Saturday, June 12, 2010

The B-52s and Baby Powder

My worker bee hive since yesterday. I've been listening to the entire collection of The B-52s on my iPod dock -- really really loud. I learned it takes 3.5 loops of their entire anthology to roll, cut and stamp 300 tiles. And since I use baby powder as a stamp release, I reek of the stuff. Happy and reeking.

Every once and awhile, the Universe gives us the opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of a dear friend in dire need. When myself and others in our art community were alerted to the plight of Melissa Gaulding and her husband, Herman, we were compelled to act. They are dear people -- the kind you immediately adore, and feel you've known all your life even though you met them only two minutes ago. Thoughtful, intelligent, fun, witty, supportive and talented, they charm you instantly.

So what began as Heather Malone-Bogle's plaintive question of what could be done for them has now bloomed into a joyous, enthusiastic snowball of generosity from every corner of the industry. It's times like this that remind us what's important and what unites us, and so this effort has been a true celebration not only of Melly and Herman, but of what it means to be fortunate enough to have them as friends.

While many artists and collectors are donating exquisite pieces for the cause, I considered what I could do. So many of these pieces are expected to go for high-ticket amounts, and I pondered what could allow lots of folks to participate in this giving party, too...and it popped into my head: The stamped tiles! Of course!

So I set myself on a plan, now formally termed The Terracotta Tile Project! Fellow mudhen Marge Para suggested using terracotta clay to make them really distinctive, which was a stroke of genius. Thanks Marge! And since Melly's logo is a flying heart, I decided to create a little heart stamp to make an additional imprint into the clay, making these stamps doubly unique.

A bit of epoxy clay shaped into a heart stamp, wrapped in foil and rapidly cured in the oven allowed me to get to work immediately. While Melissa's logo has a winged heart, I thought it fitting the horse in the tile would "fly" the heart instead, neatly tucked in his chest. Lots of meaning fit for the occasion.

So since yesterday afternoon, I've been a Sarahsaurus Rex possessed, cranking out three hundred beautiful 3" terracotta tiles, which are now happily drying. The eight day countdown begins now! Once they're bisque fired, a slew of incredible glazing artists have volunteered to glaze many of them, and then sell them on Melly's behalf. Here's a list of the current glazers hungry to help: Karen Gerhardt, Barb Ness, Jen Kroll, Joan Berkwitz, Adalee Velasquez, Lesli Kathman, Cheryl Farrens, Marge Para, Jenn Danza, Elaine Lindelef, Margaret Olson, and of course myself. Stay tuned on their blogs or lists for updates regarding their tiles, and other fund-raising contributions. And stay tuned here for updates on new glazers jumping into the gleeful glazing fray!

Even Hubby got in on the action!

Here's a sneak peek at this special tile! The white bits are the baby powder, which will fire off.

Each participating artist gets to glaze and decorate their allotted tiles however they wish, making each of these tiles super special three times over! And not only that! Everyone who buys ones of these tiles is entered into a drawing for two more special items! HAZZAH! To learn more about The Terracotta Tile Project, and to stay updated on all fund-raising activities, bookmark the Flying Heart Fundraiser page. Things are developing very quickly, so revisit it often to keep up with the breaking news! Also, the selling process for these puppies is still being formulated, and this project will have its own page soon, so hang tight for more as it blossoms!

To learn more about the cause, visit Joan's blog post, Karen Gerhardt's blog post, and Lesli Kathman's blog posts here and here.

"All you need is love." ~ The Beatles

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