Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Vision: Disembodiment

I had a vision last night, just before I fell asleep. I can't do exactly what I had in mind as of yet, because I haven't a clue where to get the hardware my brain envisioned. I suppose it would be like a ball jointed doll. I've never read up on making a BJD, but have been curious about it, and plan to try one day.

The idea I had was to make the limbs very simple, smooth, and perfectly round cylinders, painted brown-black. Then, I would attach them all together with metal male/female threaded fixtures. So, basically, all of the limbs could screw on and off. I originally imagined the hardware gold, but I greatly dislike gold, so I might consider something silver or copper. That first picture that flashed in my mind, did not feature joints that could bend, only the ability to screw on or off. After I thought about it, I realized I needed a combination piece that would allow them to move.

The bottom line is, I had this picture in my mind of a doll with a sort of modern, yet old-world "wood and brass" look. A little bit of sailor: the compass, clock, and depth meter; also, a bit of a gentleman's den or library: the pocket watch, letter opener, and fountain pen. Some might think I have a steampunk idea in mind, but I don't think so. I'm not thinking about technology, gears, or anything mechanical. I'm thinking more of an enlightened age of people, who would consider themselves civil or sophisticated, yet they see things more through a craftsman's eye. Maybe they see themselves as self reflecting, introspective, disembodied souls. The picture I have drawn above, doesn't even remotely show you what I actually have in mind to make. I want metal casings at every conceivable joint. The limbs screw apart, but so does the waist from the bottom, or the neck from the torso.

I don't know if I can find anything that might facilitate this vision of mine, but when I see it realized, I will definitely show you and write again. 

Now I'm sure I have thoroughly overwhelmed your head with too many words trying to describe a single image in too much detail, and perhaps even reading too much into it. Somehow, while I was about to write a couple of simple sentences on my facebook page about this, I found I had too much to say.

Today, however, I plan to make a pair of dolls to be sold together. It won't have the hardware, or the threaded joints, but it will be painted brown-black skin. Maybe a folkish dirty couple of kids. I'm not exactly sure, but I will keep you posted.

For now, stay crazy. 

Lotus Asylum

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cirque du Soleil: Personal and Memorable

I said I would write about our experience at the much anticipated circus. It has been nearly two weeks, however, and still I have no words to describe it. In fact, we were just visiting friends over the holiday weekend, and I quickly realized that even the most perfect descriptions become just meaningless words, when spoken and not seen. Yet, actually seeing some of these acts blew our minds. I started thinking about the five small girls rotating drum-like disks on their feet, while lying flat on their backs. My biggest curiosity was the painstakingly long amount of time it simply must have taken for them to learn such seemingly impossibly feats! Those five girls and their rather large bag of tricks was definitely my favorite part. It was so close to the beginning of the show, and yet I knew right away that nothing would top it. 

The trapeze artists were something I'd always heard about, but never actually seen up close and real. How many of them miss-landed and fell to the net, surprised me. That alone made me realize just how complex and incredible their talent must be. I mean, this is Cirque du Soleil! It's a world renowned event! World class, even! 

But, most of all, it felt so incredibly personal. First, there wasn't a bad seat in the house. As soon as we walked into the tent, we were quite surprised at how little seating there was, so small, so close. We had two seats by an isle and in a row. Different bug characters (including a very cool one in stilts) passed through the isles and rows before and during the show. They shook hands with all the little kids, and a ringmaster-like character in the story had such a unique participation with the audience. The energy was enough to last us for months.

There was just one thing that was actually quite humous, yet so vexing (considering just how much those tickets cost). There was a girl sitting just behind my husband and I. She was probably about seven or eight years old. Old enough to know better, to know how to behave when an audience is so silent and that one could hear a pin drop. My little four year old girl has enough sense to know better than this one. I suppose, what my husband and I came away with, when the music wasn't too loud to drown out the noise of it, was:

"What is that, Daddy? What is that, Daddy? What is that Daddy? What is that, Daddy?"

After about the sixth or seventh time she had asked the same question with no response, the father would finally reply with an equally idiotic answer, "I don't know. I think it's a butterfly." 

To which the girl would then say something like, "No, that's not a butterfly, Daddy. What is it, Daddy? Is it a giant bug, Daddy?"

Oh, by the time that the intermission had come around, my husband and I had each given our own looks of complete disappointment and irritation. After the intermission was over, however, and we had discussed the little girl at length (and my shoe managed to step on an authentic piece of chewing gum, which I was never able to completely remove), we didn't hear another word. I didn't think my look had been that glaring, so I'll assume I have my husband's glare to thank. It's not that I mind a little talking here and there, but either answer the girl's question or tell her to be quiet!  

It was a beautiful and utterly memorable occasion. Every part of it, good and bad, brought the whole of the experience to a positively amazing level. I suggest you buy yourself a ticket or two, add a bag of popcorn, maybe a drink, and please, enjoy the show!