Back to the Heads

I thought because there was an interest in the autobiographical heads to know more about them, I would do a blog with just them. today I finished the Homemaker, the last of the four. Here they are one by one and what they have in their right and left brains. I am definitely more right brained so that side was more fun to stuff with the bits that inspire that particular identity I have.

First off here is what I am working with. Soft balsam millinery¬† heads for hat making.¬† I used these years ago to teach hats made using basket materials. The classes appealed to those like me, who wanted something other than a sensible, usable basket as an end result, but still wanted to learn techniques of basketry. I taught this and another outsider class titled, “People of Substance Fashioned in Fiber”. That was even more fun but I gave it up when the conference I was teaching at put me and my students in the hall to the fire escape. We were a bit crazy with some assembling ex husbands and their mother-in-laws in not so flattering shapes and outfits. Also in the hat making classes we spent an inordinate amount of time running to the restrooms to see how they fit. The uptight powers that be considered us an unruly bunch. So when asked to teach in Australia in the nineties, and the People of Substance class at that, I jumped at the chance to be with like kind.

Anyway here is a head. Easy to carve balsam wood.

I was going to use them in a circle of female heads facing each other with the title being, “What Was She Thinking?”

And that made me wonder just who they were and WHAT were they thinking. So I took parts of my identity and applied it to four of them. The first was The Printmaker. It was fun getting all those type stamps stuck around her head.

Each head has a right and left brain influence and sits on a base related to who she is at this time. I carved in small houses for her thinking, used a wood engraving that I was not that fond of but it’s a crow, so somehow fit using the block and a print together. Small wads of tarlatan are rolled into “hair”. The base is large type that years ago I thought I just had to have.

Left brain…an orderly set of books with clean prints inside and an attic of rolled up clean prints.

Right brain….just messy

Next came The Traveler. Lots to work with here with old maps and collections from travels.

The base is a sextant my daughter got for me sitting atop an Australia Aboriginal history book. It is also embedded with soils from my travels.

Left brain of the traveler.

Orderly collection bottles with maps. I tore up old maps from an old dictionary of places I have traveled, Canada, Australia, Bali, France, Italy, Hawaii….

Right brain. The things shoved into pockets.

Many months went by and I made The Writer.

This was a fun one to do. The base is an old dictionary and a set of small guides for writing, like spell check, etc. On each side of that cased set of three are small books that I wrote and did small editions of. A bookmark comes down her face under her reading glasses. An old thesaurus sits along the back. Old foundry moulds act as book ends.

Left side brain. A sawed off section of a dictionary/reference book with carefully placed tabs.

Right brain…a bit messier. And under that open book are my roots that play a major part in my writing.

And finally The Homemaker.

The old stained measuring tape was my mothers. It is funny how the stains ended up on the right brain messy side.

Left brain. A perfect little pin cushion from Helen Hobbs, a diaper safety pin, some fabric I bought to make Mercer Scroggs wife, Lena, new curtains, some bobbins and ribbon.

And the right brain of this homemaker. Always bringing home the odd bits to place around the house. Always Eucalyptus dead or alive on the table, mud cloth because I love the look and smell and how well it fits with the rest of the things I collect for the home.

I have to make quite a mess while I dig out the things that fit my thinking.

Some things make it, some don’t. I even make sure the little houses are properly wallpapered for their thinking processes.

I liked sticking these old bristle curler pegs in as knitting needles. The basket is a small one I bought from the McColleys years ago when we taught at those conferences….hand dyed yarns, probably marigold because it was one plant I could grow.


So that is it for now. I have started a drawing to transfer onto a board to do a woodcut. It is 9″ across by 24″ long and has some knots so an owl in a tree seemed a good idea. Here is the start of the drawing that size.

It should keep me busy for some time just getting the drawing right.

Til later with more pictures of my walks.