Saturday, June 30, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
My 24 + " fish went into the kiln head first and survived the bisque firing!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Off to war I go. My death mask is under construction.
Way back in 1984 I was bold enough to construct a special box filled with clay and lie my Vaselined and shower- capped head into it and let fellow students and an instructor that was younger than me pour plaster over my head, leaving an opening around my nostrils to breathe. It was scary in there as the plaster heated up and started to set. I remember that someone held my hand. I was under the plaster for what seemed like hours but I think it was about 30 minutes. I used the mold for a project in a design class but mainly it sits in a corner in my work area which is outside of my house, it was covered with miscellaneous clay trappings; plastic sheeting, nets, canvas, etc. So after some correspondence yesterday I became inspired and dug it out. A black widow had made it's home there, um, I didn't just return it to the wild. Sorry but it was in my personal space...
I couldn't help but relive some of 1984, it is better to be in 2007 than 1984. When I complete my writing here I will be working some more on my mask, the nose isn't right and I am deciding if I should just let it go, after all, does that matter?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I saw this fish in a gallery in Maui, it is made of quarters and what appears to be paper currency. I was so fascinated with it I asked to take a picture of it, so here it is. Personally I don't understand any symbolism by the use of money except perhaps the cost of ahi at some of the local restaurants.
If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, if you teach a man to fish he'll feed himself for a lifetime. True or not there is an element of truth...
Continue the fish story: If the fish you made is now dry and you have signed it and there are no sharp edges it can be fired. I fire to cone 04. This is called the bisque firing. After the kiln has cooled the fish can now be glazed. Check the glaze you purchased or made - to see what cone it is designed to be fired at - pay attention to the zeroes..if there is a zero in front of the number it means something, there is a huge difference between 04 and 4. Get a book on ceramics and study about this if so inclined but be aware of a difference! Glaze your fish as desired, I nearly always use at least 3 coats of glaze because I do not like a glaze-starved look on a fish, makes it look sickly I think. Fire to the cone stated on the jar of glaze. After experimenting with the process a few times you can get bold and try over firing a bit for different results.
I am looking forward to raku firing in a few weeks, always dramatic and risky. One year all of my raku pieces broke in the raku firings because I bisque fired to a higher temperature to make the pieces stronger (I thought) but they just crumbled when removed from the kiln because a raku firing requires an open bodied clay - not one fired to maturity. I need to remember this sorry and sad disaster.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Now, the fish needs some scales so you can roll up little balls of clay - a lot of them - and apply them one at a time for a lot of textured scales. Another option is to incise lines into the clay, one could also use any number of materials (netting, etc.) for an interesting body texture. Be sure to put gills and a mouth on the fish too. Then drape it over some wadded up paper towels to make the fish look lively. I use straws to punch out 2 holes near the dorsal fin; later I use leather or wire to string through the holes to hang the fish. If you are not going to hang the fish up you don't need to do that of course. Once the fish is draped leave it alone until it becomes leather hard, that is when you can carefully handle it but it is not yet dry. This is a good time to gently remove any rough or sharp edges. They may not be sharp now but when fired, those rough spots can become lethal! This is also a good time to sign your fish. Gently put the fish back on the shelf and leave it alone until it is completely dry.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
To say I was happy would be an understatement. Some people thought it was a feeble effort on the part of Mattel and that I should not be content. But I was. To questions like, "Well, you're not going to let them get off so easy are you?", my answer (after a seconds pause) was, "Yes, I have accomplished my goal".
I am finished with the Barbie Manifesto even if it is a much more condensed version than I had in mind when I started. Thank you to my friend; I am now finished with my Barbie Manifesto.
Now I can go make things.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Above are the messages I found inside the packages.
How could they just ignore my concerns? Were they evil? One day I decided to go straight to the top of the company. On February 9, 2004 I mailed my letter of complaint stating on one page my complaint and that someone must be held accountable (I don't know where I put that letter or I would bore you with that too). It was mailed certified and registered and everything else I could do with it to assure myself that it was received. I addressed it to: Mr. R. Eckert, C.E.O., Mattel, etc., etc. I enclosed the blown up images with the messages also ~ for their convenience of course.
There! I could honestly say that I had done all that I could.
It felt pretty good to be finished, I was weary. I have skipped a lot of the little daily things I did; so repetitive and boring....One person told me that going to war like this was like firing a cannon across a wall and hoping that it hit but I might never see the result. Ha - what was he thinking? I wasn't about to quit after shooting cannons.
I learned some valuable lessons in my Crusade to make it right, the kind we all have to learn by ourselves. And it doesn't have to do with fighting Corporate American greed. It has more to do with righteous indignation and how to give it up.
In March I heard back.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I am not really a poetry person, maybe I am not smart enough to appreciate a well turned verse or see the underlying message. Like the person that says they don't know much about art but they know what they like... a poem written by Anne Sexton:
I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve‑fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.
I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.
I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waving my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor,
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Saturday, June 2, 2007
I used the power of cyberspace and contacted Oprah, Dr. Phil, some local PBS stations,NBC in San Jose, the journalism department of a nearby University, some feminist activists and, the list goes on. I do not have it all in a neat and tidy order, the events happened in overlapping and a haphazard way.
Here is what I got from some of them:
Sent: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 09:40:26 -0800
was read on Mon, 12 Jan 2004 10:52:15 -0800
Here is a hopeful reply from NBC in San Jose, CA.:
WHAT IS YOUR PHONE NUMBER SO WE CAN CALL YOU?
NBC 11 SAN JOSE
-----Original Message-----From: Sheila Loggan [mailto:***********
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 2:41 PMTo: firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: Barbie Doll
Hi, I am trying to find someone that cares about this: I bought a Barbie doll and inside the package was a little pink book with Barbie image and it says Mattel 2003; ON the book is the subliminal message "Lose 10 lbs in 10 days" and "I lost 20 lbs and you can too". Mattel is not responding to my complaint. I have notified the store where I purchased the Barbie to advise them of the product they are selling. I am a small fish and feel I need help with this. Does anyone out there care???? Sincerely, Sheila ******
NBC11 seemed to be the only ones that cared and they did come through and give me hope, I will go into more detail on that later.
Thank you for your e-mail. Your message is important to us, and we will certainly read it. However, due to the volume of e-mail messages we receive every day, we cannot guarantee that you'll receive a personal response. Feel free to check out our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.
Thanks again for writing to us, and for your interest in the show!
The Dr. Phil Staff
Thank you for your e-mail! Your message is important to us. Unfortunately, due to the volume of e-mail messages we receive every day, we cannot guarantee that you'll receive a personal response. Feel free to check out our Frequently Asked Questions for additional help.
Thanks again for writing to us!
The Oprah.com Staff
Dear Sheila, Thanks for your message. Can you describe the subliminal advertising in the dolls to me? Is there any way to prove it? Best wishes, Jean Kilbourne
This other email came through also:
Thanks, Sheila. Please do fax me a copy (***-***-****). Was the ad for a specific product? Best, Jean
If anyone wants to find out more about Jean Kilbourne and the work she does, this is from a Google search:
Jean Kilbourne Killing Us Softly Can't Buy My Love How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel Women and Advertising Alcohol
I was starting to wake up at night and think about the whole Barbie scene and why was I the only one that was willing to fight Corporate America? I did not have a problem with Barbie dolls, I never did, I simply never understood them. My issue was not with the doll, the doll is a piece of plastic. What in the world was Mattel thinking? I wondered if maybe they had a vested interest in weight loss products or what....I wondered about a LOT of things wide awake at 3 a.m.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Well, I have delivered my message to two stores and wow, do I feel crabby. I sense that this may be harder than I thought. I assumed that people would hear my story and jump on my bandwagon....
Wait, wait, I forgot**************************
During one of my phone calls to Mattel one of the people told me that the "little books" that I was describing were not Barbie products and must have been pushed into the package. How do I deal with that???? I did then say that they had someone sabotaging their Barbie product and it should be corrected.
At some point I call Target and they handed me off to various people not knowing what to do with my complaint. So, I emailed them eventually. Since it is my email I guess I can put it in my blog... this is a response that I got from Target on 22 January 2004:
Dear Sheila,Thank you for your e-mail regarding the packaging for the Barbie yourpurchased at Target. Allow me to apologize for the delayed response. Yourpatience is appreciated. At Target we are always looking for ways to make the Target experiencebetter for every guest. I apologize for the situation you described andappreciate the time you have taken to contact our office. In order to fully research this issue for you and respond to your concerns,I do need some additional information. Please provide the 12-digit UPC number from the Barbie package or if youhave your receipt you can also find a 9-digit item number listed there.Also, if you can provide all of the details of this "subliminal message" sowe can fully understand your concern. I look forward to hearing from you soon and thank you for being a valuedTarget guest.Sincerely,Janine OTarget Guest Relationswww.target.com
and here is my response to JanineO at Target:
Dear Janine O, Thank you for your reply. I gave the Barbie as a gift before Thanksgiving so I cannot supply the box with the UPC or the receipt. I wish I could. The message was in a Movie Star Barbie on a little "book" (2 of them actually). In very small digital type printing one book said "Lose 10 lbs in 10 days" The other "book" also said "I lost 20 lbs and so can you". I bought two Barbies, one in the Bay Area at Serramonte Target and the other at a request of my 4 yr old granddaughter, hers I bought in Las Vegas. I hope this helps you. If you would like to see what I am talking about I can fax the image to you. I have the "books" here at my home. Thanks again. Sincerely, Sheila
I thought that this was a dead end and it was but Janine did respond sometime later with this nice email:
Thank you for your e-mail providing additional information regarding the Barbie you purchased at Target.
We take pride in our products and strive to ensure that all the merchandise sold in our stores meets Target expectations for quality and outstanding value. We appreciate the time you have taken to personally bring this matter to our attention. I apologize that the product you purchased has disappointed you. Your comments and concerns with this item will be made available to our buyers for further review with the manufacturer.
I encourage you to write or call if you have future questions or concerns about the products or services at Target. We do value you as our guest and thank you again for making us aware of this matter.
Target Guest Relations
So much for Target, I had done what I could there; time to move on.
Did I mention that this was starting to become a Crusade?