Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jell-O Art Still Fascinates

I continue to give out my photo cards featuring the dried gelatin mask I made in 2011, which looks gorgeous on the black background, and send people to this link, so I had better post now and then. I am currently not making any Jell-O Art, concentrating on my retail work with the upcoming Holiday Market in mind. That starts in November, after many weeks yet on the Park Blocks wishing for summer to come back. We will be outdoors through November 16, them moving to the Fairgrounds, indoors the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

I doubt I'll be retailing Jell-O Art again, though it was fun, as it was mainly a distraction from those types of work that actually sell well, like hats and tote bags. Even though I am happiest manipulating gelatin, and able to express my true soul through that open-ended medium, I'm not retired yet and still need to make money with my time. Traditionally I spend the months of the offseason after Christmas concentrating on the Jell-O Art world culminating in the annual Jell-O Art Show around April Fools Day. I hope that will be the case this year too. It will be the 26th Annual show.

I did successfully outfit the wedding party, and photos here show the Bride and Groom's Jell-O, and the decorated hat I wore. Lots of my family and friends wore the giant flowers on their heads or hats, and to me the Jell-O really made the wedding decorations, blending terrifically with the steampunky theme of the costumes. Kat and John did a wonderful job with all of the outfits, Kat sewing much of what people wore, including her fab dress. She's a keeper.

I abandoned the heron project outlined in my post from May. Lots of things changed between then and the wedding in July at the Oregon Country Fair. Perhaps I will make the heron for this year's show. I did make some lovely pieces of gray-blue feathery thin gelatin.

I discovered that one of my main practices, using glass plates and dishes to dry the gelatin, causes damage to the glass if you let the gelatin dry so long that it gets stuck and rigid. Little flakes and chunks of glass can break off. I bought new pie plates to use for edible things, and will no longer use the same dishes for eating and Jell-O Art. I hope my practices didn't cause problems for people. Be careful with glass, and with molten gelatin, which has burned me many times. You really don't want to spill liquid gelatin.

In other art news, the Eugene Saturday Market presents the Holiday Market Art Bag Project, which consists of 46 tote bags decorated by 46 artists (or more) to be given away on the first weekend of HM. The ones turned in so far are wonderfully individual in the styles of the artists and to us insiders they are recognizable and so desirable. I am having a lot of trouble deciding how to decorate mine. I've considered and rejected sewing some of my silk or cotton prints to the bag, even putting a hand-painted silk scarf on the bag, and I don't really want to hand-paint a tote bag. I am primarily a screenprinter, and I can do amazing things with a screenprinted bag, so I just have to draw something, make the screens, and get it done.

I have a list of ideas but settling on one is really tough. My neighbor has a gorgeous persimmon tree that is just beginning to turn the shades of oranges and yellows that are so glorious, but I have the peaches design which is quite similar, so I want to do something different. I like to draw plants from life, but the nature window is rapidly closing with all this rain and cold we are having. I need to choose something and get going. I'm leaning toward a vintage photo of the farmers' market, or something featuring giant fruits on a wagon, like the old postcards, but then again, it would be simpler to draw some blueberries or something. I will think of something soon!

So art is happening, just not much of it in the form of gelatin, though I still have a five-pound bag of it sitting in my kitchen waiting to be measured and melted. I am not tempted to fasten some of it to the tote bag, though. Sometimes it is just not possible to fully integrate everything into the same life. Unless...