The Rebel Craft Rumble is happening tonight - it's a big fundraiser for SCRAP. I'm one of only four contestants competing for the chance to go up against last year's Craft Master, Sister Diane. It's quite an honor - and quite a challenge. One of my competitors, Miss Demeanor of Criminal Craft fame, has been talking some trash on Twitter about me . . . in a friendly, may-the-best-crafter-win, get-my-goat kind of a way. (To be fair, so has Sister Diane. And I haven't exactly been a shy flower). So, now I'm just gonna make it official and throw down the glue gun gauntlet right now.
What the heck makes me think I've got what it takes to compete with the top crafters Portland has to offer? Well, besides an incredible amount of hubris . . . perseverance and a willingness to try a lot of crazy stuff until something works.
A few months ago, I was working on an installation for Mad/50 with the theme "The Commons." I struggled with this thing. I was working with the idea of common space, the spaces and places that we share and hold in common. National parks, sidewalks, monuments, and even churches. I started off with this.
I like the trees and the background maps of Mt. Hood. They set the tone for the kind of common space I was looking for . . .
But it just wasn't workin' for me. The two women talking over the fence? Nope . . . too literal. Cheesy. The big church window? I liked the idea of it and set it aside. What the piece needed was heart, soul, some kind of center.
So I tried to make a heart - home is where the heart is, and that's the real common space. I really went for it . . . I went dimensional, used plaster, paint, cord . . . the whole nine yards.
Yeah. It looks like . . . well. Some kind of dead squid thing. From a bad horror movie. Needless to say, it didn't make it into the final version. I kept trying to work with the church window . . . but it was just too big. In frustration, I went in a completely different direction. Circles, connected.
By a slightly less frightening, but still symbolically open, heart.
And here I am with the final piece where it was installed at SE Madison and 50th in Portland. Yup. I kept at it - through the crazy squid heart phase and all the things that didn't work. I kept at it. So look out, Miss Demeanor. It's you and me in the first round, and I am Gonna. Keep. At. It.
And if I'm lucky, I'll make it work! May the best crafter win.