I stayed up for long enough last night to take pics of my fire lilies.
Not as amazing as Opus’ plant portraits, but I like the result nevertheless.
And to add some soundtrack:
Public toilets have long been a battle ground of women’s fight for the public sphere: from the fact that back in the 19th century there simply weren’t many public toilets for women, making them dependent on how well they could hold their pee to leave the house, to today’s fight to make sure trans women can safely use the right loo. The very private act of relieving oneself was always very public and very political. Another dimension (no pun intended) is space, and I rarely found a better example of how space is allocated to cis men than today.
I went to a meeting in a public building today, and when it was over I went to the visitor bathroom because I learned that if I don’t go the Autobahn will be closed and I’ll piss myself before I get home. So everybody who drove the same direction should thank me.
The sign at the door said “men, women and disabled”, making me wonder whether disabled people are suddenly no longer men and women, but then I went inside and came upon this:
Snug, isn’t it? With the bin being so close to the loo and not much space on the other side I had some difficulties to move my butt far enough to the back of the toilet to actually hit the bowl. How this should be managed with a disability is a mystery to me, but if you think “maybe they only had so much space available”, let me tell you, they didn’t. To the right of the toilet is another compartment, about 50% larger than this one, holding two urinals. Hey, at least it had a door so you don’t need to see somebody waving their dick around, I go to Twitter for that kind of thing. Yes, that’s correct: 100% of the facility meet the needs of able bodied cis men, with 60% being reserved exclusively for them, while women, disabled people of all genders and probably most trans men all need to share 40% of the space, which is actually not enough space and which is also available to cis men.
And you want to hear the joke? The public building was a youth office, where the overwhelming majority of visitors is female…
On of the things Marcus sent was a mould to make 4 resin balls, each about 1″ across. I think Marcus made them himself and I love them. They have enough space and a big opening to put things inside and give cool results. I’ve been having lots of fun here.
Lots more beneath the fold
Hello there. I know, I’ve been very absent recently. Work was pretty demanding, the Damokles’ Sword of not knowing whether my contract will be renewed hanging over my head* and life being busy as usual.
Last weekend we first had #1’s “culture workshop”, which is an evening when all the groups in her school can present their projects, including her class. It was an amazing evening and the kids are really damn talented, from the chubby boy with the glasses doing a kick ass rap presentation to the Syrian girls reciting poetry about their home town Aleppo.
The next day was the little one’s school festival, which usually means the very same people working a lot. It#s the same everywhere. My colleague was totally stressed out because she was organising things for her kid’s festival the same weekend. Or as Pratchett noted: if you want to get something done, give it to somebody who is already busy.
And the works in the garden have finally begun. There’s nothing like coming home with a migraine and having people use heavy machinery around the house.
As a result, we used this long weekend (holiday on Thursday, “bridge day” on Friday) to lick our wounds and recover and spend some very quiet time together, going for walks etc.
But I also got some resin art done over the weeks, especially after Marcus’ latest parcel.
Some of this will be up for sale/auction for the FtB legal defence fund, so if you set your eye on something, just let me know.
*I’m pretty positive that I won’t be unemployed come next term, but that’s not the same as knowing and I’ve noticed that it has been slowly wearing me down.
First of all, this is what the garden looks like now:
In tearing down the old stuff they found tons of unreasonable concrete which they have to get our somehow.
First project: tealight holder:
These look very complicated but are actually dead easy and I’d say the perfect project if you want to do something with resin but not invest a lot of money in moulds and stuff: Just pour your resin onto wax paper, let cure for about 12 hours, fold over a glass, fix with a rubber and cure completely.
The fish are printed again, though I bought the sheet this time.
Next projects are under the fold:
We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf, which, in one version or the other is something adults tell children to warn them about the danger of lying or making up emergencies when there are none. The adults never bother to sit down and think about how fucked up the story and its message are, because if they did, they’d tell it to adults to warn about a different danger.
The boy who cried wolf is sent out to herd life stock, but children aren’t meant to be alone al day, they need company, they need intellectual stimulation, so the kid makes up stories to get people to pay attention to him. When he does so repeatedly, none of the adults asks “but why does he keep calling us, what does he actually need?” I know, the story is supposed to play in olden times when people didn’t give a fuck about the needs of children, but it’s told by adults today so I think the criticism is fair.
Instead, the adults decide to no longer pay attention to the kid at all, with the catastrophic result that we all know, and then the blame is put on the kid and not the adults who failed to keep him safe. This thinking has consequences, and it can have catastrophic consequences here and now. Slight CN for predatory behaviour.
Some kids at our school live in group homes. On Friday, those kids came to us and told us that on their way to school, three men in a red car had bothered them and talked to them and that they were afraid, with one of the girls being in tears. I called the group home to inform them about the incident and make sure the kids would be picked up after school so they were safe. The head of the home asked me which kids were affected and I told him the names, randomly starting with L. “Oh, you know”, he said, “we’re having some difficulties with L right now”. Man, do I know? I see L every day, I know she’s got her issues. “She likes to make up stories”. “I know”, I said, “but H, B and A are telling the same story.”
That was enough to convince him and they sent somebody to pick up the kids. Now imagine a world that was the exact same, except that H, B and A were with their families. In which L had been the only child those men in the car bothered. A world in which her story had been treated as “the girl who cried wolf” and they had left her alone without protection. Because she’s a kid who is in a difficult situation, who likes to make herself seem more important by making up stories.
So, dear adults, here’s the real morale of the story: When a child says they’re in danger, you run. If a child has made up stories about danger 99 times, you still run when they cry danger the 100th time. And then you sit the fuck down and think long and hard about why the kid is making up stories and you talk to the kid and try to find a way for them to deal with their issues that does not result in fake alarms. You do NOT handwave away a report about predatory men because of who made the report. If you want to talk to children about why making false alarms is bad, tell them that they’re wasting the time of the rescue services and that this may be dangerous to somebody else who is in real danger. The story about the boy who cried wolf is a story about adults failing their duty to keep children safe, so if you want to keep telling it, tell it to each other.
Dürer’s young hare is probably one of the best known animal portraits in the world. On our recent trip to the zoo, a rabbit seemed to be imitating the famous drawing pretty well.
See for yourselves:
Or maybe Dürer was just pretty good at painting hares and bunnies.
The last resin pieces for now:
This set contains broken glass pieces, giving it even more the look of a crystal:
Mr. looked at the box with the glass shards and asked where I got that. It’s a funny story I told him. I turned around and then there was this strange noise and suddenly I found the glass all over the kitchen floor. Our tiles really hide the dirt well, but they show no mercy to any plate or glass dropped.
Next is a cherry flower:
I made three or four of these and I’m not entirely happy about them. First of all, pressing seems to have destroyed some of the structure of the petals and they became see through when I added the resin. Second I added holographic glitter and a black background and that’s too much for my taste, I should have stuck with one of them.
Next one is a galaxy oval:
Here the idea is that you cast two separate pieces and then glue them together, giving it dimensions and depth. I quite like the effect. This one is small as I wanted to practise first, but I can definitely see more of them in the future.
And last but not least a terrible photo of a pretty pendant:
Wind came up and it kept swinging so they were all out of focus. Can you guess what’s inside?
Yep, it’s a pine cone in resin, sawed into slices. I have another block with red and yellow, but I need to cut it first.
This concludes this series of work, but I hope there’s more soon.
Some more resin, this time with a pendant I made specifically foe all my black tops with colourful flowers (I’m a sucker for the Spanish label “Desigual”). I still need to wire wrap it because a simple hook doesn’t seem fitting.
Some flowers react with the resin and suddenly you have a totally different colour. Here on the left is a violet, only that now it’s a yellowlet (please, nobody explain to me how to spell “yellow”, will you?). Same with the erica. The violas are holding up their colours well. I’m going to dry a whole bunch of them.
Next one is a leaping unicorn. This took me several tries because for some reason the Piñata magenta (a stock brand for resin) kept reacting with the blue and always turned a very dark violet and I needed to get a different pink from the company that also produces my resin.
This is one of two unfinished earrings to go with the unicorn. When I cast these bigger pieces and cut them into shape there are often interesting bits and pieces that get turned into earrings.
The final piece is unfinished yet and more of an experiment. I used one of the burl pieces to create a silicone mould. I cast some blue resin and then put it into one of my larger moulds and added the white, only that it’s too much white here, again hiding the burl structure. Currently my idea is to print a bird silhouette and add it, because it does have a sky-feeling to it.
BTW, I totally offer to sell/create piece for the FtB defence fund if anybody’s interested.
It’s time for some resin. I never catch up with posting all the stuff I create, but I’m doing my best.
I did my first tries with the burl Marcus sent and alas, there is something like too much blue.
The structure of the burl pretty much vanishes inside , leaving only the outside visible. You can also see that I didn’t catch all the scratches, but I left it at that because they’re only visible when seen against sunlight, which isn’t something that usually happens when you wear a pendent.
This one is smaller than the one at the top, cut from the same cast. With a lot of light you can guess the gold I added. I still love the burl and the second attempt is a lot better, but not yet cut and polished.
These ones, OTOH, turned out exactly as blue as I wanted them. Because here the focus is on the contrast between the birch and the resin. I cut this and the second piece from one block as well, both being about 3X5 cm.
Awww fuck it, there isn’t such a thing as too much blue, because, well, blue.
Here’s some trinkets that will probably get incorporated into other pieces. They’re cast in silicone moulds for fondant, so the finish isn’t glossy, but I quite like them.
Every couple of months it seems a certain debate flares up on my Twitter and it keeps annoying me. It keeps being brought up by people whom I generally highly respect, who are usually kick ass feminists and right in so many things, except this one that drives me up the wall: The great debate of titles.
It usually goes like this: If somebody has a title like “Dr.” or “Prof.”, you must use them.The arguments brought forward are sound at first glance: too often women and people of colour are denied their credentials. While a (white) man is introduced as “Dr. So and So”, a woman is much more likely to be introduced as “Ms. This and That” or even by her first name. We’ve all seen this play out with the Clintons, who are “Clinton” and “Hillary”. This portrays these people as less competent, their voice having less value and them being less worthy of respect.
Another one is that marginalised people who hold these positions have overcome significant obstacles to reach them. They’ve fought an uphill battle against sexism and racism all the way and had to work much harder than the white guy who then gets paid respect by being addressed as “Dr.” while they’re not.
While both points are true on the surface, they both rely on the very premise that people with a PhD are indeed worthy of more respect than others and leaves a hierarchy that has racism and sexism and especially classism built into its very foundation intact because now those people are at the top of said hierarchy and would like to stay there, thank you very much.
Academic titles have been historically part of the self understanding of the bourgeoisie. Look, they said, we have titles as well, and ours are earned. For a long time, in many places, a PhD was a requisite for becoming someone in politics. They were supposed to show that this person was really fit to rule, a title that belonged to the new ruling class, and much like noble titles, they are inherited. Congratulations if you are the first in the family, if you are a minority that used to be cut off such opportunities, yet the overwhelming majority of people in that group come from homes where usually the father holds a PhD as well. the further up you go, the more they become. By insisting on the great importance of your title, you’re staking an allegiance and it’s not one with the communities that brought you forth.
Academic titles do grant people privileges. They, and only they (plus priests), are usually allowed to use their titles as part of their name and they demand and are awarded special respect. My brother in law has a PhD. From his own experience, waiting times for medical appointments and in the waiting room have become drastically shorter since he introduces himself as “Dr.”, but then he gets to spend more time with the actual doctor. The peons can wait. Many of the privileges will be more subtle and as usually the privileged don’t actually see them.
Academic titles are the only ones that become names. Many other people also work hard for their qualifications, often for similar lengths of time. In Germany, where professions are highly regulated everybody who finished successful training has a professional title. Mine is “Assessorin des Lehramtes” and yes, I have a document that shows it and specifically grants permission to use that title. Craftspeople have titles, especially the masters. Yet only a small minority of people are granted the right to use their titles in their names and daily lives. Insisting on them further perpetuates the idea that those other professions, teaching, crafts, nursing, etc. are of lesser value and the people who do them less worthy of respect, which leads me to my next point:
Academic titles do not make you worthy of more respect and the only reason why people can disrespect you by not using them is because you think you deserve some extra special respect. Names and naming are tools of power. We’ve probably all had the teacher who decided to use something different for our name, yet we couldn’t get away with some nickname. When transphobes refuse to use somebody’s real name and pronouns, they’re showing power. This isn’t about respect and decency, it’s about demonstrating power. Scandinavia doesn’t crumble down because most people there just use first name (always somewhat confusing for people from more uptight places when the doctor introduces himself as “Sven” and the calls the patient “Lina”). Using your partner or children’s first name doesn’t show you don’t respect them. At least it shouldn’t.
Academic titles also don’t make you an expert, except in very narrow areas. Remember my BIL, the one with the PhD? He’s a biologist. He once famously claimed that leopards and cheetahs are the same animals. Also caribous roam the African Savannah. Family joke is that if you present him with a horse, a donkey and a zebra he’ll have to do a gene test to identify them. In short, he knows the general stuff every graduate learned and then he learned a great bunch of stuff in a very narrow field. I don’t have to take his opinion more seriously on any other subject than Hepatitis, yet somehow a PhD is supposed to grant him exactly that authority. He also believed in crystals on the top of the monitor preventing headaches…
To finally sum it up, academic titles are a tool of the ruling class to strengthen their position and further the idea that they are simply better people, more worths of respect and better treatment whose opinion should be taken as authority. They are used to exclude marginalised people and their voices from discourse, since they’re lacking “proper qualifications”. While I understand the great personal satisfaction of having gained such a title despite all odds, and the frustration of people then still excluding them from their special club, you cannot dismantle those systems by insisting that you’re really part of the club now and be awarded the privileges that come with it.
As a final note, I’d still recommend you always use those titles if you are a student because apparently those people are very touchy about it and can fuck up your academic career. So much for Foucault’s production of docile bodies…