Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Miracles must have brought me here

[Clyde Owan, a wonderful spirit and Obie, came by my demo in Silver Spring and took lots of pictures. This is one of the table I had full of hanji goodies. I kept hearing, "Is this all paper?" I love saying yes. Aside from the bit of paper mulberry bark, of course.] WOW. I'm having a hard time articulating because I am so overwhelmed by generosity, abundance, and exhaustion. I got back home last night close to midnight after another whirlwind trip to the D.C. area. Though I usually sleep on buses, last night I was still so high from how successful my visit was that I stared at all the highway signs instead, trying not to throttle the woman behind me who felt compelled to make at least four phone calls, talking about the Very Long and Very Boring Bus Trip, Very Loudly. Even with headphones blaring music, I couldn't drown out the chatter of TMI.
[Jiseung cords and koyori from washi I made at Paper Connection in Providence on top of a wonderful print by Denise Bookwalter, screenprinted with cochineal dye mixed with potato starch to make ink! GREAT demo at Pyramid.] But aside from that, my trip was grand! I had a wonderful visit on Friday to the brand-new conservation lab of the Johns Hopkins library. I finally met Sonja, a strong supporter of hanji, John (research scientist and prof), Jocelyn (research fellow), and Victor, a student who was working on engineering a project to make recycled paper in Ethiopia. After giving Sonja all the wrong information about my itinerary, she finally steered me straight and drove me to Penn Station so I could catch a train to Union Station in D.C. Once there, almost done with buying a Metro ticket, I heard someone greet me and turned around to see Lee! I was delighted to see a familiar face after so much traveling. I was so relieved to get to my host's home and relax with tea and conversation. I love staying with Judy and also love being able to return to places I've been, that become second homes and an easy place to stay (there is always a "getting used to" period when staying in new places, no matter how homey or comfy).
After miraculously sleeping in on Saturday, Judy got us through horribly snarled traffic (due to the Silver Spring Thanksgiving parade) and I glanced at the Civic Center setup before walking to Pyramid Atlantic with Lee to set up for my demo. I have been so busy that I never noticed the lovely blog post they did about me (which is why Marty Ittner talked to me about Bugles, after seeing my hanji dress). I was early, so I was able to meet with lots of fun people and get excited by the energy of the demos that were already in progress. Mine was one of the best events I've done in a long time, with an audience that was even more engaged than those in Cleveland last month (if you can believe that!). I was amazed b/c I felt like a black hole, with people crowded around and physically leaning towards me for the entire 45 minutes. I sold a bunch of books, and then packed up to head back to the fair at the Civic Center with three more books in tow, just in case.

I headed straight to Shanna Leino's booth to buy a weight I had coveted ever since I saw Velma's. I've always been so impressed with Shanna's work and very much wanted to meet her in person. She was as energetic and fun as I imagined, and bought one of my books. Then I happened upon Erin Sweeney's books, a Hedi Kyle structure: the Chinese sewing box book. I have been wanting to figure out variations of this ever since seeing them in antique Korean sewing boxes and wallets, so this was a fun splurge for me (plus hers are all in fabric, which I think is a brilliant touch). Erin bought my book, too, leaving me one to take into D.C. for my friend Kelsey, who was there from Day One of my Fulbright year in Korea. She pointed out all sorts of things that only she could understand (like the map I drew in the front--doing that taught me how incredibly political and fraught mapmaking can be. It's not about the geography! It's ALL about the people).

The next day, I worried about the remaining four books, but sold them almost instantly, so I was able to enjoy more demos and then a celebratory drink with Lee. I had to catch a bus back home and now have a good sense of all of the bus companies that operate around here. I got the great news that an important wholesaler of Korean books ordered a bunch of mine, and I'm also included in the "Recently Published" section of Buddhist Art News. I think we've already moved over 20% of the first print run!

Now, onto catching up. With the most dire situation being that I was assigned to cook Thanksgiving dinner, but I did not realize until last night on the 3rd hour of the bus ride that it falls this week! I somehow thought that it was next week. Yikes!


Velma Bolyard said...

i am exhausted reading this, aimee, how ever did your feet keep up? wonderful about pyramid...so wonderful!

onesmallstitch said...

that first picture is full-of-delight. I've been following your travels with great interest - reads like a novel. like Velma I'm exhausted just sitting on my computer chair.

aimee said...

me, too! exhausted :) but grateful, and happy to share with you, though i'd prefer to share in person!

Velma Bolyard said...

yes! that first photo, by the way, is SO enticing!