Last year, I saw a mail art call for a Belgian mail art show this Spring by the fellow whose "mail art handle" is the Polish phrase "Art Factory", who "called" for works with the theme "Chess". I found myself deeply intrigued, because gurdonark is nothing if he is not a bad chess player at heart. But how to make a chess set, when one has no art or craft skills? kenmora, both talented and hep to the limitations which are gurdonark, made a great suggestion--put one together out of nuts and bolts and wingnuts and the like from the hardware store. I hope to feature this great idea in a subsequent set. I carved 16 pieces--one whole side--from yellow soap, with pipe cleaners for differentiation, but I got wearied before I could do the second set. Then I remembered carving styrofoam to make a butterfly display box in tenth grade. I found a styrofoam cutter for nine dollars (plus 3 or so for shipping) from joann.com, and got the styrofoam at a "going out of business sale". Last weekend, I carved away. I now am prepared, not without trepidation, to display the sorry but enthusiastic results in public.
I love the notion of do it yourself. It's even one of my Live Journal interests, right up there with "euphorbia". I also love the idea that while, as the song says, "talent is an asset", it is not indispensable. But now you must be the judge(s).
Here is my first ever chess set carving:
As this unique work of art was appropriately memorialized using a throwaway off-brand 35 mm camera bought for five dollars at Dollar General, which really doesn't take good pictures at under four feet away, I believe that multiple perspectives are essential to fully understand this set:
Note that I lettered the pieces, so no player could be confused by the abstractness of my art. Would that "real artists" did the same with their abstractions. I love that outsider artists so often do annotate.
Of course, all good things come in threes--so I will share with you the most indistinct of my snaps (omitting the ones that didn't come out at all, in hope it will show you the courage of my project.
I know that my readers, having seen this new revelation in chess artistry, will wonder, "just where did gurdonark draw his inspiration?" The answer is simple--the ineffable power of Nature. In this same era, I visited the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Like all wonderful gardens, this garden has sights to inspire great thought and deep reflection. I took two pictures from the Japanese Garden of this marvellous place, which I'd like to share with you. When I view these pictures, I remember the Winter's thrall ends, and Death is overcome.
There's a gorgeous pond in the Japanese garden, surrounded by trees. The fruit trees bloom in late Winter and early Spring. I love to walk among trees surrounding water.
In these particular waters, there were lots of what I can only describe as hungry, swinging, rampaging koi
I sacrificed for my art--the windy day amid the beauty caused me to run a fever during the next, sleet-filled week. But what glorious sacrifices we make for Truth, Beauty, Love, and Chess!