lumpy crossing

Over the winter, I finally made another sculpture.  I call her “lumpy crossing.”  She’s full of spray foam insulation, which I added during a severe cold snap that left people nervously watching the gauges on their propane and oil tanks.  Adding the foam was a very slow process: if you add it all at once, it blorps out all over the floor.

The name comes from a story about the name of a place in the Northern of Ireland, Corrymeela:

Corrymeela is often translated from the original Irish as “Hill of Harmony” or “Hill of Sweetness.”  But there is another and more probable translation.  The name comes from a neighbouring townland, Corrymellagh, in the parish of Culfeightrin.  Culfeightrin means in Irish “The Corner of the Stranger.”  Corrymellagh means “The Lumpy Crossing Place.”

Perhaps the latter etymology is more apt for us: a place where differing groups, strangers to each other, are offered the opportunity to cross over into another space.  And the crossing is “lumpy,” not easy, full of pitfalls.

What can I say about this last year?  Not much.  Except, maybe, that it has been a lumpy crossing.

Kali has her day

(Actually, I think it is Kali’s year)

Here’s what the Kali canvas looks like after February 3rd’s open studio:

Somebody wrote on it in Arabic!  He wouldn’t tell me what it meant.  If you know, would you please tell me?

A small girl insisted on drawing a winged unicorn (with help from her mom):

And then she drew a cat:

Later in the evening, a friend told me about a cat who stole green beans whenever she cooked them.  And I told her about a cat who loved potato chips.

2016 in photos from my phone

Someone I know posted an album of photos from their phone on Facebook to sum up the year.  Since I don’t seem to have much to say lately, and I hate Facebook, I thought I’d do that here.  So here are some things that happened last year:

I finished cleaning out the attic.


The morning light in my studio is really dramatic.


Sculpture output this year: 1


I drew a lot of bugs.


I helped a friend build a labyrinth.


This little guy and his or her sibling hatched and fledged on my porch while I was waiting for the contractors to reinstall the screens.


I took some of my girls out to get them professionally photographed.


I made a bunch of plaster casts of other people, and started working on making sculptures from those.


I didn’t just draw bugs.  I photographed them too.


I went for a lot of walks. This photo is heavily filtered, which is the only way to convey how magical my neighbors’ pasture looked that morning.


I made a lot of beaded leaves for a sculpture I’m still working on.


My poor cat had to have major dental surgery. It was rough.


She recovered well, though, and now she makes this face when she wants something. She never used to sneer like that when she had teeth.


By late October, the labyrinth looked like this:


And Hannah found this peace sign in one of the chunks of sumac that mark the perimeter:


Seen in a public restroom in Manchester, NH:


On Thanksgiving, the labyrinth looked like this:


Just before my last open studio, I drew this picture of Kali and hung it up in the studio. I hoped people would write on it.


Nobody wrote on Kali, though, because they were too busy getting orange makeup smeared on their faces and putting on a Trump wig and getting photographed by my friend Julie (an advanced Inner Beauty Treatment that she calls “the trumpover.”)


That’s okay.  Kali will still be there next time.


another piece of the puzzle

This morning I stumbled across an interesting talk about the trauma of working for organizations like the NSA or the CIA, or any of their contractors.

It’s not hard to imagine how the effects of that stress might ripple through a family, or indeed a whole world. We’re all pretty much soaking in it.

“I’m illuminating the shaky basis for what we might think are essential transactions in a functional society.”

Richard Thieme



It’s been about a year since I came down with shingles, and my body is celebrating the anniversary by having its first cold sore ever. Of course. Fortunately (and unlike with shingles), it didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on. And I got some of that cream that people put on cold sores, and it’s working.

Other than that, there’s not much to say. There’s a lot going on, but it’s mostly below the surface. I think it’s good to tell our stories. I also think it’s good to know when a story isn’t fully-cooked and ready to be served. Now is a listening time for me, a time of bone-deep change that I can’t understand yet (much less examine in public).



I’m torn between wanting to protect my growing collection of plaster casts from ogling, and wanting to show them to everybody because I think they’re so beautiful and amazing.

Mostly I skew towards protectiveness, and they end up wearing t-shirts.IMG_0810


It’s always interesting to notice when I stop thinking of a sculpture as “it” and start saying “her” instead.


With this one, it started at the armpits.