Wednesday, February 03, 2010

To Boston and Back

The whirlwind trip to Boston was very fruitful. Although it is quite physically exhausting to fit a trip to Boston into one day, there is something kind of lovely about taking a long train ride, ending up in a new city for a day and boarding the train home in the evening. The hardest part is seeing our house flash by right near the end of the return trip and know it will take a good 45 minutes to an hour to retrace the steps to get back there. Surely Amtrak could make a quick stop in Sunnyside? No?

Ah well. Here are some the goodies I found in the archives at Simmons. I have no idea what my plan is with these items (I was only looking and taking pictures, although the staff of the archives seem willing to share for exhibition purposes).

The mandatory commemorative mug. I have some vague idea of recreating fake ceramic mugs and salt shakers and the like but to what end, I am not sure.

I learned that, up until the 1960s, each class would pick an animal mascot to represent their year. This led to some funny, kitschy knick knacks and stuffed animals in their collection. According to a little display in the archives, the tradition has been reinstated recently. This year's class mascot is a shark.

Another interesting item (it is a matchbook in case my photograph is too cryptic). I noticed a distinct change in how the women in the school viewed themselves when I looked through the yearbooks last time. Somewhere between the 1960 issue and the 1970 issue, not surprisingly, the tone changed from a jokey, ain't we got fun, self-depreciating tone to one a more enlightened, hear me roar tone. This is, obviously, pre-1970.

As is this.

This I found most curious not only for the somewhat cartoonish portrait but also for the writing - is that Thai? Very mysterious.

As I say, I really don't know what I will do with all this. I like the idea of playing with the whole notion of archives and presentation, especially since the library science program is one of the largest programs at Simmons.

I also met with an art administration class who will be my assistants through out the development of this project. They were so amazing - very engaged and enthusiastic. They had already thought of several ideas and were ready to take on the task of engaging others in it as well. Being in their early 20s, they have embraced facebook, blogs, twitter and other means of communication so I found myself ending my self-imposed FB vacation. All in the name of art, you understand. I can quit anytime I like. Really.

I am so pleased with how the project is shaping up. I feel like the quirky aspects of campus life at Simmons are perfectly suited my own quirky aspects. I think it is a good match.

Then, it was back to my little sunroom studio! Tuesdays tend to be the day when people return week after week so it has become a lovely group of dedicated spinners and knitters and a few new people coming for the first time. I have lost track of how many skeins have gone out - many people have taken more than one - but I think we will have about 30 or more hats in the end. All I know is that when I put skeins out on the table, they are always all gone by the end of the day. Likewise, my pile of fleece disappears and it is time to start dyeing again.

Here are a couple more skeins that I managed to document before they left. I am loving that deep cochineal red. Both skeins, indeed nearly all the skeins, are from batts carded by visitors. I have hardly touched the drum carder since the first session, except to demonstrate how to use it.

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