hot metal love

March 4, 2008

Steel SunflowerI happened across this lovely example of blacksmithing as art (courtesy of Make). The movie is about seven minutes long but it’s a very entertaining seven minutes, especially if you are into shaping hot metal. Now to check eBay for one of those water cutters…


tiny prims

February 23, 2007

Ninmah wearing the new jewelryI’ve been working and playing in Second Life, and wanted to learn more about building with prims (primitives, the basic building block shapes of the virtual world), so I set myself a little project. I wanted to make some jewelry. To that end, I tried to make a gem-shaped prim and shrink it to an appropriate size for a ring, but I ended up with a diamond the size of a teacup: every girl’s dream, maybe, but not exactly wearable. Lucky for me, my co-worker Ravenelle Z. came to the rescue, and sent me a link to this video explaining how to make tiny prims.

Talk about a revelation! There are a dozen little numbers you can play with, and if I had paid more attention in geometry I might have glommed on earlier. In any event, after examining some very well-made prim jewelry, I made my first set. Well, my first wearable set, anyway. Here’s a picture of me in my new gold and pearl jewelry.

The earrings came out very well. The necklace needs a little tweaking — I’m not entirely happy with the chain, and if your avatar is taller than mine (very likely, since my avi’s height mimics my RL height) the necklace will rez invisibly inside your chest. I made a “tall” version, but I need to find out how to attach a necklace so that it automatically finds the avatar’s neck. The earrings work on any height.

What do you think? The birth of a new jewelry line? Do I have that kind of time?

like a religious experience for artists

August 8, 2006

is this video of Robbie Dingo creating a guitar for Suzanne Vega for her upcoming performance in Second Life. Wow.

David at SFMOMA

August 5, 2006

David and I have been exploring art lately — I was casting about for weekend classes to sign him up for, and thought that art lessons would be good, and then realized (duh) I’m a certified teacher in the subject and why shell out bucks so someone else can have the fun? This is why I went into teaching in the first place, lo these many years ago: to share the “aha!” moments with a child I love.

We started with Georgia O’Keeffe and Matisse. We read books about them first (I recommend the Getting to Know series by Mike Venezia), and then we talked about some of their works using my extensive library of art books. That was the point at which I realized exactly where all my money went while I was in college. It really is a nice collection. We went to the grocery store and bought large flowers that interested us — we each picked out one bunch — and then brought them home and drew them close up, like Georgia O’Keeffe. Tomorrow we will be drawing with scissors like Matisse.

This morning David, Craig and I made the trip to the city and visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. They have Femme au Chapeau, which is one of the images from the Venezia book, and I wanted David to see it. It could not have been a more perfect moment had it been scripted. We climbed the stairs and turned to the left on the second floor — you can almost see it right from there, but there were people in the way. We moved over toward it, and when a gap opened he saw it and pointed and squeezed my hand and gasped, “That was painted by Henri Matisse!” Why, yes, yes it was. Imagine finding that here.

We talked about how it looked, and how it was bigger than he thought it would be. I had told him the colors would look different than they did in the book. He wasn’t convinced, but that’s okay. Then we wandered through the galleries, looking at whatever interested him. Fountain stopped him for a moment, but he was perfectly ready to accept it as art. “It’s sculpture, Mom.” Yup.

We spent a few minutes in the Koret Visitor Education Center, watching part of a film that talked about Matisse and Picasso and their models.

I have a personal tradition when I visit a museum of choosing a postcard from the gift shop to remind me of one particular work that I enjoyed on that trip. David made his first postcard choice today. He picked Les Valeurs personnelles by Magritte, which is the painting he spent the most time in front of during our visit. Back in the car, he showed me Femme au Chapeau in his Matisse book. He admitted that his favorite part of the visit was the translucent walkway on the fifth floor. Fine by me: he had a favorite part.

A ticket, a postcard, a map, and a blog post — David at SFMOMA.