The concept of the Audience of One has always fascinated me and said Audience is not necessarily always also the Muse. In brief, the concept pertains to circumstances when – if an artist’s work is seen by only a specific, intended viewer the artist can be content. (There’s a bit of that notion in this post’s title).
There was a time when I could reliably be expected to spend most of my day in thought, listening to good music, and engaging in rampantly philosophical discussions with one of my dearest friends – Randy Reitz. We both still do all of those things but for the past 15 years there has been 1,100 miles between.
This past week (with a few extra days added for good measure), he and I picked up about where we left off, and without much lost momentum.
He hasn’t been able to take the whole week off so I’ve been working on a new batch of Pandora’s Pets, which we debated might be called the “Worry Warts” batch. (The first set are called “Millstones”.)
Randy and I have always had an interest in the arts; all of them. I think it’s fair to say it took him longer to find his own. It’s also true that, once discovered, his art enjoyed a wider audience than did mine. Until recently, it rather surprised me when anyone but Randy took an interest in my creations. We have both, I believe, always tried to encourage each other but making art must come from the artist – regardless of how much encouragement there may ever be.
While making sculpture in his home, I realized that I tend to “hmmm” while in the process. The unconscious comes very near the surface as these tiny little demi-demons are summoned. The process is almost meditative, maybe. It isn’t only a metaphoric exorcism. Earlier today, between stages of making today’s Pets, I realized that my fingernails and fingertips are no longer stained from having been a smoker. When out “finding oneself”, no matter how often one needs a reminder, ask the folk who know who you have wanted to be.
I’ll be offering Pandora’s Pets for sale via ebay and etsy very soon. There will be a post about that once a few more details have been taken care of.
Let me introduce you to Telixaus Brood. It is a member of my newest creation – Pandora’s Pets, which debuted at TempleCon this past weekend. Each of these small spirits is designed to help with a specific worry so their host can focus on a decision. They do not wear their own emotion but rather that with which they hope to alleviate.
The sell starting at $15, plus shipping costs, when applicable. And apparently, they eat more than just your cares.
The TempleCon organizers presented their 10th event – fittingly themed “Crossroads” – and the second that I’ve attended. The staff and volunteers certainly count among the best organized and supportive of their respective brood. From pre-registration to loading out, every member of the TempleCon crew with whom I interacted was clearly dedicated to making an enjoyable event. They are helpful and professional in each detail and at every turn. One asked me what brought me to TempleCon and I answered (for 2014) that I have traveled nearly every geek avenue they showcase as part of their programming, from goth to steampunk to historical fiction to gaming – though not necessarily in that order.
And my involvement with TempleCon this year – my first as a presenter and vendor – was due entirely to introductions and encouragements made by Leanna Renee Hieber. Among the wide range of scheduled attractions was a reading by Ms. Hieber of her first hardcover novel, The Eterna Files, which officially releases tomorrow. Our collaborative writing has not yet been published but Pandora’s Pets do represent one intersection of our creative approaches. The Pets and I are truly all gratitude for her work and support.
Tomorrow (February 10) is the last day to order a signed personalized copy from WORD.
The great spirits of unworldly artist Kelley Hensing, exemplary sutler Major Salisbury, and itinerant lecturer Mark Donnelly further enhanced the excursion.
Thank you, Lauren, for permission to use your photograph.
While in preparation for making Millstones (aka Pandora’s Pets), I knew I’d have to get some polymer clay and extra tools. Before a trip to the store(s), however, I went to explore the attic.
I’ve spent more time there during the past six months or so than I had in some while. The attic is a study in non-Euclidean storage and sorting; recent trips revealed a few sculpting tools in random places. Once I’d begun a diligent search for what I might need I found more than what I’d thought I might have to buy.
Cards from an art supplies shop had been given during the Christmas Holiday season, though, so I would have to go “buy” some. The almost-forgotten reserve in the attic meant the new selections could be of things I did not have. I got two sets of metal tools that will probably replace the plastic set – once I’ve had time to experiment with the new batch.
A Millstone, I should say, is part of an imaginary environment. Each one is be about half the volume of a baseball. They an easily sit in the palm. I see Millstones as a collage of positive emotion and good intention, built from a state of near-serenity, with the intent to help people find all of those ingredients. (And for those who might think that sounds a bit hokey, I’m told the Millstones are adorably cute.)
It has always been true that when I am sculpting I smile the entire time. Making any sculpture is one of two sources of a completely at ease and pleased state. As a former scientist, I cannot claim that art made in such a state carries energy to the eventual owner. As a very, if oddly, spiritual man – I can hope. And do.
For a very long time – perhaps since the late-‘70’s/early-‘80’s – I’ve mused about small creatures in the background of most stories I imagine. They didn’t always have relevance to a plotline. By the late-‘90’s, they were still poking around my imagination, holding little processions and carrying tiny flags. They made frequent, vignette appearances in an online, shared fiction community I ran at the time.
More recently, I discovered a sketch I’d done of a small band of them. I don’t remember branding them as “Minions” but that was the word at the top of the page. The art and notes were from about 2003. Obviously, I couldn’t sculpt and sell Minions; Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment might have something to say about that (even though mine look nothing like what they’re calling by that name).
The sculpting started last week and I do intend to sell them at conventions and via certain online shops. They will be called Millstones and/or Pandora’s Pets. I’m thinking of them as standing in proxy for what ever worry a presumed customer may have in mind during the purchase. I don’t recommend them as an actual worry stone. One of these Millstones is part totem and part ward.
When I do sell a Millstone, I imagine the customer selecting a name for the “critter” at the moment of sale.
What’s seen below is a picture of three works-in-progress. Later Millstones will be of two distinct types – Lesser and Greater. The second type will be larger and more elaborate. They’re made of polymer clay and not-entirely-random findings from the attic.
The next step for these three is refinement and detail. Then I’ll have to determine a fair price.