African Chop N Toss
Name: Nancy Welch
Message: You just amaze me girl!
I came to read the posts, and always get carried off to your
albums~~not a bad thing! These canes were beautiful, and then I
couldn't believe you were chopping them all up. I watched you go
step by step to from these beautiful
mirror images,~~~~what a HOOT at 5a.m.!
You must be on the
east coast if it was 5am for you and 2am for me when I received
your sweet hooting. Thanks sweetie...
I have been
nattering for the longest about taking 4-6 canes and doing a
chop and toss and I thought, well let's just kick the slats out
of this chop and toss thing. It has to be seen to be believed
really. I mean if you tell someone, "Ok, take like a
dozen canes, all different, all complex and then chop them like
egg salad..." the person listening will put up their hand and
say, "Whoa Nellie, you want me to do what?"
But honestly, gang,
how are we to get a medley of colors and images that mean
something to us if we don't do this?
Ok, my thoughts on
this are these:
It doesn't have to
It can be things and
colors from the sea.
It can be any symbol
that means something to you. We've been discussing symbols with
the good luck charms. If we made canes of Hearts, Moons, Stars
and Clovers, and then did a chop and toss where some of the cane
had been reduced to the full design and sliced, and some chopped
up, we would make a background with colors that match the design
elements. So the colors that are in the Hearts, Moons, Stars and
Clovers will be in designs around them when they are not faced
forward. The fire roses are a case in point in my African Mix.
Reduced to see the whole item, but where it gets sliced
sideways, and it will because it will tumble and fall in the
toss, it provides a matching color element in the riot that is
the clay around the full design element. That riot has a
pattern, there's a truth to how these clay bits fall.
Patterns created by
the randomness of the toss will hold a truth in the design, the
truth that came from the physics of tossing the bits about.
Ever notice that natural things have their own patterns? I
was looking at how smoke rose from a stick of incense. It had a
randomness but yet it had a pattern. Fire is like this. Running
water is like this. Even though those things are random in their
movement there is a pattern that is caused by the physics of
life. Gravity, air flow, those sort of laws effect the
Well it's like that
with the toss. There is a randomness but there is also a pattern
combine colors, designs and symbols that mean something to you
what will emerge is a medley that is powerful to you. For me the
animal canes, the colors of Africa, all these things mean
something, what results is a clay mix that has powerful personal
significance. It invigorates me when I look at it. I don't
consider myself to be much different than other folks who grew
up in the mass media environment. If these speak to me, the mix
will speak to others. For those who share a cultural construct
will react to similar colors, designs, and symbols, just stands
You have your own
cultural construct and beliefs, all filled with colors, designs,
symbols that have relevance to you. If you use these
things when you design your canes you can make a mix of chopped
and reduced whole sliced cane and make a pattern that will mean
something to you. It will also mean something to those who
share your culture. Each culture holds dear different symbols,
but these symbols stem from the same inner workings, they are
just dressed differently.
I think that
Joseph Campbell, who's main study was myths, said that the
symbol is the "concretization" of the metaphysical. Taking a
belief and carving it into stone. Your beliefs get made manifest
in the life by way of icons, symbols, lucky charms. The pitfall
is when folks believe in the symbol and forget the metaphysical
thing that symbol just stands for.
So the discussion of
lucky charms and chop and toss are oddly connected, you see. If
you thought about it, while sipping tea and looking out the
window, if you thought about what are your favorite colors, what
are your favorite design elements: curls instead of straight
lines, for example; what symbols mean something to you, and
married all that together, you'd be on your way to designing a
medley of personal significance.
Future themes for my
exploration into this self inquiry: Symbols and colors of Japan.
Dream symbolism...the color and shapes of the good dream/the bad
dream. CyberPunk futuristic biomechanical. There are many themes
in your own life, it is up to you to find out what they are,
what significance they hold for you. So what if we do find it,
Then you take what
you find, make your canes, do your chop and toss and go cover an
egg with it just so you can have it around to look at, get
invigorated by it.
But it starts with
you being true to yourself. Don't make what others are making,
using colors that others are using, just because the book or kit
told you to. Travel inward and find yourself through the colors,
designs and symbols, that mean something to you. Make the things
that release the energy of the need to tell your tale, not the
things that seem to be selling this season. This is part of our
Hero's Journey on the road to clay.
This is also the
end of this Ramble.