Aardvark Art Glass

We’re putting on a show in the barn
March 10, 2012, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

Hi everyone. I just got back from a week in Mexico with folks from Don’s work. Mostly we ate and walked on the beach and drank. Went to the bathroom a lot. Read books and chased lizards. It was fun. On day 6 I tripped on one of the many things in Mexico there are to trip on and now the middle finger on my left hand is all jacked up. Since I can’t twirl a mandrel to make beads I’m working on planning a gala Gallery Night (sponsored by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) event involving my newly-acquired Potted Meat Museum. Of late, it has been the most inspiring thing in my life.

Due to a lack of refrigeration, Mexico is a country rich in exotic canned meat products. (Also, milk comes in a box in aisle 3  and eggs are kept at store temperature  so watch out for that.) There were so many tins of wonder to choose from it was hard to pick just two to take home with me. Here is a picture of one that made it back:

Here’s how the conversation went with the Dept. of Agriculture authority in Customs. Keep in mind that on my left hand is a badly bruised finger taped to a splint I made from a chop stick :

Me: I have two cans of squid in my suitcase.

The Authority: Are you going to eat them?

Me: Oh, no! I collect them-I have a meat collection in my store. It’s like a tourist attraction.

The Authority: What did you do to your finger?

Me: I fell. There were a lot of things to trip on.

The Aurhority (to Don): Why didn’t you catch her?

Don: I fell too.

The Authority: I thought you might have hurt it opening a can.

Me: Oh no! I don’t eat these-I collect them.

It went on like that for a while. He was very funny. I convinced him I was just a garden-variety wack-job and he let us through without a search. The end.

BUT, back to the reason I started writing this…I’m trying to put together a meat-themed show for May 4th, Gallery Night (sponsored by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art) and I’d like to display meat-themed art work from anyone who wants to throw down. Due to a lack of ventilation in the store, I request that you do not use real meat in your creations. Artistic renderings of meat in prints, paintings and jewelry are preferred as well as sculpture from meat packaging (SPAM cans and what have you) or advertising. If your work sells, you get the money minus credit card fees. If it doesn’t, I’ll send it back to you.

Those with more than a passing familiarity potted meat are aware of the unintended humor within a product’s provocative name (eg. “Lunch Tongue”) and ingredients (eg. “Mechanically separated chicken”). The Meat Museum came with two cans wrapped in home-made labels that look like real products:

Thus, another creative possibility–design your own potted meat product label and stick it on a can. Or, design a label and mail it to me and I’ll stick it on a can. Recipe suggestions and full disclosure of ingredients is a must.

You know, that sort of thing. So, have you got any meat art in your portfolio? Do you make glass or metal bacon? Comment or email me at aardvarkartglass@gmail.com.






Meat, glorious meat
February 23, 2012, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

I forgot to tell you guys that I got a mammogram the other week and it came back normal. So, in a very profound way that was a load off my mind and the minds of others around me. Now my brain is free to worry about more important things.

Speaking of which, the tree project is morphing into something excellent that we are keeping for ourselves–The Ham Tree

It is like it sounds-a tree full of little glazed ham beads. At the base of the tree are a pair of creatures that lay green eggs:

It’s a solid theme, man. What’s particularly timely about the piece is that…this is going to be difficult to explain to anyone who was not listening to community radio station W.O.R.T in the late 90’s but I’m going to try. So there are these two radio personalities Mel and Mr. Smarty Pants. They have an extremely funny, difficult to describe radio show (Mel and Floyd) that airs on W.O.R.T. on Friday afternoons. Since their show is my favorite of any on the station, I give them premiums to give away during pledge drives. They mention the store often and I credit them with helping to build my once mighty customer base.

ANYWAY, ago, back in the day, on the show there was this long-running joke about potted meat (that’s SPAM, or any other canned meat product). This fellow, Russ (another person you don’t know) started sending Mel and Pants cans of potted meat accompanied by hilarious letters which were read on the show. Because potted meat is so goddamn funny, this went on and on. Eventually, there were enough cans of meat for a small museum for which someone built a nifty cabinet.

Flash forward to present day (about 12 years later) I hear on the show that the people at W.O.R.T. are weary of housing the meat museum and are looking to give it a new home. I told them I would take it and they gave it to me and I am the luckiest girl in the world! Here’s a picture:

Hence, the understandable pride over the meat-related artwork. So far I haven’t had anyone come in who remembers the hey-day of potted meat, but the important thing is I’m keeping myself amused.


I’m doing something, finally
February 14, 2012, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

My pal Erika (scrap metal welding gal) is trying to raise funds for a public art project here in Madison. If the project is funded, Erika will be commissioned to make a giant metal tree on a median where John Nolan Dr. and Williamson St. meet. For fundraising purposes, Erika started making these 24″ trees out of colorful electrical wire. Here is one:

They are quite detailed with little flower blossoms on the ends of the branches. The trunks are sturdy, composed of multiple strands of thick copper wire. I thought they needed some glass creatures living in them so I started making those:

The tree squids are my favorites because they build nests for their baby tree squids, which are super cute.

I made a bunch of slugs that crawl up the tree trunks:

There’s also frogs and spiders and flying clams. Dodo birds too.

Some things have yet to be wired together but they’re coming along. The goal is to sell two trees at a fundraising event in the near future. I’ll have more pictures later when we get them all together.

How sand gets into clam chowder
January 23, 2012, 1:00 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

I got sick again last week. I got my first post-treatment cold in late November. I didn’t mention it because, who cares, really? After being sick so much last year the anticipation of getting that first cold is harder to deal with than the cold itself. Then last week I caught a flu or something, got sick again and it really did not bother me. I figure my immune system is probably less than it should be and I’ll probably catch whatever is going around for a while. In short, I think I’m getting good at being sick. It used to really piss me off but now, not so much.

Anyway, what was unusual about this bout was that 1) It was kind of mean and 2) Don had the same thing at the same time so we got to stay at home together and watch daytime television. It was much better than being sick by myself. For one or more reasons, fever and large doses of Ny Quil among them but also because Don was there,  I was laughing my ass off about everything almost all of the time. The laughter triggered explosive bouts of coughing, followed by body spasms and raspy wheezing. I figured that whatever was so goddamn funny when I sick might prove useful later on so I kept a notebook by the couch and chronicled my brilliant narcotic ideas.

Well, that notebook idea turned out to be pure gold. I’m going to show you a little comic I drew that made me laugh so hard and so long that I coughed up absolutely everything that was in my lungs. Backstory: Food did not taste very good when I was sick so I wasn’t eating much-I subsisted for many days on Ny Quil and a large bag of sour gummy bears. Then on Wednesday or so Don made a can of Chunky Clam Chowder and I decided to share it with him. It was awful, and it made Don pine for the clam chowder at his place of employment which he claims is the best clam chowder around. “There’s always a little sand in it,” he said. We agreed that a bit of sand is a hallmark of great chowder, or at least one that contains real clams.

I asked him if he knew how the sand got into the chowder. He knew, but he seemed to want to hear my theory anyway so I drew the following cartoon:

The original drawing was almost illegible so I had to re-draw it on the computer. I think I’m almost done laughing at that, now.

New year name and Foster got married
January 11, 2012, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

WordPress sent me an end of year blogging summary the other day informing me that I wrote 17 posts in the past year. As they want me to continue my subscription, it was a very supportive email replete with virtual exploding fireworks and lots of detailed information about which posts were the most popular and who commented most frequently. (In case you’re wondering, Phil and Jean commented more than anyone and a post I wrote at least three years ago about Pop Tarts was the most viewed.) The staying power of Pop Tarts. Just a reminder that you never know what people are going to find interesting. Hopefully, I’ll top 17 posts this year and WordPress will be really proud of me.

But back to the New Year thing…last weekend at yet another party we picked a New Year name. Also at the party-this is news-my longtime pal Bob Foster married his longtime companion Margaret. Here’s a picture of Bob begging Margaret to come out of the bathroom:

And here’s a picture of the happy couple

As weddings and parties go, it was a good one. Don preformed the ceremony and I, as maid of honor, gave Margaret the option of either having T-Bone attend the ceremony or having dancing cigarette box attend the ceremony. She choose T-Bone. Who wouldn’t? I thought it would be a good idea, in lieu of a throw-able bouquet and also because no one else in the room had any interest in getting married, for Margaret to throw one of my old wigs to the waiting crowd behind her. So during the vow exchange I held a wig in one hand and a live hedgehog in the other. Later, when the wig was thrown, people scattered and it landed silently on the floor. Everyone applauded and that startled T-Bone who got all wiggly. I had to put him in his cage after that. Such was the wedding of Bob and Margaret.

After all that, while everyone was still around to put their two cents in, we decided that 2012 was going to be the year of Tuckin’ Yer Nuggets and Weathering the Storm. It’s good advice for any year, really.

Season’s Greetings
January 2, 2012, 4:43 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

As you may have noticed, I have become very comfortable with not writing the blog these days. Not that one activity excludes the other but I’ve been busy trying to make the store go which involves waiting for people to come in while farting around with things. Because I had that nifty port around, I learned about silver soldering. What I learned was it’s really hard to do well and also that I am chicken to solder actual silver. Missy has a lot of scrap copper so I cut out a hedgehog:

When I solder him to the brass I will have something. The thing about learning something new is you have to be proficient at a lot of different things in order to make something work, or at least be confident that you can do it again or fix it if you fuck it up at some point. So it’s intimidating, the metal work.

One thing I am pretty good at is stamping snarky things into copper:


I’ve found that the brilliant thoughts really start flowing and my stamping gets better after a cocktail or two. Is there a market for un- inspirational copper tags? Maybe well find out in 2012.

What else to show…in Nov. I spent about a day making pill bottle lights for around the front window:

That was the extent of my holiday decorating. There is a shop up the street that, to borrow a phrase from John Stewart, looks like the yule tide version of “Hoarders”.  I’m not a crab about the holidays, and that shop’s decorations are very pretty, but, because I am lazy and I’m short on storage space I tend toward hanging decorations that can stay up at least until Valentine’s Day, if not all year long.

Speaking of the year and everything, we had a very successful New Year’s party the other day. No one remembers for sure but I think last year, because I was sick and all, we broke with tradition and did not come up with a name for the New Year. The source of the confusion on this topic is the loss of the Grand Record of year names (a pizza box lid from 200o-something with a list of all the names on it). I don’t know…it might have gotten thrown out in one of the great junk purges of 2011, of which there were two. I can’t be expected to keep track of every box lid with writing on it. Anyway, because the tradition continues, I’ve re-constructed the list from past blog posts and also from memory. I’m putting it here where we can have it for reference without picking up a grimy piece of cardboard:

2006 The Year of No Consequences

2007 The Year of the Apocalopse

2008 Year of Curbing Your Inner Dumbass

2009 Year of Blessed Traps

2010 Year of Miracles of Little Consequence

2011 ?

Now that I think about it, 2011 might have been the Year of Polishing the Turd. That sounds familiar to me, though that might be because it is one of the phrases I stamped into copper the other day. Hmmm. Anyway, a by-product of Saturday’s festivities is a long list of names for 2012 from which we have to pick one and then get on with our lives. We’ll probably do that next weekend, so I might have that to post, at least.



Happy Halloween
November 2, 2011, 1:13 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

I was a dancing box of cigarettes for Halloween.

Sometimes, I was a peeing box of cigarettes. Had I known the best shot of me would have been the one on the toilet, I would have worn black underwear. When I get dressed, I never think about people seeing my underwear. I think that’s normal and ultimately a really good way to prepare one’s self for the day. At least there weren’t any holes in this pair.

I got the idea for this costume from this You Tube video. I chose Marlboro cigs over Old Gold because the box design is much simpler and I only had 4 days to make it. This project is noteworthy for several reasons:

1. I got an idea.

2. I decided to make a complex Halloween costume (I have not done this during my entire adult life.)

3. I made the costume all by myself.

4. The costume is very well-constructed and, unlike my awesome sandwich board,  painted exactly the same on both sides. I can’t remember ever painting anything the same way twice for any reason. I’m glad I got over that because I really need to finish that sandwich board–two-sided sandwich board, you got something. One-sided sandwich board, you got dick, and also a lot of people asking you why your sign is painted on only one side.

The event that spurred the creation of this get-up was an annual party put on in part by my shop mate, Missy, at the Howard Academy For Metal Arts in Stoughton, WI. The Howards do not mess around with the party throwing so I didn’t want to mess around with the costume wearing. And I figure dancing cigarettes are entertaining enough that they can be worked into other events throughout the year-New year’s for sure. I don’t know…I have to figure out something because I don’t have the room to store that thing.