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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cedar House: The Craft of An Alaskan Playwright

Recently I had the pleasure of working on a short play called Cedar House with Perseverance Theatre (PT- regionally renowned for some pretty great shows) here in Juneau.  If I haven't mentioned it, I have an MFA in set design with a secondary emphasis in lighting design and have worked on several shows with PT like Equus and Much Ado About Nothing.  This was my first foray into costume design though, and it was quite a whirlwind.  
 Ishmael Hope (front) and Frank Katasse (rear) perform in Cedar House.

We only had about three full weeks to get the show up and running, but I think we did pretty well!  Anyhow, for this week's Juneau Empire article I interviewed blogger, playwright (and performer/storyteller) Ishmael Hope about his writing process.  He is a Native Alaskan- Tlingit.  He is from the Raven moeity and his play tells several of his people's stories from a modern sensibility.  Check out his blog at alaskanativestoryteller.com and read on to hear directly from him . . .

The Craft of Creating a Play: Cedar House

This summer, Perseverance Theatre tackles a new frontier and a new audience with its show "Cedar House." Geared specifically for an audience of tourists arriving daily into Juneau's capital city, the play brings history, culture and art to life for a quick 35 minutes on the mainstage.

Ishmael Hope both works as playwright and performer while he tells the stories of his people, the Tlingit, and their land, Lingít Aaní. As costume designer for the show, I watched the play develop and unfold. Intrigued by the process of the playwright, I sat down with Hope to learn about his craft, the craft of creating a play.

"All of it really ties into thinking, you know, thinking," he said. "I want to have company with people who take pleasure in thinking, and that's the kind of work I want to produce."
The slow, methodic words of an old soul filter out of Hope's mouth. Somewhat surprisingly he is a youthful 20-something who has written several plays for Perseverance and beyond, reflecting his Native Alaskan heritage.

Hope continues, "The most important for me has nothing to do with 'style' . . . it's really about being comfortable in your own human body, and thinking and allowing things to come to you. And then what you write hopefully has a sense of that."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Use for Binder Clips

Totally brilliant- I didn't invent this but should have about ten years ago- my laptop will never be the same
let's thank this person . . .

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fun in the woods: Alphabet Trees!

Yes, this literally spells fun- read on to find out how you can have some!

I'm a lazy hiker and an avid crafter. Okay, I'm not really lazy, but I do tend to wander along the way inspecting bugs, touching plants, taking photos; I literally stop to smell the skunk cabbage (I would prefer roses, but I take what I can get). It reminds me of my youth as I explore and get inspired. Don't get me wrong, there is definitely something to be said for "getting there," but as a hiker I am all about the journey.
So to help those of us who have become a bit destination-obsessed take a breather, I've come up with a fun hike-and-craft project that helps you enjoy the ride and achieve a goal. I call it Alphabet Trees.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'll Ask-A-Crafter : Pinking Shears, Tags

Here they are, answers to your deep, burning craft questions . . .

What are pinking shears? -Perturbed in Pink
Well PIP, though they may sound like a torture devise invented by your grandmother, pinking shears are actually a very handy tool that every crafter could use around the house. Chances are if your mother has a sewing machine, pinking shears are hiding somewhere nearby. These scissors, or shears, are used to cut woven fabric. The jagged edge clips the threads of the woven fabric in such a way that doesn't prevent unraveling, but reduces damage to the fabric as it unravels. Plus, they make a really fun jagged or "pinked" edge. Which is exactly the reason why your mom hides them, because the fun paper starbursts you love to make dull these babies (never use fabric scissors on paper). Pinking shears were named after Pink, not the punky pop star, but the flower whose petals have a similar jagged edge.

I make dolls and sell them locally. I really want unique tags, but haven't found a good solution. Any ideas? - Mistagged in Misery 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mother and Daughter Crafty Interview

    Gabcast! Alaska Crafter #0 - Mother's Day Interview

Listen as I interview Miah Lager, local art teacher, and her mother Sue Ann Randall for a tribute to mothers, teachers and crafters.  Please forgive as it is my first live recorded interview.  Enjoy!


Appreciate Your Teachers!

Raise your hand if you knew it was Teacher Appreciation Day today?

Cuz I totally didn't.  Seeing as both my ma and sis are teachers this seems like the kind of thing a gal like me would know. I am never thanking my teachers enough in life, so here goes  . . .

Publicly I would like to appreciate my Mother, the best teacher I ever had, Mr. Jordan in 6th grade for inspiration and support when I was sooo incredibly ackward and loud and wore buttons up and down my pants cuz I thought it was cool (not that any of that has changed!), Donny Mac for guidance, strength, and wisdom in the form of a swift kick in the ass every morning (literally, he was my Sensei and Fight Class teacher among many other classes), and all of my fabulous friends for teaching me every day how much I need them (and vice versa).

Okay, enough mush.  Thank you thank you is all I have to say.

Plus, stay tuned tomorrow for THE BEST interview with a current art teacher and her lovely artistic mother (for mothers day and teacher appreciation week, funsy!)

Aaaaand, stay doubly tuned for the unveiling of my latest project- it is def. worth it, I swear!