She's baaaack . . . which must mean The Show Report!

Greetings from the ACC Baltimore Show, booth 3603!

Yes, technically it's all over but The Show Report . . .

Which is late. But since February 29 doesn't really exist, I think we can all just wink and call it on time. Anyway, I deserve to be a bit late...it was quite a week!

I've heard horror stories from the Baltimore dock, but things had always gone like clockwork for us.  This year, however, we were caught in round-and-round-the-block lines, and didn't get away from the dock until very late.

Which meant we only made it as far as Bedford, PA the first night . . . which meant a WHOLE LOT of driving on day 2.  But we finally made it home, and even managed to beat the impending ice storm.

(Read:  yesterday when she could have been blogging, she was instead napping.) 

But as for the show itself, a delightful time was had by all! 

wall one

We saw some much-missed family and old friends who were kind enough to make the trek, and even made a few new friends.

The Baltimore show is a real beauty, and if you've never seen it, you should put it on your list.  The work is a visual feast, and there is just so much of it that it's hard to even process so many amazing and beautiful things/ideas/people in one place at one time. 

wall two

wall three

The sales were disappointing, however.  Won't even try to spin that.  DISAPPOINTING.

 For some reason there just weren't enough people at the show for much of Saturday and Sunday.  And the people who were there were somehow less engaged than has been my experience at previous Baltimore shows.  In talking to other artists, I learned that I was not alone -- many had less-than-stellar shows as well, which made me feel bad for us all.  Once you know just how much work goes into doing a big show, you have a lot of empathy for everyone who does them.

As we sat in the never-ending dock line, Russ commented that he wished the people who attend shows could see any of what goes on before or after.  Not even including MAKING the work, which requires a whole lot of sweat and tenacity, heart and soul -- but the logistics of hauling it there, setting it up, and then sitting under the lights on the concrete floor being largely ignored for the weekend before tearing down and hauling it out again.

If people could see that process, they would likely not balk at prices or say insensitive things.  They would wonder that anyone does it.  

And all I can say about that is, the artists do it because they must.  Making is who they are, and the desire to share their creations is part of that.  For most of the exhibitors, they didn't choose fine craft -- it chose them.

Now, I'm going to take a direction that is a little different
from my usual for the rest of the report . . . 

Because people really said only nice things about my work -- within earshot, anyway -- which was lovely.

(There were a few funny moments of course, like the woman who said "Never mind about all this, I want to talk about your haircut.  Now THAT'S art!!" It gave me great pleasure to inform her that I paid $14.00 for it, to which she replied "O... M...G." very dramatically before leaving the booth with a piece of my chocolate.  People are funny.)

For this edition of Overheard at the Show --

I'm going to tell you two things I overheard while eating my lunch one day near the speaker's corner.  The ACC brought in fascinating speakers all weekend long, but I was only lucky enough to hear a small part of one presentation.  Unfortunately, I have no idea who the gentleman was that was speaking.  Even worse, I cannot tell you who he was quoting when my ears perked up and I really started to pay attention.  I only know it was a female artist from the 1960's, who said something like this:

You should never make something 
that anyone else in the world can make . . . 

I always make things that  
could only ever be made by ME.

I LOVED that idea!  It's something I already strive for in my work, and I think I succeed because the thing I hear most often is how unique my work is.  That's a blessing and a curse, of course -- it doesn't fit neatly on anyone's shopping list.  People don't go to shows looking for funky bright hand-stitched fiber art with a little philosophy and a lot of polka dots around the edges... but that's okay.

Because I am doing something I can do, in the way that only I can do it.  Or maybe in the only way I can do it.  Either way, it feels good.

The other thing the speaker said is that women continue to be woefully underrepresented in the visual arts. In the 1970's, the percentage of artists receiving one-person shows in galleries and/or hanging in museums who were female, stood at an unbelievable 2%.  TWO PERCENT. In the next 30 years, that percentage rose to a whopping 5%.  Inconceivable.  Truly.

Makes me want to stick around.

Live to create another day.  Even though a tough show can make me contemplate things like a job at Target, I believe it's important to keep doing what I do.

And anyway, like I tried to explain before . . . 
I don't think I really have a choice.


Wednesday with Warhol.

photo credit Bob Adelman, 1965

Shopping List

there is nothing sexy
about some things
like soup

but when you look
beyond the can, let it
work up some steam

feel its heat, softness
the way it slides
down, subtle flavors

simmering, savored
warming your tongue
you might wonder

should you look more closely
consider picking up
another little something

-- smh

A little hot soup -- just the thing for an icy Wednesday, 
and just the thing for The Mag.  

Click on over and enjoy a bit more,
or even throw your own into the pot . . .



Ready or Not.

Although I firmly believed that it would NEVER happen...

a miracle has once again occurred
and I'm ready (ahem! sorta) for Baltimore.

That does NOT mean the truck is loaded...

Nor should you make the mistake of thinking the laundry is done, bills paid, disastrous last-minute work mess put away, or a host of other things.  I'm chipping away at that list as quickly as I can.  But at least I can show you my new work before I wave farewell for a week.

Well, in theory I COULD show you the work . . .

but instead I am going to show you VERY BAD PHOTOS of the work.  Even by my standards they are very bad -- and there are many valid excuses for that today, but I won't bore you with them.  Just squint hard and pretend that it's not the photos' (nor the photo-taker's) fault.  At least you can get an idea of how the new pieces turned out.

I'm so excited about them! 

It was really fun watching them come together, and I enjoyed the challenge of taking my work a bit outside its usual comfort zone -- figuring out how to nudge it someplace new.

But first, here's how my little cowgirl turned out:

Don't Fence Me In, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

Her bags are packed and she's ready for adventure!  Maybe I should just follow her.

Joining her on the journey will be these new friends:

 Little Big Girl, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

When All Else Fails, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

Indispensable Household Robot No. 7, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

Heavenly Body, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

Bad Betty, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

Grow, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

The Bluebird of Happiness Sings for You, Susan M. Hinckley, 2012

There you have it!  

Yes, I realize a monkey could have taken better pictures.  Yes, I realize those pictures are also pictures of me taking the pictures.  No, I don't have time to try again . . .

But think how much better they'll look when you see the pieces in person!

That's right -- come on down to booth 3603 at the Baltimore Convention Center this weekend and I'll greet you with a smile and some personal introductions and even a piece of chocolate, if you behave.  

Can't wait to see you!  

Small Works will return on Tuesday, February 28, with The Show Report (including Overheard at the Show, of course!)  

Until then,
Happy Trails! 



You don't have to be that smart to know . . .

that trying to figure out how to do something new 
the week before Baltimore might not be the best idea.

After about my third false start on this framing project, Russ reminded me that "genius is a process." 

And I reminded him that if I were a genius, 
I would have been doing this in November. 

(Miss you, my friends!  Hope you're well, and that I'll be back soon with fun new work to show for my lack of sleep.)



Sunday Scribble.


this is what it feels like, this
is what pulls me
to remembrance

bright, haloed detail
sharp dark blur
of movement, both work

sometimes I must think
sometimes I want
to let my thoughts be taken

-- smh

Well!...a bit racy for Small Works perhaps,
but right at home on The Mag.
Click over now and indulge in a little more fun
(or create some of  your own.)


Well well well . . . what have we here?!


No, I did not intend to neglect you, my friends, 
but unfortunately blogging is dessert to me.  

I enjoy it too much to, in good conscience, call it anything else.

And here at Small Works, things are a little hectic.  

In fact, an extra five or six -- or even seven! -- pairs of hands might come in handy this week . . .

So I whipped up  
Indispensable Household Robot #7.  

No, he has not been much help so far.  He questions all my artistic choices.  He wants to work really late at night.  He tempts me with donuts. We don't have the same taste in music. I only hope he'll start pulling his weight soon.  

Maybe I could teach him to do blog posts?  

No, dumb idea . . . 
I should teach him to do everything else so I can write blog posts.

I'll work on that and get back to you.

Happy Thursday!



Sunday Scribble.

a grave at Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow


if I held your heart
felt it pulse against my palms
or balanced it on fingertips
to watch its push and pull
would it cut, all points and edges
try to wriggle out, become
a flopping love-fish on the floor
ooze and bleed desire, effusive
quiver, gel-like, undecided
let me see inside it, search its rooms
or offer nothing, not a clue of any kind
but make instead a flatline of itself
and wait to be set down again?

-- smh

Check out 
more poetry 
inspired by
the photo prompt 
at  The Mag...

 ( . . . and feel free to jump in at any time!)


If said correctly, February can be a swear word...

It doesn't matter what the groundhog 
sees or doesn't see --

In Minnesota, 
either way we already know where we stand.

But there's no escaping the fact that groundhog day means it's February, and February means that The ACC Baltimore Show is just around the corner!  

click image to enlarge for show details

I only wish we had six weeks left!

There's just no denying
I still have some pretty big fish 
to fry between now and then....

So if I seem a little absent these days (physically and/or mentally), I apologize and beg your indulgence.  There are big projects going on at all hours in the studio, and things aren't bound to slow down any time soon. 

I hope you'll allow me to make it up to you the minute I've finished doing penance for my procrastinating ways ... and of course, ahem ... learning my lesson and becoming a better person as a result (that goes without saying).

In the meantime, 
here's wishing you 
a weekend 
away from work 
and chock full 'o fun!

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