Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break Report Card: Progress & Synchronicity

Two very busy weeks with plenty of forward motion. I actually laid out some of my grant money on a deposit for two of Second Seating's chandeliers. That means that their basic structures are now being fabricated and electrified. Those filigreed Clorox bottles that the students made at Houston Community College Southeast just before spring break will have something from which to hang. The chandelier, when done, will be super-size, very white and very 'sparkling'.

The second chandelier-to-be is a series of three intertwined oval shaped hollow metal loops - the wiring will go through the loops and lights will shine upward through the loops, each of which I'll wrap in shiny bias cut strips of fabrics. Then, all of this loopy color will be ornamented with the crystal drops given me by a friend. The chandelier will be very textural and shiny at the same time. I'll probably funk it up with a few more additions. I haven't a clue yet what those additions will be.

Those pieces of metal pipe fittings (what to call them?) from Valero sure are versatile. I have a foot and a half tall piece of pipe with two faucet handles which I've decided works really well as a table candelabra. And the chandeliers and pipe fittings, while key, are the least of what's been happening. What is really exciting is the role that synchronicity is playing in Second Seating.

Last Monday, I visited a scrap metal plant I'd been eyeing for months and after chatting with a manager and measuring the dimensions of their compressed aluminum cans, I asked if I could 'borrow' one of those tons of soda and beer cans to use as a recycled table base. He was OK to my 'borrowing' one for the duration of the show.

Better yet, when I mentioned that I'd have to have Bobby Schlitzberger pick it up because his truck is outfitted with a crane for lifting the granite monuments he makes, the manager said, "That Bobby?" He just happened to go to high school in Texas City (long years ago) with our neighborhood's award winning monument maker (Note: Should a monument be needed after I die, I want Bobby Schlitzberger to make and engrave it.)

The very night after I visited the scrap metal business, there was more synchronicity. A friend and I went to Fiesta Loma Linda for supper and who walked in but Bobby and his wife. I told Bobby I'd just met one of his high school friends and then I told him about Second Seating and asked if he'd help me move a ton of compressed crushed cans. He said yes. What more could be asked? What this means is that I can borrow a compressed ton of crushed soda and beer cans and have it delivered to the installation site. And then returned. Unless Irma falls in love with the table, which she might.

So, it's a truly small interconnected world here in Houston's East End and wonderfully filled with synchronicity. Occurrences like these are terrific messages from the universe that we're on the right track here. Right track? Should I enlist Union Pacific's support?

This past week was spring break and so Catarina and I spent several afternoons stitching the pieces of a really giant patchwork table cloth together. With her art major instincts, she's going to be a terrific help this spring and summer. Already is.

Actually, she stitched and I spent the time placing fabrics together and then pinning them. Catarina and my friend Irina sewed, and then sewed some more. We've a long way to go and I suppose I could do much of this on a sewing machine. It may come to that. But I love the hand stitching with many colors of embroidery floss. Catarina also introduced me to an artist/teacher who can weld and I plan to meet with him to see if we can devise a couple more chandeliers with more of those pieces of Valero pipe fittings. and other things I've scavenged.

One thing that did not happen was Irma's and my planned trip to the valley last weekend. I need to find out if Jose and Ted got together with Jesse to talk about where each is headed with chandeliers and/or tables. Time to check in with them all.

What I did instead of the valley trip was piece together Ike-salvaged fabric for three wall hangings. As I've worked piecing fabrics together for the banquet table cloth over these last two weeks, I found myself holding back 'favorite' swatches to use for vesty garments for myself. I've actually pieced one together on a fleece lining. No sewing on it yet.

I've also thought a lot about fabric wall hangings. Actually, fabric wall hangings have been on my mind for years and I keep hearkening back to a piece by a Dutch artist that we bought in Curacao way early in my marriage. Finally, after so many years of thinking about fabric wall pieces, I've patched together three that will work in tandem with series of plates and platters.

This afternoon I visited Poe Elementary School where my kids went so long ago. Visited the librarian who's a friend of mine. She's collecting coffee mugs for Jesse's coffee mug mosaic table. I expect more will turn up at Poe as she's emailed a request. That's terrific.

After dutifully going to the dry cleaners and the bank, I slipped into The Guild Shop to forage. Always dangerous. I found some very interesting plates, a stove top coffee pot (the first I've run into in months of looking) and a hand plated tray/plate. Even though everything I bought today will go into Second Seating, I still look at The Guild Shop as an addictive sort of place, meaning that I'll spend money. Enough.
Text for the installation is beginning to run through my mind and I must put words on paper. Narratives, snippets of thought, desires, foods remembered. And then there are the East End parakeets that I am hearing more and more about, even reading about on my civic association Yahoo group. We may have to add parakeets to Second Seating as representative of things East End.
Finally, I mailed out two more packets to potential underwriters and am reviewing my entire list of potential donors and supporters to decide when to recall, to whom I'll send updates and whom to approach next. I'm not done fundraising. I've raised about half the funds needed for this project and must begin to round up the remainder, especially if I keep finding vintage plates at The Guild Shop. I'll not go there again until I've stitched all three wall hangings and wound yards and yards of bias strips of fabric around that chandelier base of three oval-shaped loops. And after I've added all the crystal drops. That chandelier is going to be gorgeous.


Sharon said...

I am lovin' all the colors and textures. When my daughter was in college she hung pieces of fabric on the wall because she wanted to see/enjoy them. A couple years later I cut them into good-sized squares and made her a simple wall-hanging impression of sky and water - it was just what she wanted and was the first thing we hung when she moved into her house.

Kate said...

Synchronicity indeed; love it!
I can feel the energy of your creativity jump off the page. So glad you are chronicling this wonderful event.

Mary Hansen said...

Wonderful documentation of the creative process, which is frought with synchronicity.