as watercolor paintings. I digitized the paintings, then printed them out on tee shirt transfer paper. Next I ironed them onto an old pillowcase; then I cut them out and stuffed them. Maya, my grand daughter, and I have made many weird little doll figures this way. This weekend we're going to make some pillows using this same transfer process and her drawings.