Revolutions & Gratitude

Birthday thanks!

Today I complete another revolution around the sun.  I am in the same place, but not in the same place. Unlike any previous year, I am in another country for my birthday.

Motorcycle are everywhere in Mumbai.
Motorcycles and mopeds are everywhere in Mumbai.

I will be spending it NOT working, and doing a bit of roaming around Mumbai and sharing food with friends. I am so very lucky to do what I do. It’s not just the passive accident of where and when I was born, it is also the summation of active gestures—positive and negative— from people all over that create the circumstances in which I live. For all of these I am grateful.

Thank you to my supportive friends and family, to my boyfriend, to Teach For India and ASTEP, to the wonderful people of India, to the entire production crew of Maya, to all who have helped me afford to make this trip, to everyone whose actions may be invisible to me, but help me all the same.

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Sheetal brought a Gujarati feast for lunch!

Special thanks to Sheetal, Raju, Sunita, Sajida, and Shaheen for helping me stay well fed.

To whoever invented the table top fan:  I salute you.  You have helped my sculpting in the back room of the Dadar studio feasible.

Cooling the workspace and decreasing drying time for papier mache—good work, fan.
Cooling the workspace and decreasing drying time for papier mache—good work, fan.
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Masks for the 9 headed Hydra awaiting papier mache.

 

Thanks also to the  Heart of the Beast and BareBones puppeteers of Minneapolis—Mark, Alison, Masa, Bart, Julian, Soozin, and all the others—who introduced me to the wonders of sculpting with recycled cardboard and to the eternally amazing Creature Stapler.

The P-35 "Creature" Stapler is a modern miracle.
The P-35 “Creature” Stapler is a modern miracle. This one even has a handy knife at the tip. I use it all the time.
Making puppets in Minneapolis, circa 2000.
Making puppets in Minneapolis, circa 2000.

 

 

 

Making the Keeper of the Copper Mask

Making a mask with cardboard armature is really fun. I started with a basic idea of an approach. As I made each decision, the next choice became clear. It’s one of the best things about creating.

Designer Drawing for the character
Designer Drawing for the character
Creature Stapler at the ready
Creature Stapler at the ready
I began with a big plastic bucket, cardboard strips and the silhouette
I began with a big plastic bucket, cardboard strips and the silhouette
I added support strips and some dimension
I added support strips and some dimension
Lots of dimensionl
Lots of dimensionl
I covered it in newspaper to establish the planes of the surface
I covered it in newspaper to establish the planes of the surface
Sajida and Sunita work to cover it in papier mache.
Sajida and Sunita work to cover it in papier mache.
After it dried, I pulled out all of the armature. Raju  likes to dance in the big heads.
After it dried, I pulled out all of the armature. Raju likes to dance in the big heads.
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