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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


Today is my sister-in-law's birthday (and she must be terribly tired of my joke about its being so much better the day after Apr 15 rather than the day before, or of...) She's collected the blue french beaded flowers I've been giving her into a vase, and today's post documents 2 more for the bouquet.



Hi everybody, happy April 15. In the USA, my total sympathies if you're racing to turn in your taxes! (One benefit of being a corp is that I have to turn mine in by Mar 15, and since my accountant does the 1120s and 1040s together, I no longer have this last minute stress. But I have memories of racing to the post office after 11pm)

Yesterday I not only posted a really old necklace, but also a really old intro (and, um, the point of the intros is to be topical...whoopsie!) but I can tie it to current events, really! (Sorry about all the bangs, too— spring has sprung, we have sunshine, two inches of snow predicted and it has this uplifting annoying effect on my writing.) See, the thing is, even though it's been years, Ana Mardoll is still doing her careful deconstructions of Twilight; indeed Fred is still doing Left Behind.



Still doing spring-cleaning! So the post below I wrote, um, 6 years ago...and the page it links to is of a necklace I started before I knew how to make glass beads (meaning, um, at least six teen years ago...) and photographed at least 8 years ago. But hey, it's a cool necklace, and I'm delighted to finally show it. Plus, I checked out the relevant links, and they all still appear to be live, goodie:)

Needing a low-stress (re) introduction to my torch after (finally!) getting my kiln reprogrammed, complete with two new boro schedules, I decided to make some crisp florals in autumny colors (it is still fall, even if there's been ice and snow on the ground for the last fortnight and more). I even tried a new cane, opaque lemon yellow striped with candy apple (i.e. dark) red and cased in transparent red (which mostly failed to strike, sigh...)



When I was a wee baby artist just starting out on the art fair circuit, I used to take my own jury slides to save money. I was crappy at it; so then I took a class on studio photography. If I hadn't learnt it already, I was there exposed (heh) to the idea of professional film and processing; it was there I learned transparencies (slides) had greater dynamic range than prints, just as monitors today have greater dynamic range than do prints, though not, of course, as much as the human eye.

Professional film, and, more importantly professional processing give truer colors. (So do matching film to lights—I used a special kind of lamps that were adjusted to 3400 kelvin, as opposed to daylight film, which is balanced for 5000 degrees kelvin—the blue-white light of a noonday sun.) Even so, if you look at old magazine ads (say from the 60s or earlier), the colors look weird—people were sort of brownish and washed out: fuchsia and purples and the like just weren't available then, any more than those pigments were to artists painting in Vermeer's time.



Right now I'm reading The Girls of Atomic City, which tracks the adventures of several women who worked at Oak Ridge, a place that did not exist; they were part of the 80,000 odd people who enriched plutonium for the atom bombs that would eventually be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were the base of the pyramid, the fresh-out-of-school, the country folk, the young, who were attracted by high wages and opportunity.

The book is interesting on several levels. One woman is a college educated chemist—whose degree is in statistics because she wasn't allowed to take her degree in chemistry. As a bench chemist for the project she realizes this is what she wants to do, work in a lab. She still faces coworkers who say to her face that women shouldn't be chemists.



Today's boingboing linkie is Neil Gaiman reading Blueberry Girl, illustrated by one his favorite artists, Charles Vess (whose work I like very much). The poem, evidently written for Tori Amos’ daughter (and I like Tori Amos’ work too;), is delightful. Yeah, I'm wanting out of the ‘Debbie Downer’ mode.

Speaking of blue, today we have a bluebird of happiness...


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