Friday, July 19, 2013

"Simple Blessings"

12"x20", flour paste resist, digital silk transfer, embroidery, machine stitching, tissue, momigami paper, and copper wire.

This is the third and last of sacred cloths. What binds them together is a palm border and similar size. This composition gave me fits as well as the strong yellow of the momigami paper (party napkin). The two handled pitcher is Canaanite and the clay bowl has Hebrew letters inscribed...both ancient.

There are over a hundred daily blessings and this one of blessing hand washing is so simple and perfect to me. I've sat at large holiday tables and the pitcher & basin have been passed, giving each guest a chance to make ready for the holiday. At some tables the pitcher has been fine silver, porcelain and others clear's the humble ritual , the coming together, the agreement to begin that I have always found so warming and rich.

In my own mountain of memories, I recall being called in for dinner with clear instructions to wash my hands first. In order to help, my father would take on the job with a warm wash cloth. I can still remember my hands in his big hands and after the wash up he might pull out his pocket knife and trim my nails. All this in preparation for a very ordinary dinner meal. My sons were a challenge in the washing up area and I do remember LAVA soap as one way I could get their little hands cleaned. I see young mothers in restaurants using squeeze bottles of hand sanitizer on their children's hands before beginning a meal...we are a people in a hurry but I guess it gets the job done. In my quiet life I prefer a big bar of soap and rinsing my hands while reciting the blessing...a way of setting myself right in a simple way.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Storehouse Counting

12"x21",silkscreen border palms, embroidery and machine stitching, digital prints, gelatin prints, momigami paper, metallic mottled paper and metallic paint, wire, cotton, satin cloth.

This is the second in my sacred cloth series of three. I never thought I'd place so many images but I was trying to show volume in real and ghost images. The jug reminds me of a feminine fertile shape and my research takes me to the ancient storehouses. Once people settle and discontinue desert wandering there is a need for storehouses. Olive oil, wine, vinegar and fish sauce to name a few would be accounted for and held in cool walled spaces. The ancient fish sauce referred to as Garum, was a condiment used on a variety of dishes. Recipes from Greece, Rome and Spain tell of a combination of fatty fish as sardines, fermentation and an addition of herbs. A remnant of this sauce was tested and it seems this fish sauce was high in protein, amino acids, minerals and Vitamin B. Please pass the Garum!! I added markings as inventory or accounting marks of all these valuable containers. The metallic papers used in the border were a gift from friend Deena years ago...never knowing when they would ever be used.
Personally this storehouse reminds me of mine (shed) where I keep stuff., some valuable and some not so much. Boxes of family memories, an accounting of sorts, citizenship papers, passports, birth, death and marriage certificates. One box is full of photos. First generation Americans, Norwegian, Russian, Polish...mostly with stern faces, formal suits, hats and shoes. I know some of the faces but others could be cousins, uncles, friends...who are these people? I'm at the end of my generation and the next will have no connection to these ends with me!

I had a wonderful visit with my son...the weather was perfect and we had great dinners at the harbor sitting outside watching playful otters and the coming and going of boats, good food and spectacular sunsets. Tuesday  we had a 10 hour blackout which resulted in computer problems and today is my first day back online...very painful indeed! So I'm back well rested and working on my third sacred cloth and enjoying this July!