Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: June 16th at Last


Happy Bloomsday! My creation today is one of those "Joycean" coincidences (those funny and ironic happenstance moments when Ulysses intrudes upon your own experience). I felt a bit like Leopold Bloom, "weary" from my daily travel, deferred and delayed 4 times by the airline, when finally I arrived "Where? ." home.

I've made a similar version of this necklace a year ago, last Bloomsday, and so I feel it only right to end with "Ithaca." This necklace is a more dramatic version of my earlier design. I hand shaped the wire, used a found piece of onyx, and finished it off with pieces of gunmetal chain.

I hope you'll tune in during the coming months for more Joyce inspired creations. You can also subscribe for notifications when there's a new post! Next week I'll be releasing a few of my new designs and sketches.

This challenge has been an enriching experience! Can't wait to do it again next year! Hope you all had a wonderful Bloomsday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

“House of Keyes”

I took this quite literally—I had initially thought to make this piece as installation art but when I laid the keys out I like the variety of directions which I could not have done if I installed the keys on a wall like I planned.

So here you have it! Bloomsday is tomorrow and I have something special in mind. I’ll be posting late, as I’ll be travelling during the day on my way back to Tulsa from the North American Joyce Conference. I’ll be sad to leave the beautiful gardens of the Huntington Library and all of the friends I have made over the last three days. What a week!

Only 1 more day till Bloomsday! How will you be celebrating?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Fourteen

"The Almosting Parallax"

I reinterpreted Molly and Bloom's positions in bed, and instead of a ying-yang image, here is one where they lie in an incomplete parallax. Made with chalk and paper.

The Joyce conference has inspired more than just my academic/writing ideas--I have three new Joyce inspired designs. Tune in next week for a preview of the sketches.

Only 2 more days till Bloomsday!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Thirteen


Blogging in a hurry today as I've been at the Joyce conference well into the night. I have for you, "Cyclops!" This necklace is made with a page from the 1961 American Random House edition I have been using, jump rings, mode podge, colored pencil, and wire.

The eye is linked with a shamrock--symbolic of the citizen's cyclopian view of the world.

Only 3 more days till Bloomsday!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Twelve

"Circe" Series (say that 3 times fast!)

Blogging in a hurry today as I am off to Pasadena in just a few hours for the North American James Joyce Conference. Here is my creation for today--a series of mini-canvas oil paintings that capture a few funny moments in "Circe" where objects are personified through the utterances they make!

Only 5 more days till Bloomsday!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Eleven

Steampunk Joyce Postcard

Thanks to everyone for stopping by my blog, and as a thank you I made something that you can print and share with all of your fellow Joyce enthusiasts! It's a Steampunk Joyce inspired postcard.

I've put a little history of Bloomsday on the front. You can download a pdf here. When you print it out, just feed the same page through the printer twice to get both front and back images and cut along the lines!

Only 6 more days till Bloomsday!

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Ten

June 10: “Bloomusalem”

This necklace is inspired by a passage from “Circe”:


My beloved subjects, a new era is about to dawn. I, Bloom, tell you verily it is even now at hand. Yea, on the word of a Bloom, ye shall ere long enter into the golden city which is to be, the new Bloomusalem in the Nova Hibernia of the future.

Though my version of “Bloomusalem” does not look anything like “a colossal edifice, with crystal roof, built in the shape of a huge pork kidney,” it does relay the idea of a new community blossoming (U 484). Sorry for the pun—I think this passage echoes Bloom’s walk to Dlugacz’s Butcher Shop in “Calypso” when he sees the advertisements for “Zion” and wanders through a Waste-Landian space. Rather than a grey world surrounded by corpses and death, in “Circe” there is a birth of a new homeland even if it’s only imagined. This phrase has always stuck with me and I have finally actualized it!

Only 7 more days till Bloomsday!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Nine

Notebook Series

More photography, though these pictures are digitally altered to include an image of Joyce (and not so much a "rendering" of what is already "sensible matter."). I was thinking of the line following Molly's final "Yes" in "Penelope": "Trieste-Zurich-Paris, 1914-1921." I wanted to create something different--and notebooks seemed perfect.

Only 8 more days till Bloomsday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Eight

"Busted Abode!"

I questioned whether or not to take a photograph--as Joyce did not consider photography to be art: "A photograph is a disposition of sensible matter and may be so disposed for an aesthetic end but it is not a human disposition of sensible matter. Therefore it is not a work of art" (CW 146). I can see the validity in this argument--as it is the camera that ultimately does the "rendering" when the flash goes off and captures the image. I am reminded, however, of something I heard in a lecture by artist, Thomas Allen, that photography is not just about taking the picture as it is making it.

Though I did little staging (or making) here, I like the simplicity and the irony of this photo. "What is Home Without Plumtree's Potted Meat. Incomplete. With it an Abode of Bliss..."--the cracked pot to me is very much like the "cracked lookingglass" in "Telemachus" because it narrates a brokenness larger than the objects themselves. The broken pot echoes the growing distance between Molly and Bloom as she engages in an affair with Blazes. It also represents the brokenness of their family--with Milly gone and their son Rudy, dead.

I was not expecting an aesthetic dilemma today but I am rather glad I did. It gave me a lot to ponder for the next few challenges. Only 9 more days till Bloomsday!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Seven


I have never made buttons before so this sure was a challenge! Once I got the hang of it though it was hard to stop. I used a “Badge-a-Mint” button maker (mixed results with this hand-machine—often it will work and other times it would not). My Joyce buttons borrow heavily from well-known photos of Joyce & Nora as well as incorporating more of the 1961 American edition of Ulysses. The background imagery is from a recycled Anthropologie catalog.

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Six

“The Hours” Necklace

I sketched the initial design for this necklace about a year ago and it has been a work-in-progress ever since. I had to find the right watch faces—particularly one large enough to hold the names of the Dubliners who inhabit the pages of “Wandering Rocks.”

Lucky for me I finally came across the perfect pocketwatch face! “The Hours” is my favorite creation thus far (and you must pardon my Woolf-humor here). Each episode is represented by its own individual watch face with its corresponding time in Ulysses. For a detailed description of each episode’s time, see Stuart Gilbert’s James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Like my post, two days previous, I used a word or short phrase to represent (and hopefully encapsulate) each episode. A list of episodes and their representative words/phrases is below:

Telemachus: “Stately Plump”

Nestor: “history is a nightmare”

Proteus: “ineluctable modality of the visible”

Calypso: “faintly scented urine”

Lotus-Eaters: “flowers of idleness”

Hades: “Poor Paddy!”


Lestroygonians: “U.P.:up”

Scylla & Charybdis: “The one about Hamlet

Wandering Rocks: I used the shortest version of each Dubliner’s name: Conmee, Kelleher, Sailor, Katey, Boody, Boylan, Artifoni, Stephen, Dunne, Lambert, Lenehan, Flynn, Bloom, Dilly, Simon, Kernan, Cowley, Cunningham, Mulligan, Dignam, and cavalcade. I also added “Dublin” as I think that Dublin is the main character of this episode.

Sirens: “Jingle. Bloo”

Cyclops: “the citizen”

Nausicca: “O!”

Oxen of the Sun: “wombfruit”

Circe: ashplant

Eumaeus: “cabman’s shelter”

Ithaca: “womb weary”

Penelope: “yes”—there are 3 watch faces devoted to Molly’s recurring “yeses” in the episode.

11 more days till Bloomsday!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bloomsday Challenge: Day Five

Steampunk Joyce Pocketwatch

Another Joyce inspired creation involving time! I wanted to make something Steampunk at least once during this challenge. I was given this gold pocketwatch by a fan at the Alliday Everyday Craft Show last year. It has a wonderful texture to it. I took it apart and used one of the internal cogs to adorn the chain. I used the metal clock spring too.

On the inside of the pocketwatch are three layers. On the bottom layer is a circular scrap from the 1961 American edition of Ulysses that I have been using. The clock spring makes up the next later and on the glass face there is a tiny cartoon image of Joyce walking.

“—16 June 1904” appears on the facing inside cover of the pocketwatch. A whimsical deconstructed timepiece!

12 more days till Bloomsday!