. I'm taking the opportunity of this unplanned time off to connect with the many artists and creators in this wonderful city that I love. Come with me on my 100-day odyssey of art and creativity in Long Beach. I call it .
Some people like to see how they can use the most unwanted things in our lives. I've taken scraps of wood and bits of horsetail reeds. Itty bits of fabric cut away from a garment being sewn have been integrated into a scrap quilt. When this is your bent, you can appreciate an artist such as Slater Barron: The Queen of Lint.
September 11th is Day 72. I visited with Slater Barron, the Lint Lady.
She calls herself the Lint Lady. Slater Barron is an incredible artist who finds a way to use the discards of clothes dryers and nature.
Slater Barron's lint pieces have been as big as 20' x 25' x 8'. As big as a room. Her works have been purchased by Ripley's Believe it or Not for their museums all over the world. Fans send her large boxes of lint in the mail. Her collection of lint goes from floor to ceiling, in a storage area 2 boxes deep. When she is working,that lint comes in handy as she searches for a wide variety of colors and textures.
The pieces I viewed today were delicate, life-sized pieces of sushi and gourmet candies. Food art depicted in lint art. An Unnatural History Museum with imaginary, but believable creatures made entirely of lint.
Her process is time consuming. It's an exercise in adaptability. Starting with an idea, looking at her materials, researching reasonable colors then deliberately choosing to add her own colors, reasonable or unreasonable. The results are tiny, exquisite individual pieces that come together in delightful collections. Good enough to eat!
She is best known for her work with lint, but Slater also works with wood, paint, wasp nests, thorns. Photos of some of these pieces are included. A newspaper and thorn house. WASP babies emerging from a wasp nest. The casualties of war expressed in her art.
When she works, she pours her heart into her art. Her sentiments and emotions can be seen in the work she produces.
Her love for her mother is around her in the memories of the lint scenes she made while her mother fought Alzheimer's disease. An entire series in lint, dedicated to her mother, and a book. In fact, her mother is ever-present there in her home-studio, in the painting on the wall and the wood image of mom walking, distinguished by her clothing.
Slater Barron and I spoke of re-inventing ourselves. She had developed a love of art while in France for 4 years. A military wife, she attended classes offered for the spouses. Each time they moved, she learned more, taking many classes and starting to explore on her own. Back in the U.S., she taught, sold pieces, worked on... and received... her Masters' in Fine Arts. She's retired now, creating as she is driven to... daily.
Slater Barron will be curating the October Art Month offerings at The Expo in Bixby Knolls. Slater loves Long Beach because of the artist community that exists here. She finds strength and support in the artists around her. Slater and her neighboring artists have offered the Mid City Studio Tour of their studios biennially for the past ten years. Whether the 2013 tour will be offered is being discussed. It's a lot of work, and they may need some help.
Want more lemonade?
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Trish Tsoiasue writes as herself about creative and maker topics for and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin Blog. She is currently playing .