Monday, June 20, 2016

A Visit to the Tiny Book Exhibit at GCC

Today, I visited an amazing exhibit parked outside on the Greenfield Community College campus, where I attended classes some forty years ago before transferring to Smith College.  

On display were hundreds of handmade tiny books made by kids and artists. As part of their Creativity Caravan you can check out their mission here. I especially loved their video about the power of creativity. 

The Creativity Caravan "Type Rider in Schools" program from Maya Stein on Vimeo.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Some Pictures from our Tibetan Amulet Workshop

A small group of us met with Dara Juels to learn the basics of traditional Tibetan amulet string weaving based in the five elements. She learned this form from her Tibetan husband Yangjor, who studied ritual arts in his monastery when he was a monk. 

We used a color xerox of an amulet of Avalokitesvara Korwa Tongtrug hand drawn by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's which we folded according to instructions. 

After folding our mantra into a square and marking its uptight positon, we assembled our five string colors beginning with yellow in the center to represent earth. 

As we wrapped the mantra alternating horizontal with vertical, the weaving began to emerge. At the end of each color's wrap came the hard part, which is to tuck the left over string into the folded packet. 

That's Dara's mom, "feminist assemblage artist," Rhoda Juels, whose work we later toured. 

Coming along. The next colors to weave will be white followed by Blue. Notice how we alternate the vertical and horizontal threads wrapped around the mantra. The number here is seven times. 

Finished amulet!

Often one sees these kinds of amulets incased in plastic  made in Asia to wear. Here we are making larger amulets to place on our shrine, above a doorway or anywhere in our environment--not to wear. However, next we will experiment with smaller versions. 

During our lunch break we took a tour of Rhoda Juels' unique assemblages using a variety of paper and textiles. The work below was made from the paper she made in our 2014 workshop on Khandroling. 

The work below is based on the Hebrew myth of Lilith. Rhoda embroidered the names of prominent women artists from the Jewish tradition. 

Many Thanks to Dara, Yangjor and Rhoda. Dara will be teaching more classes in the fall. We wish her a happy retreat and travels over the summer.

[Photos by Dara Juels}
[Photos of Rhoda's work by Sheryl Jaffe]