Alcatraz Afternoon

alcatraz_model

There’s a 1:87 scale model of Alcatraz Island at Pier 33. (You can get a good overview of the model in this video made by Family Travel Fun.) The guard tower in the dock area was especially well done.

light

Poking around the island and its buildings is a compelling and visceral history lesson. This trip I became interested in the textures of decay. Here is a light on the Electrical Repair Shop, just past the Guardhouse and Sally Port.

OFF_OFF

An interior light switch in the New Industries Building.

paint

A map of peeling paint on a cement support column.

pipe

Overseen by pipes, velveted in rust.

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There was a new art installation in the New Industries Building, but I found this partial view more interesting.

sink

A busted sink and commode. And pipes.

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Closer to the sink. It looks friendly.

post_exchange

Looking north towards Marin, the remains of the Post Exchange, built in 1910, as a general store for soldiers and their families. (When Alcatraz became a federal prison in 1934, the PX was converted into a recreation hall and officer’s club, with a dance floor, gymnasium, two-lane bowling alley and soda fountain.) It was destroyed in a fire in 1970.

The quotation on May’s welcome page, “New ideas need old buildings” is from Jane Jacobs.

Decorations, Sketchbook

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The latest issue of the newsletter Cut, Fold+Make is out. If you missed this month, the sign up is over on the right. It’s a short curated list of ideas and links that inspire and support creative practice.

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There’s a fun suggestion for a miniature paper garland, and first looks at the new sketchbook kit.

pocket

Possibly what’s most adorable is the ephemera pocket on the inside back cover. They’re  available as kits now over at MMS+S in iconic black cover, kraft, as well as the Warm colorway (orange, yellow and gray) of the Office Essentials line of organizers.

It is spring!

 

Big Butt: Complete

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Finished the stand for the big butt. The clay pot is 9.5 inches (24 cm) tall and 10 inches (25.5 cm) in diameter.

I made the flowers and leaves from various papers I had on hand, 18 and 22 gauge stem wire and florist tape. Working in macro takes up way more room and materials!

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I chose the papers because in this context, they looked diseased :)

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As I was working, I heard a crinkling sound. It was Napoleon, my helper cat, ensuring the papers stayed put.

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The flowers are made from the same kind of rice paper as the leaves. Like I said, they look like they are succumbing to something dire.

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I glued a piece of florist foam to the bottom of the pot, and packed in Spanish moss around it. The flower stems were a little too bendy, so I wrapped another length of 18 gauge around them with florist tape.

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After I stuck the flowers in the foam, I packed the pot with layers of glue and all my leftover preserved moss from the Sea House Warming Hut living roof.

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I heard another rustling. This time it was Albie. I guess Napoleon’s shift was over.

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I made a dead flower :(

What do you think of my rendering of disease by toxic chemicals leached into the environment? I used a brown Sharpie marker.

Wait! I don’t want to end this post on such a sad note, so here’s the finished piece again. Isn’t my house a cheerful color? (I didn’t choose it.) I glued bleached moss on the dead side of the pot, and shades of green on the narrow rim that’s still living. Underneath the cigarette is crushed charcoal (and more glue). Note how the living flowers are straining to get away from the big butt. There’s a story here.

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Now I want you all to put on gloves and go outside and pick up all the cigarette litter you see.

(If you’re really dedicated to making a difference, you can keep doing this and save them up — carefully, that stench will get on you — and send them to be safely recycled at Terracycle.)

Unless you want this:

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