August 28, 2012

What's New in the Studio

        On Sunday Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman rained on my parade.  Who could have known back in the spring when I signed up to show at the Farmers Market on August 26 that August 26 would be declared Aly Raisman Day and everyone in town would be at the rally and parade in her honor instead of at the Farmers Market?  Oh well,
there's always an excuse for why sales aren't as good as I'd like - it might be the weather, it might be the economy, it might be the local Olympic gold-medalist…  But still, I made some sales, and we had a gorgeous day to be sitting outdoors under the shade of a tent, and I got some carving done.
        The book I'm sort of working on right now (though it's hard to get much writing done with kids home) is about a magical book of doors.  I've got a scheme to illustrate it lavishly with all the magical doors through which the characters go, and that means I've got plenty of work cut out for me!  The first few doors will be adaptations of doors that appear in Sebastiano Serlio's book which gave me the idea for this whole thing, but others will be original.  It's the first of these that I carved on Sunday and finished up on Monday.
        When you think about it, there's always something magical about even the most ordinary doors, portals through which you cross borders from one place to another.  On Sunday one of the people who stopped to look at my work and chat told me that she'd read an article about some study of how the brain treats doorways.  She said when you go through a door your brain takes it as a cue to pack up all the thoughts and memories that belong to the first space, and start fresh for the new space -- which is why it's so easy to forget what you came for when you go into another room to fetch something.  I don't know any details about this study, of course, having heard it reported at third or fourth hand, I suppose, but I do know that doors have the potential for much magic.
        But sometimes a door isn't a portal until you have the key.  That's why I also recently made a print of the key which, in my story, is required to turn the pages of the Extraordinary Book into actual doorways.  I experimented with black ink on white paper, gold ink on white paper, and gold ink on black paper, just for fun.  But I guess it's no surprise that I think I like black on white best!

[Pictures: The Summer Door, rubber block print by AEGN, 2012;
Key, rubber block print by AEGN, 2012.]

1 comment:

  1. Although I never lived in a house with a screen door like this it looks and feels very familiar. I've rummaged through visual memories to find it -- perhaps a great aunt's house? It's the perfect evocation of long, lazy summer days in small town USA a century or more ago. I can hear the slam of the screen door in my memory. Nostalgia for a reality that may or may not have ever been. Thanks for this image!

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