Busy day!

justines_faceToday has been a pretty productive day! this is Justine’s face, with mica pigments fused in the kiln on her lips and eye lids.

Justine got her final sanding, and I glued her face onto the form. It came out really well; the face is better than expected, I just have the hands to do.

justine_form

Those hands! What a challenge those have been! I’ve cast them twice now; there will be a third time!  This time, I’m going to drop the temp and keep the hold time the same. Maybe this will be the winning combo!

I’m working on another mosaic, for the 2015 Gearcon, themed Secrets and Lies. I think that’s a great title for the mosaic, especially considering the things I’ve learned about my family, these last few weeks.

secrets_lies What you can’t see, at this time, are the skulls that are in the lower right hand corner. Those are about the bodies buried beneath not just my family history, but the blood, bone and flesh that most civilizations are founded upon. I used a white woman, because of my family history.  The Chesse family  is deep in the history of Louisiana and New Orleans, in particular.

The French were deep into the slave trade, far more than the American south.  The French enslaved approximately 1.5 million souls. My family has both the slave, and the slaver, in our veins. My branch was officially “Black” until my great grandparents figured out how to game the system, so to speak.  When they got pregnant with my grandmother, they moved out of NoLa, and to Providence, Rhode Island, until after the birth.

Since my Nanan was passe blanc, and her husband was all white, they were able to pull it off, thereby ensuring that their daughter was not bound by the Jim Crow laws. I get it, I totally do, but I sure wish I were able to have known some of the family that was left in Louisiana.

Now, about another one of those famous relatives….

Peter Albin, of Big Brother and the Holding Company, is one of those talented people in my family tree. Just a couple of days ago, he and his band lost a friend and fellow member. I feel bad for them; it hurts like Hell to lose a life partner, whether that partner was a friend, a colleague or a lover, it’s never easy.

As a kid, I had all of their work on vinyl. ALL of it. In fact, my neighbors hated “Summertime”. Really, really hated it, because I played ruts in that disc!

I’ve had this album on vinyl, 8 track, cassette, CD and now, I have it digitally as well as on my Spotify playlists. When that guitar plays, those notes always gave me goosebumps! It’s in my will, that that’s the song they send my ashes off to the next adventure with.

Who knows what’s after this life; I’m in no hurry to find out, but I will say, I am in, and always have been, in love with that song. It just says freedom, but a bittersweet freedom to me.

Here’s Justine’s face:

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