Monday, November 19, 2018

What have I done

The Chicago trip, like all the rest, fades so quickly into the past as I wrangle with the things at home. This is usually the first step, learning to handle one sheet.
Making thread is like unlocking some kind of mystery that was so obvious and yet so obscure when you stare at a sheet of paper.
This was the final workshop, where they actually treated the paper before slicing.
I came home and frantically tried to get a new piece off the ground, but it's slow going.
On the road, it's easy to look up.
At home, I was sad to see my very favorite tree drop its beautiful coat.
Always know you're in Chicago when you see a Nick Cave suit. But I wish I had something like this to hide in to prepare for what was about to happen at home.
The first day that I expected to have a quiet work day at home, I saw men marking the utilities. I wondered why, because they had already ripped up this road for the leaking water main a few months ago. This time: sewer lines.
As contractors are wont to do, they hit the brand-new water line and the hole filled with water as my home was emptied of it. Argh!! In the last week, the noise of the metal plates that people drive over 24/7 has been a huge nuisance (also, it's very difficult to squeeze in and out of the driveway, so I've been trying not to leave—except for when I have to because they turn my water off without telling me). Now, they are slowly preparing the hole for a patch (which, will has to be dug up again in the spring for the final fix, as we are in freezing temps now). I'm trying to stay okay about my home ownership here but it's a challenge. Now I know! Valuable information.

Now, time to prepare for a private student who wants to learn to make hanji in my basement. My basement terrifies me, so this is going to be another information-filled process.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Daily teaching

The day I flew to Chicago, I taught my Cleveland students how to make paper and they came alive, which was fun to see. It's such a physical experience, even small sheets, so it activates the body—plus, it was nice to be in a different setting.
Then I flew, and the next morning got a ride to SAIC for the first workshop in the morning. We had a good crowd given it was Saturday morning, and then had a nice Korean catered lunch.
This was from the morning joomchi session. After lunch, we had a jiseung workshop, and it was great to have access to different hanji (all of it was donated from Jeonju) than I usually use, because the colored sheets worked fine for both.
The next day, I went south to the University of Chicago to speak to audiences brought in by the Center for East Asian Studies. Such a treat to talk to people who are a lot more informed about the things that I usually share.
Then we moved all of the food and my things down to the second floor in the Logan Center to begin the workshop. We covered joomchi techniques, and made thread, and in general had a great time. The group was really varied and it was great to see people who had nothing to do with art or paper come together to play with hanji.
The following day was my slightly freer day, and I was able to wander around the Chicago Cultural Center to see a bunch of great exhibits. This was one of my favorites, all made from salvaged wood that artist Faheem Majeed found in his South Shore neighborhood.

I was delighted to be back in Preston Bradley Hall to see chamber music performance (music by James Stephenson, a living composer, standing in front to introduce his clarinet sonata, performed by Steve Cohen and Kay Kim). It has been almost 15 years since I performed there and the hall is as beautiful and well kept as ever.
I had to visit the Korean objects in the Art Institute, and loved this bird ewer where you pour water into the guy's basket and then pour it out of the bird's mouth.
This is a contemporary ceramic piece by Choi Sungjae—see the birds drawn with his fingers through the slip?
The Korean section is tiny (I wouldn't even call it a gallery; it's more of a hallway) so I wandered off to find baskets and textiles as best I could. This is a Pomo wedding basket from the late 19th century. My phone camera is clearly terrible but the piece is stunning.
And in the basement, a textile show that included this Samoan tapa cloth made from paper mulberry. After all that, I was able to meet up with an old music camp friend; we haven't seen each other since we were teenagers and now she is an SAIC professor! It was barely enough time but joyful, and then we headed off to our respective work obligations. I got a ride to UIC, where I gave a lecture and demo on making cord, so the students had a hearty catered Korean dinner and went home with hanji bracelets.

Today: wind, cold, voting (I took care of my bit early), and a workshop. Plus a few other things thrown in for good measure.