Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Women Warriors WisCon 40 Urim

Urim is the 13th of the scifi women warriors going to WisCon 40 in Madison, WI over Memorial Day weekend. This character will be a leading actor in the Stellar Repo universe, although I wonder if Urim will keep the dark humor alive. We'll find out together.

My abridged theory of how women lost the power 5,000 years or so ago: we humans stopped wandering; built, cultivated, fenced, domesticated animals and ourselves. A priest class rose to assure that whatever was working continued to work: sun rising in the east, rain falling, crops growing, babies aborning. Check. Cultivation took and then there was surplus. The priest class added a notch on its CV to defend the wealth. Warrior. Warrior priest class. And women were shoved into the back office. Read domesticated. Think domination.

Enter the warrior priest who is going to upend all that shit.

Stellar Repo is about returning stuff to the rightful owner. She is selective about what stuff and rightful means. Tikkum olam - repairing the world. Urim will be a prominent player in educating Stellar on the intricacies of gathering the pieces together. Urim is a devotee of cleromancy.

This figure is painted with stainless steel paint. Her torso is adorned with beaded glitter which represents an embodied tattooing. Her skirt is made from copper mesh and cinches with a copper clasp in the back. Her sandals are clay with copper mesh straps. Her labrys (doubled-bitted ax) is a copper tube with jewelry findings. The jewel at her third eye is a lemon pear-shaped faceted crystal, surrounded with hammered copper. Her earbob is heavy gauge coiled copper. The cloak is a sewn fabric remnant, as is the stole.

Urim wears a chest medallion that is argentium I fused to a copper oval, and is the symbol for the Cosmic Egg. The image can be found in Barbara Walker's Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects or by searching images on the internet. The medallion can be removed and makes a swanky human pendant.

You can read more about the Stellar Repo universe on this blog.

Urim will be appearing with her 12 sister warriors at the WisCon 40 Art Show in Madison, WI during Memorial Day weekend.

For those who will not be attending WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Urim is available in my etsy shop.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Women Warriors WisCon40 Stellar Repo

The lead character in the Stellar Repo storyline. Stellar is an intergalactic retriever of swiped stuff. She has an attitude problem which is perfect for breaking and entering and putting the habeus grabus on purloined property. Her tools and - when necessary - her weaponry are bolt cutters and a long crowbar. Her story is space noir.

The plot is based on an odd promotion in my banking life to aircraft loan collection manager. I was such a neophyte - I think the entire commercial loan division shared jokes about the bonehead moves I made early on. One repeated around the office: a man in Kentucky was suspected of using his de Havilland as a crop duster. The bank's loan contract forbade use of private aircraft for commercial purposes. So Boyd Burnett was in violation. He refused my calls, disguised his voice, dodged my investigators. A private airport operator took pity on me and ratted Burnett out. Next time I called, I said, "Mr. Burnett, I know this is you. You are in violation of your agreement with Big Bank, and you leave me no choice but to take the aircraft." <Guffaw> "Mr. Burnett?" When he stopped laughing, he drawled, "Li'l lady. You find that sumbitch, you can have it."

I had no idea where the plane was. I told the B. Burnett story while in a TV studio sound room, and the young engineer said "why don't you write it in space?"

This character is wearing traditional ninja attire, carrying the tools of her trade. Her goggles are SGT Leigh Ann Hester eyewear from Rattlesnake Toys. She is a fully poseable action figure. I just noticed you can't see her goggles. You'll have to trust that they are cool!

I am crazy about Stellar Repo. You can read more about her on this blog. Episode 1. Episode 2.

Stellar will be appearing with her 12 sister scifi warriors at the WisCon 40 Art Show in Madison, WI during Memorial Day weekend.

For those who will not be attending WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Stellar Repo is available in my etsy shop.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mai Women Warriors WisCon 40

Bieggolmai is the Saami goddess of summer storms and wind. This small action figure radiates fierce. When I was working on her, I had to turn her head to the side because her stare was so daunting. I stopped redesigning her face when she started looking back. Look at her - posing her, she stomped on her nameplate. I left her that way. She came in a group of action figures, and as luck would have it, fit a pair of pants I made that were too narrow for normal 1:6 scale figures.

Mai is anything but normal. She has no assignment in a storyline, but she will be as transient and memorable as a summer storm when she does appear.

Her sword was acquired from an eBayer who recently lost a good job, and has to sell his handmade collection of gear and weaponry. The sword is hand forged, and buyer beware, quite sharp.

Mai will be joining her 12 sister warriors at WisCon 40 Art Show in Madison, WI over Memorial Day weekend

For those who will not be attending WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Mai is available in my etsy shop.

Women Warriors WisCon 40 Kala

This character has no assigned role yet. She is a metabolically modified mermaid who can fly. Kala is the Finnish word for fish.

You can undoubtedly tell she was a Glenn Close 101 Dalmatians doll-one of the few molds based on humans that actually looked like who it was supposed to be. I removed most of her exaggerated make-up and that awful hair. She is hardwired in a skullcap with watch parts and thread.

So. What story doesn't need a metabolically modified mermaid who can fly?

I'm wild about wiring and fusing wings. I see dragons in my future. Storm dragons, underwater dragons...

Kala will be joining her 12 sister warriors at WisCon 40 Art Show in Madison, WI over Memorial Day weekend

For those who will not be attending WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Kala is available in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Women Warriors WisCon 40 Rock Star

This weary beauty is one of my oldest and a favorite. She has no name yet, but she will surely appear on stage in the Stellar Repo universe. She is an entertainer, and I have some insider information about her I am unwilling to reveal just yet. Entertainers hear many dangerous secrets because audiences forget celebrities have ears. And brains. And histories. And agendas.

This character has a wire armature, a rolled up masking tape head. Her hands are wrapped in thread. Her purple boots are sculpted from clay. The jean jacket and pants are from a favorite pair, threadbare and well loved. The jacket has a fake fur collar. Her turtleneck is from a castoff tshirt. She has doll's hair and human false eyelashes. She is the smallest of her sisters at about 9-1/2 inches high.

She posed herself and I love the way she stands on her own.

One last bow before saying good night.

Rock Star will be joining her 12 sister warriors at the WisCon 40 Art Show in Madison, WI during Memorial Day weekend.

For those who will not be attending WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Rock Star is available in my etsy shop.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Women Warriors WisCon40 Quattuor

Quattuor is Number Four in the Dark Tetrad who rule one of the dimensions in the Stellar Repo universe. DT in our reality is a psych profile combo that includes many of the worst possible personality traits a human can have, or have the misfortune to be introduced. Scifi is chockablock with Alliances, Counsels, ruling classes that present as fair and balanced and are not. It's a story arc. In the Stellar Repo universe, characters are named what they do or how they are. Arti Fact (who owns the refueling asteroid Stellar frequents) blathers trivia on any subject that pops into a conversation. Token Guy owns The Bar, Stellar's fav after work hangout. Stellar Repo takes stuff back for hire.

And Quattuor is the fourth in a tetrad that probably is dark.

Quattuor will be an interesting character to write more about. I'm fascinated that 90% of energy in space is dark energy. There's got to be some wicked fun stuff going on in there. Earth and everything around us make up only 5% of energy material and look how busy we all are. And that's just the busyness we know, including goings-on we cannot see. How cool to write about the shenanigans we don't know and cannot see. Limitless opportunities for mayhem scenarios.

This figure is an original sculpture with a wire armature. Her hands are exposed wire. Her boots are made from clay. (Feet of clay, hmmm, if Terry Pratchett hadn't already used that...) Her hat is sculpted from felt. Her face is also made of clay. She has doll hair. The clothing was partly sewn and then glued to the endoskeleton. She combines a skinny suit with monstrous shoulder pads. I miss shoulder pads. Her skeletal profile reminds me of the gangsters in Les Triplettes de Belleville.

She stands on her own. I'm thinking she does that, too, against the other three of her sinister crew in the Dark Tetrad storyline.

Quattuor is fully poseable because her bone structure is intersected wire. You're welcome to try changing the pose she has now. I'd think about the consequence complexity involved with manipulating a Dark Tetrad oppositional character before I'd start scrunching body parts. Maybe. Just a thought.

Quattuor will be joining her 12 sister warriors at the WisCon Art Show in Madison, WI over Memorial Day weekend.

For those who will not be attending WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Quattuor is available in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Directed by Women Worldwide Film Viewing Party and Me

I love movies. I've loved watching films all my life. The movie theater was a good place for a babysitter to take us (bags of homemade popcorn in hand), and when we were older, my mother could drop us off for a whole afternoon. Two features, and sometimes we stayed to watch one again, if we had walked to the show. At Academy Award time, if we hadn't seen everything nominated we had a marathon weekend of watching. 1965. Ship of Fools year was a marathon viewing weekend. 1976 Marathon Man year. 1980 Atlantic City year. I read about filmmaking, and learned about the early years of Hollywood when women made big money, were studio heads, scriptwriters, production designers, directors, producers. And then how it all went away when the money men from the east got to town. At the millennium, I got mad. It was clear that women, who had regained a small percentage of ground in the film industry, saw those gains eroded year to year. Women moviegoers began staying home in droves. What was there to look at on the screen? Buddy movies, bromances, comic book guys in tights, throwaway woman roles, stories with no soul or truth. I blogged like a lunatic, doing what I called railing against Bellus. Bellus is the planet that will crush the earth in the movie When Worlds Collide. Not much good to scream at an approaching obliterator.

In 2009 I met a young woman at AFI because I sent her a film noir doll I made to encourage her on a noir project. I told the friend who mentioned the student that she was in the belly of the beast. A woman +  <35 + smart + Hollywood and she was feeling alone. Right?

From that point, I was whinging louder. Didn't anybody get this? I tweeted, wrote, wailed, bellowed, banged my head against walls and every friend's head in my range. Made more doll art: women who had been forgotten by history, or worse, their story mulched into the male realm. There are few women cinematographers because cameras used to be heavy. It took some muscle to lift and carry. A woman can direct; women do, but their work is not on our local cineplex screens.

The journey of the AFI student through graduation to her first film I witnessed up close and personal. Written and directed by a woman. From 2010 to 2014. The film festival submissions, screenwriting submissions, submissions, submissions. And the names on the written by, directed by credits of films accepted. Percentages of women directors represented we then knew were real and disappointing.

Following women directors, and focusing tightly on women filmmakers, I read the intention of Barbara Ann O'Leary to watch a female-directed movie for every male-directed movie. Daunting, I thought, but my interest was snagged. I followed her journey for a year, and watched as many of the women-directed films as I could get my hands on. Barbara started what would become the Directed by Women Worldwide Film Viewing Party the next year: two weeks in September when we all celebrated the vision and the work of women directors around the world. By watching movies.

During the months before September 2015, Barbara Ann O'Leary devoted her own time to gathering women directors into a database that reached 6,000+ before the party, and now names 8,948 women directors. Bounty! Abundance!

She also changed my brain and retrained my heart. Focusing on lack gets more of the same back. I know this cognitively. But I don't practice this. We notice absence, and the hole stays empty. When I saw what transpires when attention is beamed at what is, and what we have, and celebrate that, my home life changed as well. All those overused contractions - don't, haven't, can't - became will, can, has. Loved ones around me benefit from what grows me.

I volunteered to help the party. I called on people I didn't know, made appointments to see anyone who would listen to the party invitation. Everything I did to celebrate women film directors brought a glow that comes from inside. I met people as thrilled to be a part of this appreciation as I was.

I'm volunteering again this year because joy keeps going, appreciation grows the love, and movies need voices and vision that must be heard and seen, especially women voices and vision. I love movies.

Everyone can contribute. Keeping the energy going requires administration, research, record keeping. There are 8,948 women directors on the Directed by Women site, and the list is now searchable. $1 donation to the Directed by Women Worldwide Film Viewing Party 2016 from that many interested people will keep the party going. I donated. You can, too. Keep the celebration alive. Please.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Monomyth Women Warriors WisCon40

Monomyth. The leader of Last Standing tribe. She was in the world Ago, a hacker. And a telepath. And a couple of talents to be named later. Of those who might have survived whatever happened, Monomyth was at the top of the recruitment list. Monomyth organized the remaining before those left knew that's what they would be, and moved to a stronghold island in a Great Lake. Ask my friend Rosemary how they get back and forth in winter. She's the "Fastest Woman on the Ice."

Last Standing are the keepers of heirloom seeds and fresh water. Monomyth is the tough genius misanthrope who gets to organize the aftermath because she recognized the need. Is she good at this? Nope. Is she good at other not-people stuff? Totally. Hacker. Remember?

Monomyth action figure is a Sleeping Beauty Princess Barbie. She was more than one toddler's inappropriate toy. Her hands were chewed, her hair a toybox nest. My first rescued Barbie. She had horrendously elevated blue eye shadow and spiky painted eyelashes - I could go on, but she's not that now.

Monomyth was aged with marble dust and repainted. She has one blue eye and one green eye. My sister was the inspiration for that. Her hair was serially braided, with tiny seaglass beads. The chewed, ring-ripped hand has a bloody bandage. Her quiver is made from the same leather glove that Akka's costume uses, and I made the arrows from slivered dowel and fletched them with tiny feathers. Her tunic is the last remnant of a fleece jacket. The little vest came with the Gem doll, and I dyed it with watercolor. I made the bow from heavy gauge wire, and banded wire with floral tape binding.

Tied at her waist with leather cord is a coin purse (the inside of that famous brown glove) with gold and silver coins I hammered from segmented jewelry findings. Netsuke foxes attach the purse to the belt. Monomyth carries a Saami drum. Saami drums were used for dual purposes. As shaman, to transport from one dimension to the other by drumming with a reindeer antler. Second purpose: to advise on which path to pursue here on earth. A frog (an ornamental device or a favorite stone) was bounced on the drum surface and, depending on which image the frog landed, gave the seeker a reading on what to do going forward. This drum has the rune for All Mother (Akka) and several others from the only 17 Saami drums remaining in the world. I tooled the woodburned images onto Monomyth's drum.

Around her neck is a torc made from a leopardskin jasper doughnut and bent medium gauge copper flat wrapped with copper wire. The boots are hand-sewn felt from an eBay supplier. The tights are from The Sister Who Sews.

Monomyth will join her 12 sister women warriors at Wiscon40 Art Show in Madison, Wisconsin during the Memorial Day weekend.

For those who will not be attending WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Monomyth is available in my etsy shop.