This is a continuation of my last post; the one that got eaten up by tech rules and glitches. I pray I have it resolved. If you are reading this in your email it worked!
If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s post you can do so HERE, or find the title You May Find Yourself in the Recent Articles section at the bottom of the email. (I’ll wait for you to return. We have plenty of time.)
I’ll begin where I left off with this question:
How did you get into Encaustic?
Through books. By taking them apart and putting them back together with wax, my symbolic narrative of how my world began and how I first came to inhabit it was created.
At just about this time in 2009, I signed up for a deconstructing the book workshop at Kala Institute in Berkeley. Being passionate about words, bookmaking, drawing and construction I was looking forward to a day of using my hands and being absorbed in creating. It was also during this time that my mother had her first stroke and I was transitioning back from another trip to Brazil. Change was coming from all directions. A time when all those pillars that keep you supported in life were falling apart.
I arrived at Kala, a studio where I had spent many hours printing the old fashion way with huge presses, inking rollers and acid rooms. I loved the solitary work and the physical manipulation of machines and tools to create an image. For this class we were in another room where the scent of something sweet met me at the door.
The task at hand was to take a book, pull it apart and put it back together again. Simple enough I thought. I sat down at my place at the table and noticed that everyone had the same set up: a griddle with tins of melting wax, a blank notebook, pens, markers and access to fibers, paper, paraphernalia, glitter, etc.
I turned on my iPod and tuned in. For three hours I sat in that chair, listened to music and worked. I cried, I laughed, I wrote. I tore words from my journal, punched holes, threaded pages and held it all together with wax. I had only two colors: red and yellow. I could’ve asked for more; but more was unnecessary. I didn’t need more. I needed to less.
I emptied my soul into that book. The heat from the griddle kept me warm and like the snake charmers in the souk I was captivated.
It’s customary at the end of workshops for all the participants to get together to share their work. Out of the three books I made there was one that stood out and stood up. As I began to delicately turn pages for the group I was startled to read what I had written exactly in the middle of the book. It could not have been clearer.