Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Working small. Every winter my work goes small. Dolls usually. Sometime beadwork. Often I will make jewelry. I'm enjoying the details. It feels a little like crawling inside - hibernating only not. I have to be careful not to judge these periods to harshly. To enjoy them and let them influence what will happen next in my "real" work. 

I have been playing with torch fired enamel for the past few weeks, it's very addictive, reasonable fast unless you are enameling on nail heads like me. It does not seem to work well on larger pieces like my woman. I have tried repeatedly to get the enamel to stick to her but every time if just peeled off. I'm using a small butane torch, I don't think it gets hot enough for the size of the piece. I'm using thompsons powdered enamel on mostly copper, although I experiment with whatever metal shows up.

Enamel on copper fun, fun!

Learning lessons, sometimes it works and sometimes it fails.

Enamel on nails.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Santa Fe folk art museum

In August we drove my eldest daughter to Arizona for her first year of college! Trying to make this a fun trip and not just a stressful one we took two days off in Santa Fe, New Mexico one of my new favorite places. Two of my children accompanied me to the folk art museum we spent over three hours there and they would have stayed longer, but I was hungry. We took lots of pictures I loved everything there.

After the long tearful drive home... 
I began playing in my studio again

One of the first pieces was this

I made a few but they quickly morphed into this








Teddy bear

There are many more but I hate to be boring. I did not realize they were related to the folk art museum until I looked back at all my photos. I am having a lot of fun figuring them out. They are simple and yet not, it takes planning in order for me to build them and each one has a flaw and a lesson. 

More coming...


It gets away from me...

I finished the mural I was doing back in July. Brittany's place a safe and sound center for girls.

After I finished the mural I drove with my children to Arizona to drop off my oldest daughter at college!
I'm still not use to not seeing her everyday thankfully we have technology to keep us connected.
I will write another blog post about our adventures in New Mexico.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Approaching the end

Installation begins in a few days, here are a few more progress shots. It's been really fun. I am getting nervous, worrying they will not like it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Busy, busy, busy time.

My youngest child graduated from elementary school, my oldest from high school and my middle child finish her first year of high school.  I am feeling old and overwhelmed by all the changes.

I am buried under a mosaic mural 8 feet tall by 28 feet long, roughly 1000 pounds of tiles good thing I am not literally buried. Parts of it were created by community members. 6 x 6 quilt blocks.
These quilt blocks will frame the mosaic and the windows of the building.

It is probably the most intense projects I have ever done.

This mural will go outside of the safe and sound shelter for girls. 

I hope they will feel loved and protected.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Becoming lighthearted Lori - 

In our work in Alternatives to Violence project ( AVP) We take adjective names, it needs to be something positive, something we are working towards. I am working towards becoming light of heart. My heart leans towards heavy, and serious, though it is very much about loving...

One of the exercises we do in prison is to talk about our first experience with violence. We do this with the entire group 20 or so people and 3 facilitators everyone talks one by one. 

One of my first incidents with violence happened when I was three years old. My parents had hired a male baby sitter. I remember being very afraid and stalling when it came time for me to go to bed. Anything I could think of ... 
It turned out later it was not my first experience but my second experience. This boy had baby sat me once before. He raped me both times. My parents knew about the first incident and had been advised by the boy's therapist to give him another chance, and that I would never remember and it would not hurt me. This was in the 1960's; apparently people were complete idiots back then. I don't blame my parents for this; they were very young and trying their best.

I have some things in common with many of the prisoners I met. I have been the victim a lot of violence brought on by men. Many of the guys in prison have been victims of violence starting from birth until it became their way of life. I often ask myself why: why some peoples traumas destroy them; why some people's make them stronger. 

In art school my major was textiles. It was my love of pattern and color that first hooked me. Studying textile art, I learned that most patterns, woven, printed or embroidered held messages about  protection, fertility, marriage status, etc....

Much of my personal art is and has been creating figures, symbols and patterns that I believed could protect people my children, myself and the people I care about.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don't give up.

Spring will arrive

The top piece is a crab apple branch for Hennepin county medical center, post surgery.
 5 feet by 18 inches

Bombus Affinis 14 x 17 inches

I just returned from my third weekend in prison, with alternatives to violence program. I am now certified to be a facilitator. What does this mean exactly for me. I am still not completely clear why I am doing this. It has been very helpful to go into the prison and talk and listen to these guys; to see their humanity, their vulnerability, to listen to their stories and struggles. I feel hopeful that they desire change, but I also think I understand the reality of how hard this will be. Once they are released it will be very difficult for them to find work and shelter and very tempting to return to drugs and alcohol. Many will return to prison because it will become their only alternative. This is a very difficult to contemplate and part of where I struggle in what way can I help? I am only an artist, searching for an answer, I suspect the answer will be art. 

This is a piece I started after my second trip into the prison..