such a sadness…

be the love...


another act of incredible violence has occurred in the city adjoining ours. many lost their lives and many others directly affected not to mention the town as a whole. how will they ever recover from this? please send love.

last night as i walked the dog late with the full moon high in the sky i wondered…and today still wondering after i also heard that this tragedy was the worst mass killing in the history of Orange County-second only to one that occurred in July of 1976 in Fullerton where a gunman walked into the CSUF campus library, shot 9 people killing 7 of them.
i lived and worked in Fullerton that year- i was 18 and waiting to head off to UCD at the end of the summer, taking classes at FCC and working at a porcelain studio with several ceramics majors from CSUF. it was a day where sorrow hung heavy in the air. we all breathed of it. like today in Seal Beach and into Long Beach, Huntington Beach and further i imagine. i had almost forgotten that day until today when that feeling overwhelmed me and triggered that memory.

wondering, i googled July 1976 and looked at the full moon calendar for that month- July 11, 1976 2:08pm. the CSUF library shooting occurred on July 12, 1976. both events clearly occurring within the 24 hour period of the full moon.

wondering further…i found this.

but i still do wonder. World Mental Health Awareness Day was this past Monday.

on profit motive -rehash

i thought i’d repost this post– seems timely. i saw it this morning on the WP list of top views from today. not sure what was sending folks there since this is from a little over two years ago. after re-reading the comments here again one thing stands out from kim’s comment. i’ve never shied away or had guilt from making a “profit” from what i do. if there wasn’t a “profit” in it for me then i simply couldn’t do it. profit has become a word with many negative connotations.
after all, it’s just an income. like a job (yes, a REAL job). it’s not like i work on wall street or for any big corporation controlling the lives of others through money and power. i just create.

ha!
the power of shibori. imagine.

what i did like about the post was the balance. and the reminder that wendy is still up there creating hope and healing and that every now and then i can participate in that hope and balance in this world is some small way. the power of shibori indeed!

and sadly, the little blue indigo doll still has not turned up…
maybe i can make a new one by the end of the year.

every now and then it’s good to look back and remember where i was in this adventure. after all, that’s really why i started this blog in the first place-to keep track.
now that i am rounding the 1/2 million views and 5 year mark here with hundreds of subscribers and daily views, it’s good to go back and critique some of it from this vantage point. i think i will.

oh, and an interesting picture. every post should have one…

how many cocoons does it take?

packing up for a show

one of my least favorite things to do for a show is packing things up and getting things out the door to a show. what to take? will i need this? how heavy is this- will it cost a lot to ship? what have i forgotten? do i REALLY need this?

too many decisions!

but i always seem to get it done. i don’t always remember everything though and i leave my workspace looking like a train wreck. i really don’t like that. not to mention waiting for things to come back from the show and having to put it all away in an organized manner.

but here i am again and as i was going through things for my classes, my booth etc. i came across a large bin of pins. i used to make these as both buttons and pins (they are tack pins) and they were very popular. people still ask me for them at shows but it doesn’t work for me to bring them when what i do now is so very different. too much explaining.

they are sweet, make a nice little gift, are porcelain and hand painted. i am going to make an effort to fill two needs with one deed and make them pay for my shipping expenses to houston so have put them in the bigcartel shop at a sweet price! they are there in sets of 8 in various collections. i will include an extra two of my choice with every set. as far as i can tell, it will cost me 20 sets to get my boxes shipped off to houston (and that is just one way!) i also have some of these if you are interested- they are a bit more and i don’t have time to photograph them…email me if you are interested and i’ll figure something out…

picture buttons cabochons

meanwhile, the silkworms are munching away…

holding the moon

holding the moon-Seikai Kunii

i thought this to be a good image for today- just 5 days from the next full moon. this calligraphy is by Seikai Kunii. i actually thought he was more well known but after googling him i could really not come up with anything. i have a book of his works that i purchased from him at a gallery show in LA many years ago. he was born in 1916 i believe. the kanji for moon is 月 (つき) read- tsuki and also read as getsu, the word for month.
my old friend Woody introduced us to Kunii’s work when i was a ceramics student and also studying japanese language, calligraphy and art history. Kunii’s statement for this calligraphy reads:

“I attempted to find it in the phrase the pathos of things in this world from the viewpoint of Buddhism.”

i’m sure it suffers a bit from translation but several things struck me when by *chance* i happened to open this book today.
in Japanese, the phrase mono no aware or the pathos of things embraces the Buddhist notion of impermanence.

and on this day, as the world says farewell to Steve Jobs and gives thanks for all he created and the vision he shared with the world, i dedicate this post to him in gratitude. i also found this quote from The Tale of the Heike Clan as translated by McCullough (1988):

“The sound of the Gion shôja bells echoes the impermanence of all things; the color of the sôla flowers reveals the truth that the prosperous must decline. The proud do not endure, they are like a dream on a spring night; the mighty fall at last, they are as dust before the wind.”

of service

being of service

with all the stories in the news these days about people in need, corporate excesses, dysfunctional government, abuse of power, and more- i am reminded each time i serve “the tiny masters” how important it is for those who have the power (ie money,control, and mulberry leaves) to have compassion and make sure that the gap is not too wide.

each time i clear the frass from the trays of caterpillars there are those who, for whatever reasons have not made it to the top of the pile and need a little extra help to continue on. that might mean i move them by hand, give them a little more time, and save the tenderest leaf tips for them. sometimes, no matter what i do a few don’t make it but in the end i know i made the effort. and in the very end, most will spin a cocoon.

each time i raise a batch of silkworms, i realize how dependent they are on me to collect fresh leaves each day for them, to keep their trays cleared of frass and worm poop, to keep them at the correct temperature and humidity. their very lives depend on all of it. and if i succeed, they will spin large lovely cocoons in return for my efforts.

time for a little reflection…

i have been recently studying Utagawa Hiroshige‘s ukiyo-e and really enjoying his work. the moon appears in many of them and i was inspired to do a few
small (7×14 ish) indigo pieces. kind of a continuing on of the moon pieces i’ve been doing. along with transparency, i think reflections will figure into some of the upcoming pieces. we can use a little more of both as far as i can tell.

reflections on an indigo moon

i’ve really been enjoying this.

silkworm samba

the silkworm cats are really starting to grow now. i started with 500 regular eggs and 200 reverse (striped). the reverse should spin golden cocoons which will be interesting. in the end though, it doesn’t matter the color of the cocoon as the color is in the sericin which is ultimately removed when silk is processed.

reverse cats at 2 weeks


a neighborhood tree generously gives its leaves to feed the tiny masters.


i can’t wait to hear Noriko Furukawa’s lecture in houston- it’s all about silk in your life. here is something you can do with silk cocoons.