Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our trip to Bread and Puppet Theater

I got to meet Peter Schumann
My husband and I planned our last vacation trip around seeing the Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover, Vermont.  A friend had told me about this puppet troupe a few years back.  Peter Schumann, the founder and director of Bread and Puppet, started the puppet group back in 1963.  He still continues to direct and travel with the theater group.  We had the privilege to be able to visit their Museum that holds massive paper mache puppets from the past 50 years.  It is held in a large Barn on Peter's land in Glover.  I was in heaven looking at all of the creative paper mache puppets.  
As we walked through the magical barn, looking at all of the creativity, we could hear a group of college students rehearsing with Peter.  
We also were able to watch one of their performances that was held in Bellows Falls Opera House.  We saw the play called "Birdcatcher in Hell" which was originally done in 1971.  They even had some of the original cast members from the 1971 play.  

I was thrilled when we sat down in the theater and noticed Peter Schumann sitting right in front of us.  I had to introduce myself and told him about the puppets I had made in the past.  He was very interested and wanted to hear how I constructed them.  That was an honor to meet him in person.

Performers from Birdcatcher in Hell
Some day I would love to go back to Glover and see one of their outdoor plays, which are performed in a huge field on Peter's land OR even better than that would be to participate in their apprenticeship program during the summer.  

To find out more about Bread and Puppet Theater visit:

We believe in puppet theater as a wholesome and powerful language that can touch men and women and children alike, and we hope that our plays are true and are saying what has to be said, and that they add to your enjoyment and enlightment.”

–Peter Schumann

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Summer Project - Cement Sculpture

This is the concrete sculpture that I started on in the Spring of 2013 and continued to work on all summer long.  I still have more mosaicing to do next year, but for now she is covered and hibernating for the winter.  For this blog, I will post photos of the various stages of creating her.  In the upcoming blog, I will explain more about why I wanted to create the Goddess, Artemis as a cement sculpture in our back yard. 

The armature is made out of rebar.  I sculpted the face first out of clay, before adding cement on top.

Artemis with the first layer of cement.  I dipped pieces of window screening into cement.

The dark cement is concrete mixed with polymer, to make it more durable.  The white cement in the picture above is thinset mortar.

Here I am cutting off pieces of rebar with an electric hacksaw.

I used cut stones and smalti to mosaic her face and the rest of her body.  This is more durable for cold weather climates.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Embracing your Golden Shadow

It has been over a month since I got back from Tucson. Much has happened since I returned from my adventure. Now I am dealing with another kind of adventure . . . healing from eyelid surgery. I have to admit, it's not nearly as fun as Tucson! I knew when I got back from my trip, I would have to have this skin cancer taken off from my lower right eyelid. I just didn't know that they would end up taking 75% of my lower lid. I had been dealing with irritation in that eye for the last two years and I could see a white area inside of my lid. The eye doctor thought it was a clogged pore. I kept putting warm compresses on it and using eye bright. However, it kept bothering me. Finally, the eye doctor recommended I see an eyelid specialist. I ended up finding out that it was basal cell carcinoma two days before I left for Tucson.

After having 75% of my eyelid removed, I went to the eyelid specialist the next day for a repair. He took skin from behind my ear and did a skin graft on my lower eyelid. In order for the skin graft to take hold and live, it needs a blood supply. So, they take a flap of skin from the inside of my upper eyelid and pull it down to the skin graft. (I know, I wasn't too thrilled with the idea of this either) Then they sew the upper flap to the skin graft. This means that they have to sew your eye shut so that it can heal fully. I have had my eye sewn shut now since March 17th. I will get it re-opened on the 19th of April! I can't wait. I only have over a week now.

I have been exploring this whole theme of having my eye closed. I found out that in Greek mythology, the right eye represents the sun. The left eye, which I can only use now, represents the moon. This makes a lot of sense to me, as I have been going within a lot more since I had the surgery. Only having the ability to see out of one eye, makes you rely more on your other senses and your intuition to do things. I have been a lot slower at doing things. It is even difficult for me to do my art, as it tires the one working eye and my depth of perception is way off. The moon also represents the hidden side of yourself that you don't always acknowledge. Some people call this your shadow side.

I had to ask myself, "What am I not seeing in my life?" I was asking myself this question when I was in Tucson, as I knew I had skin cancer at that time. I kept thinking that it must be something bad that I wasn't seeing about myself. (We all assume the worst about ourselves.) Little did I realize, until some time passed, that I wasn't seeing the good in myself. Having my show on display at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, helped me to see how gifted I was. People kept telling me how creative and talented I was. I was getting positive feedback about my art, which helped me to really see myself in a different light. I was touching people's lives in positive ways. I knew then that I needed to embrace my gifts and my golden aspects. This made me realize that we do have "golden shadows" as well. Our shadow side isn't always dark, more often than not, it is your beauty and light that you are holding back.

So, I have been able to complete two shadow boxes since I have had my surgery. Both of them deal with this new way of seeing myself. They also deal with listening to my own intuition and trusting my inner knowledge. It has been very healing for me to create these pieces while I am patiently waiting for the opening of my eye!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A much bettter day!

Today was a nice leisurley day. I decided to take my time and to stop at as many rest areas and tourist info centers as we wanted. This really broke up the day. I still made it to Lincoln, IL tonight, so now I only have 300 miles to go tomorrow. Then I will be home! Also, tonight we found Kickapoo Creek Park. It had a lot of land with many many trails. We went on a couple of longer trails and Moon Shadow loved it. She ran a lot and seemed thrilled with the leaves and grass.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Tiring Day

I started early this morning in the dark, hoping to make as many miles as possible. I wanted to make it at least to Joplin and maybe even farther. It ended up being a very long and tiring drive. There was construction going through Tulsa and the toll roads took up time as well. Oklahoma does not have any rest areas. They only have "picnic areas" that do not have bathrooms. This means that I stopped at McDonalds along the way. Each time you got off the toll road, you had to show them your receipt and get a refund at the exit and then pay as you got back on the turnpike. Talk about a pain! Then I had to make stops for Moon Shadow that were separate from my stops. Overall, I ended up making 530 miles. I was pretty much ready to stop driving an hour before Joplin, but the area that the hotels were located at were not very good. They were basically a gas station and a hotel next to a field and dirt roads. So, I pushed on and made it to Carthage, MO. I still have about 700 miles to go. At least Missouri and Illinois have rest areas!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Las Cruces to Vega, Texas

I made it to Vega, Texas today. It was about a 400 mile drive. I drove on US 54, which goes through the valley of many different mountains. It was very scenic. I had a hard time finding places to stop, as the towns were very small and far between. They didn't have much in the way of parks, etc. I think Moon Shadow is feeling confined in the car, as she sits up and looks at me like "when are we going to stop?" She doesn't sleep at all when we are driving. I know she will be happy when we finally get back to our home where things are familar and where she can go to all of the parks she ever wanted to.

Also, today I had to go through another border patrol inspection. Brent and I went through one coming from Tubac, AZ. Some times they just set them up on the highway. The one I went through today was a permanent one. Yesterday I saw 4 border patrol trucks that pulled over a car on the side of the highway.

I am posting some of the images from yesterday's blog of the crows flying into the wind. I heard this morning on local news that there were actually gusts of 50 mph yesterday. It definately felt that way!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Blustery Goodbye

I headed for home today after dropping Brent off at the airport. I left in the pouring rain. Little did I know I was going to be in for sleet, snow, then rain, then 40 mph winds! As I drove through Texas Canyon (in Arizona), the elevation increased and the temperature dropped from 48 degrees to 32 degrees. Then came the sleet and snow. It also was real foggy and mysterious driving past these huge boulders covered in snow. As I drove out of the snow, I stopped at a rest area. When I got out of the car, I couldn't believe the wind. I didn't feel it in the car, as it was blowing directly behind me. I found out later on there were gusts of 40 mph. With the wind, came the dark dramatic skies and the tumble weeds blowing across the highway. I never had such an entertaining drive! I decided to stop in Las Cruces, NM. When I took Moon Shadow for a walk at their State Park, there were crows flying everywhere. They would perch on the side of this dirt mound that ran along the road and then almost jump into the air to glide in the wind. After a while they would come back down to rest and then do it all over again. They looked like they were having such a good time.