The not-so glamarous aka grunt work portion

Safety glasses make me incognito, right? I hope so, because I spent three hours yesterday afternoon kneeling in the backyard scrubbing silkscreens with a yellow duckie nailbrush, while decked out in a respirator, snowboard jacket, green nitrile gloves and gumboots. Not the fun part of art month. I learned many things. Scrub screens in summer, or at least before it gets really cold. Scrubbing harder does not result in warm fingers.

I am otherwise enjoying the cold weather. Yesterday morning, there was a dusting of snow on the mountains. Today, there’s a lot more of it. It’s raining in a light mist and the sky is a white cloud.

After three years of using the same screens, I’ve been collecting plant matter and mining my sketchbooks and journals, as well as stretching silk onto new frames in preparation of a fresh selection of prints. Herein lies some of the hidden, less creative work. I’ve assigned the images to the screens, degreased the screens with a little dishsoap, and have taken over the bedroom closet as a temporary darkroom. Right now, I’m waiting on a fresh quart of photo-emulsion to arrive by bus. My last quart is six years old, and it’s finally gotten too rubbery to spread, which leads me to conclude that it has indeed expired. This stuff is only guaranteed for a year, so the fact that it worked at the ripe age of three is rather impressive.

Aren’t hams funny? I brought home a little plaid one from the fabric store. It’ll be a solid assistant to my tea cozy making, which is what I plan to work on until my emulsion arrives.

So far, this studio time experiment has been both easier and harder than anticipated. A little overwhelming at times, but this is remedied by getting to work. The possibility of drinking too much coffee (is that possible?) has been eliminated by the rationing of milk to avoid a trip to town. My main challenge is one I gave little thought to: finding a christmas craft market to sell my stuff at! (Maybe everyone signed up in August and I got shafted by not reading the paper? I’ve searched on google, and checked recent papers. Perhaps the Nelson craft fair scene is so hip and underground that they don’t need to advertise? We shall see…)

We shall also see if tomorrow brings snow! I hope it might, because it will be beautiful, and cozy to sit sewing in my studio, watching snowflakes whirl outside the window. Honestly though, art month stretches into cold November and I’m sure I’ll see some snow. Hopefully it waits until Thursday because I want to get at least one more bike ride in!

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