Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Letter and a Monkey

On my porch there are a bunch of unopened boxes that are addressed to my girlfriend Judy c/o me. I have them stacked out there waiting to be boxed and sent to her, in Sydney. Basically they are items she won on ebay and had shipped to me to send I'm a little tardy.

So yesterday I was talking to her to her on the phone and she was asking about a certain package; I went out and started opening some of these boxes. I begin with a large one on top, not noticing the label on the box.
I look inside and I see a toy Monkey with cymbals and a hat...just like the kind I make reference to in my book (its in the section of the Madagascar myth). At this pointI realized that this was not for Judy, but rather for me. I look at the label and sure enough, it's for me. Quickly I pile through the box to find some sort of clue of it's source and "viola" in the very bottom of the box I found the most amazing handwritten letter.

With permission of the author I will post it:

Dear Michael I hope this letter (and gift) finds you in a content and inspired state of being, that it can be used to its fullest potential (I am referring to this gift I packed for you). You do not know me yet, but hopefully now you will. My mother and I read your book; I have to say I love they way it was put together, it was very creative. I appreciated the myths and "Notes from an Alchemist" because I myself, am very interested in magic, fantasy, mystery, myths, etc., although, I'm truly into a darker fantasy world. Like "Phantom of the Opera". When I read that you didn't yet have a "cymbal clapping monkey", and that you would like to have one, I thought of the one from "Phantom of the Opera" that sat in the cage at the circus, clapping its hands in a very haunting manner. I just had to get it, because it reminded me of that monkey. But don't let it haunt you, Let it inspire you. Aso, remember: don't feed it after midnight, and it has to avoid bright lights (all the same rules from "Gremlins". If you haven't seen the movie you won't know the rules). Caution: don't let the sight on the box that reads - Requires 2 D batteries,- fool you, it's a tricky thing. My mother and I love your work, and I am now trying to make pieces more like yours. I would truly like , well, my mom and I would truly like to take one of your workshops. Personally, I'd just love a reason to go to Montana, anyway. I've always wanted to go there. Tell me next time you're teaching there, if you are, and I'll try to come. It'll have to be ciao for now, but remember, please, whatever you do, don't feed it it after midnight; street peddlers know what they're talking about; they sent me the list of the rules, but I have seemed to misplaced it. I'll call you if I find it. I'll call you if I find it. Some day my mother aspires to own one of your pieces. She is also a fan.
-Kiah Goldman

Sometimes, if you're lucky, something happens that reminds you that the universe can be an amazingly beautiful place. In my case, this box and this letter reminded me of the real reason I create art and that is to find my humanity and to help me connect with others on this planet. In the hustle and bustle of the day, it is quite easy to forget the most important things in life. Thanks Kiah for refreshing my memory, and thanks for your kindness. This gift will have always have very special place of honor in my home.


Canada in the October

Hey gang, Just thought I'd announce a Toronto gig coming up this October. My friend Carmi is putting it on. Two days of somewhat dimensional, the other extremely forced perspective. It will be on Oct 20 and 21st.

So if you're interested drop Carmi a line.
Here's the info
or contact Carmi at

So here's the cool part. This is where I'll be teaching:kinda of reminds you of my last post...doesn't it. Now where did those demon children go? Damien? Lilith? Must be doing something naughty...

By the way the poster image at the beginning of the post is from one of the best films ever. Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein was essentially the creator of editing. Prior to him films were pretty much like filmed plays. He caught my interest when I saw an unfinished work of his called Que Viva Mexico, in which he created a trilogy, each segment depicting a Mexican artist: Rivera, Orozco, and Posada. It took him several years...mostly because he didn't want to leave Mexico...and eventually Stalin pulled the plug and brought him home to the Soviet Union.

Here's a cool site on the topic: Que Viva Mexico

Thursday, June 28, 2007

some new additions to my class playlist

I recently received a care package in the mail from Tiffini Elektra X filled with trinkets and some cds she burned for me.

T.E.X. (I never realized that her name could be abbreviated to spell that...must capitalize on that next time I see her) is a super cool person and has great music taste so I was quite excited to throw them in the cd player. As expected it was all particular I was smitten with on song by Bent, in which the song "Speak Low" with Billie Holiday singing while the accompanying music is modern. It sounds like a contemporary song with Billie Holiday singing other words, if she were still alive this is what a song on her albums might sound like. Very cool.
If I can find a way to add just a song to my blog from my Itunes library, I'll add it. If any of you know how to do this drop a line.

On a different note...remember that piece that my beloved Judy (five months and counting) and I worked on together. Well still a bit more images for now because it turns out that Somerset Memories is interested in doing an article. Hopefully this explains why we've been a bit reticent to post images (its all about showmanship) . Not sure of the's in the prelim stages...but I figure 6 months. After that we show all the details.

ciao for now,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Goodies and more goodies

Hooray...while I was away my biz partner, Christine, added lots of new goodies to the on-line store.

We now have lots of cool doodads, not to mention we added some of the nifty tools I use in my know that vice that swivels and the safety glasses with the led lights (I can't tell you how many people love those glasses...they are pretty nifty). check em outThe really really cool addition (in my opinion) is the paint kits. Seven of my favorite colors that I use in those washes to make things look a cigar box...and the best part....I made up some color technique cards, so you can see the effects of the different combos...laminated and everything. Check it out here
So stop on over check out the goods...

Coming first four of the limited edition Tarot card prints....signed and numbered. they are at the printer as we speak.

back from Mass.

Hey everyone,

Just got back late/or is it early from New England. Once again a bunch of flights riddled with delays...why can't someone just build a bullet train through this bloody country. got home at 2 in the am last night and at the front end of the trip I showed up in Boston 7 hours late at 4am...don't that sound like fun....mmmm doggie.

though a bit hazy managed to hook up with my buddy Darryl and my buddy Bernie in Salem for the Cornell exhibit. It was "GRRRRRRRRREAT". very nicely exhibited and the Peabody Essex Museum is a beautiful place.

Next stop was Marshfield at the Stamp Act. My host, Marie was super nice. She, like me, has "goth" roots, so our musical tastes were quite similar. Her fav is the Dresden Dolls (a boston dark caberet band). I have a few of their albums as well.

Next stop was Topsfield and Absolutely Everything. Kate, the owner, treated me to an afternoon of rummaging in Essex. Found some nifty little thingies for me and classes. Might have Kate send me a propeller that I found at an antique store.

The classes at A.E. were great. Huge and energetic students, but by the end of the week I was totally whooped.

back home for a bit...oh and sorry for those of you who had bouncing should be taken care of now.

ciao for now

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Locked away in the studio

Hey everyone been locked away in the studio the last week I've been home. I have to try and get stuff done when I can. As of late I have been trying to work on my next book proposal. I have had some thoughts on this for a while and now trying to get something to my editor to make the pitch by the end of summer. I think I have a pretty good least I like it... Not going to give anything away yet, but here's a photo of a piece I recently finished for the proposal.
Sorry this is all I can show right my buddy Jane Wynn would say "tee hee hee"

Thanks a bajillion for all the great responses I received from everyone about the book. It's still doing well...hooray. There are a few souls out there who are a bit surprised that it is not a traditional "how to" book, but it seems like most of the responses I have received view this to be its strong point. I was pondering this and I'm not sure I could write a traditional "how to". I just don't think that way...and I think there are many people in the same place. I don't read instructions...i just muddle around until something works. This is both restrictive and liberating all at once. Hey, it's not my fault I can't be that organized, it's my brains fault.

Last week spent some time in the Bay area. Taught a workshop in Danville at the Stampers Warehouse and then in Berkeley at Scrapbook territory. Great time at both places. In Danville I taught in the same shopping center that I worked at during high school. The video store (Take One Video) is no longer there. At the end of the hotwheels class we had the big race...ironically there was a big car show in the parking lot. Ferraris etc. Our cars were cooler.

In Berkeley, Dianne the own of Scrapbook Territory took me to the Albany Bulb. This is a stretch of beach/park across from S.F. that was at one time a dump. Now it is an amazing art park that perpetually evolves. Since it was once a dump, discarded objects such as car parts, scrap wood, etc. are used to create the most magnificent sculptures. I didn't have my camera with me but I've found some images off the net. Here you go.
this photo by jennconspiracy

Off to the Boston area tomorrow. First teaching at Stamp Act, then to Absolutely Everything. On Tuesday before class, meeting up with my friend Darryl and my friend Bernie and going to check out the Joseph Cornell exhibit at PEM in Salem. That should be great. Go here for more info
So yes off to another airport I go...I wonder if they have studio space on airplanes...I'd like to look into that. Maybe I'll just rent an aero-partment...that would make serious sense lately.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Stamp Act

Hey a quick note to those Massachut-ians...I'll be at the Stamp Act in Marshfield to teach 6 million Dollar Anatomy Men and Lightbulb Shrines. I know I don't get out in this neck of the woods very often so now is your chance on the 20th and 21st.

Cereal talk

I should be getting packed to take off to the Bay area tomorrow. I'm teaching in Danville (Stamper's Warehouse) and Berkeley (Scrapbook Territory). I used to live in Danville and in fact graduated from highschool at San Ramon Valley High in, dare I say, 1984. Go Wolves.

Instead of getting ready I have been obsessed with a conversation I had the other night in New York about cereal. We, meaning those who actually existed during the seventies, were reminiscing about the cereals of old...some still exist...some don't.

Of course my faves were...Count Chocula, Frankenberry and Boo Berry...really more of a Chokula fan...but the others were great too.
What amazed me was that someone at the table had never heard of Fruit I was seeking for a Fruit Brute image I came across a cereal that I had forgotten about ...Yummy replaced the brute...but I think it was more or less the same. For those in the know...Fruit Brute was featured in both Pulp Fiction and Reservoir's an image of Lance(Eric Stolz) the drug dealer eating a bowl. Tim Roth had the box in his apartment in Reservoir Dogs.
For a brief time I was really really into bi- or tri-planes and these cereals really got my fancy, but alas they didn't last long.
I have to say that my all time fave of all time was Freakies. Here they are under the Freaky Tree. Each box contained a different characture.

I was most fond of the purple dude...

Okay enough is enough.... time to do laundry and organize tools....ciao and have a good week,

Monday, June 04, 2007

New York, New York

So I'm back from the Book Expo. What a great time...and what a crazy event....a mad house of book wouldn't ever think so many publishers existed. Plenty of big shots in the literary world were there. I missed my chance to meet an author who has been a great inspiration to my work...Alan Greenspan...just kidding...I mean what in the world would he and I have to talk about...though I do hear that he likes a good single malt scotch. I did really want to see Stephen Cobert but the line was giganto (I am a huge fan of the Cobert Report as well as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart).

Had a great time at the F/W booth (they are the parent company to Northlight Books). I was the only display with junk, liquid nails and sparks from the Dremel tool. I would usually fire it up if there was a lull...sure enough people would come running. I didn't really spend much time making stuff...more of an enticement than anything...we also had a number of my finished pieces propped up at the booth. We plowed through the free copies pretty quick and I signed my hand off. Thanks to Greg (who organizes these trade show events for F/W)and Jessica (managing editor) for taking good care of me.

Off duty I spent some time hanging in Soho and Greenwich Village. Hit a few flea markets and a clothing store I love (Club Monaco....they don't really sell anything that isn't black or white...go figure that I would like it).

Fri and Sat night I hung out with the F/W clan. Friday night we went looking for Al Roker's house from the top of the Empire State was funnier in the moment and after a few drinks... Later,the group that remained, Jessica, Alice (another Northlightian) and myself, went to find some late night greasy NY style pizza. A sleazy little joint with a rather loud obnoxious group was just the ticket.

Saturday we went drank margaritas at
the Cowgirl bar in the villageand then to Time Square for a dose of light and humanity, and some more cocktails at the Playwright bar.
All in all a very fun weekend,

Thanks to all the nice responses I've received about the Secrets of Rusty Things. Apparently it is doing well...or so they tell me.