Sunday, March 17, 2013

Processing overabundance

These first five images are all taken by the wonderful and talented Brenda Paik Sunoo, a photographer and writer and artist and traveler and all-around good, thoughtful person. She and I connected through the internet's ethers via hanji. Surprise, surprise. She documented my workshop at Mills last week and I picked the ones that make me look the best. Surprise, surprise. Here is my beating demo with the wonderful dowels cut by the maintenance department.
Formation aid! It set up beautifully. So now I know it must be just me and Cleveland water that doesn't get along.
Adding formation aid to the vat. I love that transformation.
One of my excuses for getting the expensive beverage for lunch the day prior was to re-use the glass bottle to test beaten fibers.
It's hard to see the pinpricks of light in such strong sunlight, and then all I wanted to do was keep this piece of damp hanji around my neck to stay cool.
This is from today, in Seattle, at the Wing Luke Museum (before the kids arrived for my workshop, when everything was nice and neat. I wish I had a snapshot from the end, when the entire place was turned upside down). I have been in Washington since Wednesday and it goes from sun to rain to sun to rain. I had a nice turnout for my UW lecture at the East Asia Library, before which I got a haircut with a stranger on impulse (usually I go to Korean hairdressers. This is my first non-Korean haircut since 2005 or so). My decision was based on seeing the above pictures of my bird's nest hair and my deep weariness, which made the idea of someone shampooing my hair + being allowed to close my eyes while sitting seem quite attractive. Patsy picked me up in Seattle and drove me to Federal Way, where we had the best Korean food I've had since Korea (aside from my mother's, of course). It was super fresh, beautiful, and well-seasoned. The chef picks things like dandelion greens from her own garden, and had just made another dish with herbs she had picked in the mountains a day or two before we ate them. After shoveling as much as I could into my mouth, we headed to her gorgeous home, where I treated myself to a bath and gratefully crawled into a soft, warm bed.
How awesome is this pin that Vivian, the community programs manager at Wing Luke, made for these events?? When she first offered me an apron, I felt I didn't need it. But once I saw the button, I put it on right away. I was so impressed by the place. It's not only beautiful and full of provoking and valuable exhibits, but the staff was amazing. Super friendly and super professional all at once. This is a rare combo. I felt like I was family and that I was being taken care of very well. I had just enough time to have a bit of tea and food before the families rushed in. I was worried about not having enough hanji, and the situation looked dire after the first 30 to 45 minutes, but then the initial rush of mom bloggers and kids coming from a prior event petered out and the rest of the time was much more manageable. As I imagined, everyone loved the joomchi activity. I loved seeing how quickly kids who walked in figured out that there were a few basic steps, which involved throwing around wads of wet paper and banging on it.
Between my Seattle days was my Tacoma day: a talk/reading for APCC and a workshop in the afternoon. My students are fascinating and exhibited one of the bigger age ranges than I usually get (I have a teenager! And she is really good with her hands). Today after the museum gig (and a visit to Daniel Smith in the morning), Patsy took me to Uwajimaya to shop, browse, and enjoy cream puffs. See if you can locate the washi in this picture. Then we went to the 90th birthday celebration of a beloved member of the Korean community in Washington. I met Korean American politicians (state senator, state representative)! I've never done that before. Meanwhile, I have not slept enough nor rested enough but really can't complain: if someone 35 years my senior can be at my side and drive me around and host me and take excellent care of me, then I can do my job and be grateful for it.

Oh, and! My poet friend Joe started his book tour for his new book, too. And, submit to be part of a new magazine! It's past time for bed, so I can finish up my workshop on Sunday and then enjoy the treat to follow.

1 comment:

  1. you sound so happy and your pictures (the portraits, i mean) are wonderful. i really like your big button!


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