Sunday, August 28, 2011

Emphasis on ART

Here I am in the window of the Salon Thursday night. The minute I walked into the show a woman who had been waiting for me asked me all the details about how to do it, which gave me the idea to package up some little bags of it for starter kits for people who please me enough. Simple directions are going to need to be posted periodically I suppose as more people catch on to how fun it is.

Put up a Facebook page for Gelatinaceae and spent a whole lot of hours uploading photos and sending invites to be liked. It's a silly process for a product that has not yet shown that the hours spent will pay off in any material way, but the nonmaterial gains are huge. And I got 80 likes the first day, so you know people like Jell-O.

I didn't know I could have this much fun with work at this point. It's revitalizing. I especially love sitting in the sun on the back deck putting Jell-O pieces together.

Someone asked me for a cake decoration and I think I will try some. I will have to keep them cleaner than usual and make sure no danger will be passed on to the cake but that isn't hard. This is of course an already existing and somewhat conventional use for gelatin art, but I can handle that I guess. It would be cool to get commissioned to participate in weddings and other joyous events.

Made a big yellow rose I thought I might award to the Slug Queen but she apparently has been moving so slowly in her eminent sluggishness that she couldn't make it to Market yesterday. I expect she will at some point. I imagine that she is in such a fluff by now that she isn't thinking about much but when she will get to relax and not be the Slug Queen for a minute. Royalty is a pain, I'm guessing.

Writing an essay in which Jell-O Art features as the hope and key to my future. It makes perfect sense to me, but might not be the first time my tendency to magical thinking takes me down a primrose path. At least I am still exercising my sense of humor.

Friday, August 19, 2011

New This Week

Got the big slug finished, put it on some roses that fell off the installation. It is about a foot long, and quite fat.

Made two small orchid headpieces, or fascinators as we have been calling them.

Made one of a slug too, just because.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


No Mayor's Art Show for the Jell-O, finally got the lost email telling me so. I was wondering what was taking them so long.

No matter, The Salon de Refuse (yes, I know they changed the name, but that's like changing the name of What's Happening. Give me a decade or two.)

Refuse! Refuse!

Painted details on all the slugs, so they get more pictures. The big guy doesn't have his habitat yet, I had to make a big slab of green.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Slugs have taken over

More Slugs.

About half are on sticks. The others sit lightly and I thought of fastening them to a rock...didn't seem right.

A plexiglas stand maybe. Or a leaf.

See them Saturday, booth 120 on the west side of the fountain, near 8th. Next to the shakers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What you missed on Tuesday

Slugs on sticks.

Some slime.

Some will be sitting on a piece of lettuce.

These were the first batch. There will be others.

Making the eyestalks was the most fun. I am debating whether or not to paint little details on them, or to just leave it up to the imagination.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Slug Biz

Here's a picture of the big slug piece I gave to Kim, which she says she will make part of her Slug Queen outfit. All the potential Queens, Old Queens, and Exquisitely Old Queens will be very jealous.

She told me some about how she makes the crowns and sashes every year, trying to make them unique and special to each queen. She sometimes gets a notion who will win the contest, being the person who receives the applications, takes the bribes for distribution, and knows the most about what may transpire on stage. If you haven't seen the Slug Queen competition, you must make a point of going. This year it will be on Friday, August 12th, in the early evening on the Saturday Market stage down at 8th and Oak.

I had a wonderful time making the headpiece, and spent the whole week on it. Lots of people have asked me about workshops for Jell-O Art, and I have thought about it, but don't really want to lead one. I spent a few years doing art workshops in the elementary schools (Family and Patterson) and I have no desire to take that up again. But never say never.

I think with planning this could be a fun activity for any age group. If you have a week, you can try the dried Jell-O, but if you don't, just use the wet, harder-than-normal Jell-O. You can pry it out of any mold with your fingers, and there are a million plastic objects to use for molds. You could have a little show, with each person making objects such as animals, flowers, or just sculptures. You could use food coloring to make sure it is nontoxic, or make the real Jell-O brand kind, using less water so it will gel without refrigeration. I've used real molds, ice trays, molds I made from pressing objects into wax, and molds I've made in other ways. You can cut and carve on the Jell-O a little, but it isn't too amenable to most art processes. You'll just have to try it.

You could make a bunch of flower parts ahead of time and let people assemble and make hair ornaments. Hairbands and clips are cheap and you could make little magnets too. You could use chopsticks or pencils for sticks, or make pieces with artifacts inside like buttons, plastic toys, or whatever.

If the stuff gets thrown away at the end, no matter. I put mine outside where the slugs eat it.

It's just fun to play with a new material, and this is probably a lot less expensive than fimo or some other kinds of sculptural material. I've done it with kids and they were pretty receptive if I gave enough structure. I found that because this isn't a well-known artform, most people are somewhat stunned and stopped by not knowing enough to experiment, so I would keep the focus somewhat narrow and not just open the whole thing to every possibility, unless you have older people already experienced with creating things. It's supposed to be fun.

And if things don't work, just remelt and start over.

In other news, the Jell-O wrestling party was a big hit with the attendees, although the Jell-O was thin and not the proper texture. I think they may have miscalculated the volume of the pit. At any rate, it was slimy enough for lots of play and a pleasing pink color. They ended up buying all the gelatin I had on hand, which was about 15 pounds, so I had to order some more. Don't want to run out or anything.

Have fun!