Friday, December 21, 2007

It is an interesting thing to visit with loved ones whose memory is not what it used to be and they know it.

Do you think it is possible to see death around someone even if they are not very sick?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Pedal People

a human-powered delivery and hauling service
for the Northampton, Massachusetts area

go here to find out to find out more:

these lovely people take my houses composting and recycling away on their bikes (well a cart attached to their bikes).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sometimes it is so nice to read what another person has to say about one's work. I tend to get tangled and strangled by the words I would use to talk about what I am doing. Tonight I read what the folks at THE ART OF THIS GALLERY in Minneapolis wrote about my work and it made me very pleased. I have been feeling really poopy about my work lately but after reading the little blurb they wrote I feel clear about what it is I am currently doing and how some folks perceive it (which helps me think something other than poopy about the work).

Here are the words:

A whimsical installation of play and
discovery and the collective meanings found therein.

Feb 9-Mar 9, Opening 2/9 7pm

Art of This Gallery is pleased to present the work of Angela Zammarelli, a
recent MFA graduate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She
will exhibit work from her current series “Shut Up Spacemaker, You Talk
Too Much,” a whimsical installation that explores the interplay between
play, discovery and escape and the collective meanings found therein.

This eclectic work often combines not only an array of domestic handmade
objects, such as blankets, dolls and furniture, using colorful textiles,
woods and plastics, but elements of performance and video as well.

Angela’s work, both in craft and content, is tremendously transformative
with its ability to alter the viewer’s perception of the materials found
in the work as well as ask one to question the reality of the unique,
magical environments that she constructs.

Here are their web pages:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"There is a Story I Forgot to Tell You; Shut Up Spacemaker, You Talk Too Much"

Could you scoot over just a hair for me while I cut a hole in the wall? Isn't that better? Now you can put your legs through it.

I am trying to create something for us.

Well don't assume I want it and pick up those floor boards they are getting in the way.

Breathe in and breath out and breathe in and breathe out.

I can only give you so much and that is as much as I can give you so take it or leave it or take it and leave it. And while you're at it move that chair over towards the door, then you can lay in this spot and I can lay next to you.

What are we using today? A little bit of this and a little bit of that, I see, that should work just fine. One can not afford to be picky. But you seem to always over do it.

Good night, sleep tight.

Friday, December 07, 2007


In the later part of the spring of 2007 I was biking on a trail going west in Minneapolis, the one that goes out to St. Louis park and beyond. I was going around a corner when I felt something hop on the back of my bike, it wasn't a very big thing but it startled me a little. I turned my head and so-mee was there. She wrapped her arms around me and we continued going west. I thought maybe she would jump off when I turned around to go back to my apartment, but she didn't. She came home with me and would sit quietly in my room on top of a pile of clothes. We spent a lot of time together looking at books and humming.

my neighbor died and I spent a whole month at my friend Ursula's home because my neighbor died a vicious death and I lived only with so-mee in a basement and didn't feel very safe. There was also a peeper a foot and I felt exposed.

I went to Montanan at the end of that month, as maybe you read.

Then I moved back to Massachusetts.

I haven't seen her since I moved away. I abandoned her, right?

Anyway this is the painting I did of her in June and finished in October.
Jenny Holzer Projections
Spencer Finch's What Time is it on the Sun
Anselm Kiefer: Sculpture and Paintings from The Hall Collection
Fransje Killaars: Installation: Figures, Colors First

Currently at Mass MoCA

A gem in the Berkshires

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Work by:
Amelia Biewald, Ernest Bryant, Ryan Macintyre, Liz Miller, Molly Roth, Larry Schwarm, Aaron van Dyke, Angela Zammarelli

Guest Curator: Thomas Barry, Thomas Barry Fine Arts

Sunday October 13 - Thursday January 10th

Opening Reception:
Saturday, October 13th 5-8 pm

Traffic Zone Open Studios:
Saturday, October 13th 3-5 pm

Gallery Hours:
Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm

Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art
250 3rd Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401

If you are in Minneapolis, please check this show out, thank you.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hmm. I have moved. I am feeling a little more settled. I have lovely housemates (it is good to live with people again). I am framing pictures in New England. How romantic, no? No, I kid. It is the start of fall and the foliage is starting.

Today a little lady/baby came into the world named Isabella. Maybe many an Isabella came into this realm today but this particular one I am talking about sprang from my brother and sister-inlaw (Nick and Naomi). It is very exciting. I am going to meet her on Sunday. Today also happens to be the birthday of three other really special people to me, this I take as a good sign for her.

Happy Birthday emmett, Laura, and Joshua!

Two nights ago I went to see Jessica Stockholder speak at Mt. Holyoke College. I remember leaving feeling really interested in art, which I have to say was nice because many times after going to lectures I want to crawl into a hole and sleep and pretend that I am not involved with art. I wish I had written stuff down that night because now I don't have the words to describe what is going on in my brain in response to the lecture. Grrr, if only I was good at keeping up with this writing business (it is my weakness). Watch the pbs art21 with her talking about her work. I felt like the lecture was similar to this except that the information she was sharing seemed tailored to an educating lecture as opposed to an interview.

One particular part of the lecture that stuck out in my head was when she talked about not being an artist for a little while after grad school and how this let her make whatever she wanted. She worked and puttered.

Here are some links to her work:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"When I Go Like This, You Will Know it is Time" is opening Sunday September 16 at the Incubator Gallery located in the Southwest Residential area next to Hamden Gallery at Umass Amherst. The opening runs from the 3 - 5 PM and will be up until October 19, 2007. In the main gallery at Hamden will be Paula Hodecker and Brendan Stecchini (there is a stellar drawing of their dog Julio in the show). If you are in Western Massachusetts and can make it to see the work that would be great. I will write more about it later, I am in the midst of moving right now and have to stay focused on packing properly.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Everything I ever needed to know about aesthetics I learned in catholic mass. Well maybe not completely true but partially true none the less. I am at my grandma and parents' home. My grandma watches mass on the catholic cable channel all the mornings she doesn't physically go to church. This morning I sat down at the table with her while she was watching. I haven't seen mass on tv in years and I haven't been to mass in even longer. Seeing it on tv in all its golden glory I can see why I do what I do. I have had this conversation before, stating that my materialistic behavior in my art is based in my little old catholic self's love of relics and statues and pilgrimages. I still am in love the idea of these things. The rituals and the objects and the stained glass and saints and well .... magic, theatre, costumes, transformation, the body and junk.

I was watching the priest clean the chalice out, then fold the fabrics that go on top and then the alter boys came and took it all away, the whole time the priest said words. I was once told that my hands were too busy in a video I did. And watching the priest folding and placing and putting I thought of the video and how that character was doing a similar thing. It may look busy but it is intentional and needs to be done "right" in order for the magic to work.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Packing up.

Today is my last full day in Montana. I am a little sad. I am really nervous. I hope to come back this way sometime.
Tonight Linda and I are going up to Debbie's home to have dinner with her and her family.

Tomorrow I meet up with my parents in Minneapolis for a couple of days. I am super excited to take them to State Fair and see the chickens, and to eat a cider freeze pop and look at the dried ears of corn and seed art, the walls of jam and honey. Yup!

Then I will be ready to head home to Massachusetts. It will be really great to drive with them back east. It will feel good to miss Minneapolis.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nan's dog came trotting into the apartment today, proceeded to fall over, and ask for a belly scratch. I forgot her name but I feel like I have known her for a long time. Does that makes up for being bad with names? Nan is a painter that lives in town. She has work up at the High Note Cafe. They are these really nice water colors of the north west coast. I am a sucker for water color, did you know that? I am.

Anyway Nan and a bunch of painters in the community (members all the way up to Helena) are have an painting slumber party in some B town in south of here that I have also forgotten, I do know it is not Butte, Billings, or Bozeman. Does that make up for being bad with names? Ahh yes, a painting slumber party! In this case it will be landscapes, pajamas (this I am projecting in), and friends. It is so nice to think of a group going out and painting for the hell of it, well not for the hell of it because they are artists, but choosing to go together and making a production as opposed to just making a day trip by oneself. I don't know what I am talking about, but it sure sounds like fun.

Today I also went to Helena with Linda a new resident, who happened to be also living in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the last couple of years and had Kinji as a teacher too. I had even hung her work for a show at MCAD in January. She just arrived on Saturday. We have been having some very interesting conversations about the land in this part of Montana. She says that it is folded in on itself and that leads to interesting energy in this part of the state. I will say that I agree.

Linda grew up in Libby, Montana. Libby is located in the northwest corner of the state. There was a movie that came out in 2004 called "Libby, Montana". Do a search for Libby and read about its mining legacy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

co·in·ci·dence [koh-in-si-duhns] –noun
1. a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance: Our meeting in Venice was pure coincidence.
2. the condition or fact of coinciding.
3. an instance of this.

I was in the midst of reading about stripes in the summer edition of Cabinet and I started looking at the skunk stripes when I noticed a very pungent smell. I thought it was the ink in the magazine or my armpits. I started to sniff the magazine feverishly, then decided that it was my armpits. Meanwhile a very large moth flew past my head, it landed on my fabric pinned to the wall. I couldn't have it eat the fabric so I caught it in a jar and went to let it outside. Outside I discovered that the smell was stronger. Do you know what the smell was? A skunk sprayed outside. So it wasn't my armpits afterall.

The theme of the summer Cabinet is "The Enchanted Season"

ps. thanks to Don Myhre for the Cabinet.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Last night I looked up the names of all the mines officially recorded in Jefferson county, putting a star next to all of those located in Basin. For a small town it sure has many a mine. I have 24 on my list, but I know the name of at least 4 mines that were not on the list. Maybe their common names differ from their official names. I was reading an abstact from a paper online that said there are around 6,000 abandoned mines in Montana (RECLAMATION EFFECTIVENESS AT THREE RECLAIMED,
ABANDONED MINE SITES IN JEFFERSON COUNTY, MONTANA presented by Tara Tafi and Dennis R. Neuman). Yesterday I walked by the Jib mine again and really wanted to see pictures of it in its day. This is what led me to look up mines in Jefferson county. The search produced mainly coordinates no pictures or information. But after looking at several maps and remembering the information Randy told me at the potluck last week I decided to make a trip to a former silica mine site (it has been reclaimed). The site is about two miles from the residency.

I set out down the road. I had a nice time walking on the path that was a former railroad track and by the Boulder River. I found another mine adit across the river. Its opening was maybe 20 feet up the hill from the river and it looked a little grown in. I wanted to get closer but also didn't want to get my feet wet (ha, which is a rare thing). I might try tomorrow. I was looking at my photos from today and noticed something really eerie in the picture I took of its opening. I might not go. Don't hold me to it.

I came to the bridge that one crosses to get to the hill that contains the reclaimed spot. I walked up and up and up and as I neared the top I was thinking that it was going to be nothing extraordinary. It is a filled in mine the mine part is gone, big whoop. I was wrong, so very wrong. For starters the view from the ledge where the mine was is stunning. Turning the corner there a giant deposit of dolomite shimers from the back wall of the hill side (hill might be understating the size of the bump in the Earth, it may very well be classified as a mountain). I felt very small. The depth at which the Earth has been cut into is deep and this is only what remains open. The space was like being in an almost enclosed pit, open where one climbs up. I looked around them headed back down.

My pictures didn't come out so hot today.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A little assignment for you if you are willing. If you would like to email me, I will post your Broc Frock here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I started constructiing this creature today. It is crude and selfish, but shiny and outgoing. It eats up whatever it wants and shits out sludge. I'm not sure how it is doing as a piece though, but it is really satisfying to play with. I have been putting coats of acrylicpoly and black paint on it all day and boy it is glossy.

And all I can think of is the phrase "war is gross".

George Myers and Emily (I don't know her last name but remember she was wearing the most amazing knitted dress) were making buttons at my old job four years ago, and they gave me a button that said this. I lost the button last year. I think this phrase is really interesting and maybe my favorite in the regards to thinking about wars. It is the kind of thing were it is not saying bad or good (well one could argue that gross is bad, but gross has the potential to be more complex than that). The reader can think about what gross in the context of war means.

This fabric pattern came out during the first Gulf War. It is a type of camouflage. That's why I am thinking about war while making it. It is a really neat pattern and has the look of a cross between and animal and landscape. I kind of think this creature maybe is a spirit of war, if we want to go there. Maybe it is like the slug that Yubaba put in Haku in the movie "Spirited Away". Maybe someone needs to make George Bush (and others in the administration) throw this creature up and squash it.

just a thought, good night

ps. thanks to Karen Wirth who gave me this fabric.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My mom sent me this post card when I was living in Minneapolis. She would send me one postcard a week. She had themes. For a couple of months they were "funny" cat postcards from this book called "Bad Cats", this postcard is not from that book. I found them more upsetting than funny, but that's just me. Then she would send me postcards of northern New Hampshire, this postcard is from that group. I have never been to this particular mailbox, but I really want to. The top cat looks like out cat Wendel the second cat down looks like Princess and the bottom one looks like Trixie. That is a side note, I guess. This set of postcards made me long so hard to be back there even though when I lived there I felt like time had stopped for me, I loved the land but wasn't sure what I was doing. It is kind of like Minneapolis in reverse, I kind of knew what I was doing, I stress kind of, but I felt really disconnected from the space/land I was in. I'm not sure if I am a city dweller or what. I love cities, all the activity and chaos and accessibility to things, but maybe I am not cut out to live in them? Time will tell.

Why share this? Well I thought I'd start talking about the body of work I am doing right now for a show at Umass in September. The body of work is called "When I Go Like This, You Will Know it is Time". The Inhabitant that this installation revolves around is either in the process of escaping the space or has just escaped, it is ambiguous. This work is from the series "There is a Story I Forgot to Tell You" which is an ongoing series that the majority of my work is involved with. There is a 22 ft long hand knitted rope hanging down from the ceiling, Spacemaker knitted it. She dangled it in the realm of this being to give them another option, to broaden their horizon if you will. Spacemaker is the "I" and the Inhabitant is the "you".

The being’s habitat is a small tent like structure coming out of the wall, with the inside filled with images, notes, and drawings of places the Inhabitant has feelings for. There is a longing to go to these places, but hesitation in acting on them. So the Inhabitant just keeps accumulating them.

The work is not autobiographical, it is based in an accumulation of things around me, which sometimes includes me.

Today’s my mom's birthday, Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

There are not too many days in life that I wish I had a camera for exploring. I just purchased this camera I have been using in the spring. It is a new thing for me to collect images that I have taken, normally I like to collect other peoples images and store and distort my own in my head. Well yesterday I climbed the hill up to the smelter down the street from me in Basin and I wish I had my camera. Why? Today I went back with my camera and I guess I shouldn't have been up there because a man on his motorcycle was looking around for me on the ledge. Luckly I climbed down before he got there. I had seen a woman in a car looking up at me and then drive down the street and stop at house, then drive off. I had the feeling that I should not be up there. Ahhhhhh. Well I have the images from yesterday in my head and I will convey them to you in words, but I really wanted to show you the ruins of all of the smelter and the view from the top of the hill where the smoke stack part is located. The pictures at the top of this entry are from today and consist of the base and the second tier of the ruins. My favorite part of the smelter is that hole filled with bricks.

I was in the studio yesterday and it was maybe and hour and a half before I was supose to go to Butte to see the Berkeley Pit. I got a little restless and decided to go for a walk. I left my camera at home because I told myself I was just going to walk down the street and back no fooling around. So I walked towards the smelter end of the town because there are some trails up into the hills where the road ends.

When I got to the ruins of the smelter, I turned my head to my right to look at what I thought was a wide open mine (I mentioned it earlier in an entry). I couldn't resist it, I went into the grass towards it, then down the path into its opening. Then it dawned on me, fool this is the base of the smelter, not a mine at all. I could tell because of its brick ceiling that starts to go up at the back of the opening and stone walls (intentional not natural). Smelters are huge. Then I got really curious about the rest of the ruins and how this part would connect to the top part that you can see on top of the hill.

It was quiet and no one was around except some dogs. I scurried up the embankment to the next tier (this is where my favorite hole with its bricks are). This level has been taken back by nature pretty much except for the giant stone wall at the back built into the hill and the hole. The wall has a seeled up brick arch in the base of it and another small oven shaped portal. Also at the top of the wall is the remnants of a wooden ore shaft and steel i-beams. Around the side of the wall is the ledge that holds the top portion of the smelter. Most of the side of the wall/hill has fallen in and in the layers of dirt you can see brick formations and other embeded pieces of the smelter (this is where I got caught today, yesterday I was more careful).

I went back to where I had climbed up from the base of the smelter and started climbing up the steep side of the wall and hill. When I got to the next tier (I am now behind the face of the wall) I came upon a clearing with a rectangle shaped hole in the ground about the size of a grave, lined with brick. There was all sorts of rusted metal and stone around it. This is another area that nature has grown in on. I climbed up to the ledge over the wall and the view was stunning (yes I used that word). I could see Basin and the highway and the roads and the other hills.

I climbed back down to the clearing and then started up the steep hillside to the smoke stack of the smelter and the shaft that is still standing. It smelt like sage. I made my way to the top of the hill, the sun was shining and the temperature was really pleasant. And the arch of the brick structure was really interesting. Things like where it fell in and where it didn't, the little windows on the side of the smelter shaft that travels down the hill, the white powder/rock at the base of the stack, and the stack itself. The smoke stack looked so sturdy even though its counterparts are crumbling and falling apart. I stood inside the area in between the base of the stack and the shaft that runs along the ground to look at the ground below throught the remaining shaft. I kind of wanted to stay there forever. But it was getting nearer the time to go to Butte. So I made my way down the steep hill on my butt, because the ground was so dry and crumbly and steep.

I walked home and met Casey and Nancy and we headed down to Butte.

As you round the corner going south on Rt 15 into Butte, across the city below you see this huge wall of tiered rock. That is the Berkely Pit. I thought it was going to be big but I really hadn't imagined it being huge. It is apart of a landscape that I have never been in before, populated but sparce if that makes any sense. There are remnents from old timey mining spattered throughout the city. There are casinos in strip malls and gas stations. On the top of the hill that the pit has been carved out of stands numerous headframes or gallows frames. These are tall (I'd say gigantic) lattice structures that were used to raise and lower miners and materials sometimes at least a mile underground.

It took us a while to get to the pit, it may be big and you can see the wall from almost everywhere in the city, because we didn't know exactly where we were needed to go. You pay two dollars are handed a pamplet and you go through the tunnel (the top picture) to a covered platform. Here there are four large posters under plexi-glass explaining the hows and whys of the pit on one side of the platform and the pit on the other side. Surounding the pit is a chain link fence with barb wire on top.

The water in the pit is maroon.

The pamplet does not address this. The posters do.

There are two stuctures near the water down in the pit. I'm not sure what goes on in them. Maybe it is where the water is being treated or mining headquarters I'm not sure. From where I was you could barely make them out. I have zoom on my camera so I used that to get a better look. Also there is some sort of waterfall springing from the rock wall opposite the platform. I also am not sure what that is. It was water, but very white it looked almost like glue. It might be treated water getting recycled into the pit, it might be one of the many springs that feeds the pits, maybe it is water from another underground mine. Questions, questions. Did I mention the pit is huge? I was a little dizzy with how big it is and a little petrified to think of how deep the water is. I quess I'll leave it at that.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Friday evening I am supose to go to the Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana. I believe it is the numer one Superfund site in the country. It is a crazy thing, a very irresponsible thing, woo let me tell you. Part of what was once known at the richest hill on earth, the berkeley pit was a copper mine. It was open in 1955 and closed in 1982 ending at 900 feet deep. The owners shut the pumps at the bottom off in 1983 and it has been filling with water ever since at an alarming rate. Water filtration and pumping has slowed the flow slightly but it might not be enough to stop a major overflow. There are dangerous things in the water such as heavy metals and arsenic, zinc, and cyanide. It is sad that there is this huge amount of water sitting in the middle of a place that is dry and threatened with forest fires every late summer. Well I am sure to learn more tomorrow, right? It shan't be so bleak, right? I guess I'll see tomorrow.

Also while in Butte I hope we get to go to the World Mining Museum.

I guess this is where I would like to acknowledge contemporary happenings. It is fine and good to be excited about mines and mining history and it is still amazing that people still go underground and get trapped and die. I know that people are hoping that the 6 miners in Huntington Utah are okay. They have been down there 10 days. And that a bump (pressure from the weight of the mountain pushing down on a mine causing the floor to rise and the walls to pop out in this case coal) occured tonight and injured two rescue workers. It is a dangerous job. It is a job that would scare the bejeezus out of me. And people do it all over the world.

I'm sorry I haven't mentioned it before tonight.

some links about the Berkeley Pit and the mining museum(some info is old but interesting in terms of historic context):

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I finished the last costume for the Soo Vac today and here it is. The circles are based off of Turkish evil eyes or Nazar Boncuk. The character hands out the circles for one to sew into their cloths for protection. I think that the character is a well type landscape that the good luck patches bubble up from to be dispersed.

Yesterday I went up to Debbie's house to see her quilts. She has a quilt that she made base off of underground railroad quilt patterns. I think I had heard about them before but never had anyone explain them in depth to me. It is pretty amazing. I need to read more about it. She also had made a cathedral window quilt which is really intricate and beautiful. Her house is amazing and her husband, daughter and her boyfriend are building a workshop across the street out of lumber her husband harvested himself.

I will do a little researcha and try to get some Underground Railroad quilt links on here and other quilting pattern links too.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I am an idiot. I have been reading ghost stories all day which doesn't help a person who spooks easily and is already having trouble falling asleep before five in the morning. Despite that this book contains really neat places and stories. Many of them I knew about through oral history so it is nice to see them printed and have little arguments with myself about how if that is how the story was told or not. They have a website And I can't tear myself away.

It's funny last night at about 2:30 a.m. a moth bumped up against the window and I decided that it was the Mothman and that I need not look at the window, but calmly gather my knitting turn off the lights and go upstairs. Luckily today in this book I read about the Mothman and it is not in Montana.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Today Debbie took Nancy (a painter and resident here too) and myself to Boulder, Montana to grocery shop. We went to the library and I was allowed a temporary card. It is a really nice shade of green with the state of Montana on it and and the words "Jefferson County Library System" in red and the county distinquished in white. I took out four books and a french cassette course which I can't listen to because the boom box I am using is only a cd player, oh well. I will be discussing the books as I read them.

Tonight I read "Soiled Doves" by Anne Seagraves. It is about prostitution and the making of the west. It was written in 1994. I found some of the language to be problematic, but the information to be interesting and really helpful in finding the names of women who helped shaped the economics of the west.

Something I didn't know is the the term "red light" district started in Kansas. When the railroad workers would visit a brothel they would hang their red lanterns outside of the house. This was in case of an emergency and they needed to be found.

Also I didn't know that in San Francisco in the late 1800's how many young girls/women were brought to the U.S. from China for prostistution and that they were not paid for their work and many died in their early 20s.

Friday, August 10, 2007

As promised I went to the Merry Widow Mine today. I met a man from Arizona filling up large containers with water from outside the mine. He said that he gets his wife a 6 month supply of water, but that they only come once a year. The tap outside that he was getting the water from had a fountain of youth sign in front of it. He is in his 70's. He and his wife are traveling around the country, they are off to Ohio next, then the south, then home. They are traveling in a camper that expands and contracts thank to hydrolics. He said it is great because when they are driving near big trucks, the camper doesn't shake back and forth like a winebago would.

I wasn't planning on going in but the woman in the office offered and so I did. I was a little nervous. There is a heavy wooden door with a little window, I opened it and cool air hit me. I was expecting a musty smell, it smelt like nothing. The opening where the door is had been treated with cement and on it people had written their names and the year they had come to the mine. Actually all over the place people have written their names and years that they came to the mine. I stood for a moment, doesn't radon cause cancer (lung cancer to be precise)? But this lady is letting me go in and have a peek, I can't turn down the offer right? And what will 15 minutes do, so onward. As I walked I heard the dripping of water (it is pretty wet in there) and a man's voice. It is weird because even though I am in a mine, I feel like I am in Catholic church. The man's voice is deep and rumbly. Is there a level above this shaft? How far does this thing go? Will I get sick before I leave?
There are many side rooms, one had a sign for Baptist service on Sunday. This side room was called the Doggie Den, and at the end of it is a natural tub. It is amazing. And up behind the tub is a hole that leads into another part of the mine that no one can go to. Back into the main line of the mine, there is a basketball clock and another tap for water. Everything is a little rusty. I think my thyroid is tingleing, should I run? The beams holding the rocks up are dingy but lovely. I come to another side room that isn't lit at the moment, I flash a picture and see that there is a table and two plastic chairs, on the edge of the table "Nancy" has written her name in big black letters, people have signed everything in the mine. There are rocks people have decorated and nestled into crevices throughout the shaft. It's like Graceland or St. Anne de Beaupre. Going around the last bend I come across two couples chatting and that is where the booming voice was coming from, he wasn't even talking that loud but for some reason it rumbled in the mine. Next to the couples was a room that reminded me of a breakfast nook and next to that was a built-in shelf that had magazines, it was very homey. At the very end of the Merry Widow Mine is the "The Agony of DEFEET" cubby. There is a large basin with plastic ace hardware buckets to soak your feet in. The end of the Merry Widow Mine is not the end of the mine itself, it has been walled off and a really neat painting of a continuing mine is painted on it.
I turned around and headed back to the begining. I said goodbye to the women in the office and biked down the hill I waved to the man and his wife and their camper.

I think I might head over to the Earth Angel Mine (another Radon spa) soon and compare accomedations. They are across the highway from each other and down the street from the residency.

Do you think the Merry Widow sign is kind of like a christmas sign?

here are some links for thinks:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A couple of things going on here. There is some scat, a tree eating stones, a stage, me sewing, and another studio picture of me standing still with somethings that I personally find aesthetically pleasing (axe and lights included). You figure out what caption goes with what image because I forgot what order I uploaded them when I wrote that . Maybe I'll win and they will be in that order but I have my doubts on that. Let's leave it to chance and laziness.

Anyway. Tonight I went to Boulder, MT to see Montana Shakespeare in the Parks' rendition of The Merry Wives of Windsor (the picture of the stage is the set). It was great! I had my doubts, but I really enjoyed myself. Casey who is a writer and artist in residence as well here offered to drive, so off we went. Also many of the people I have met in Basin were at the play too, which was really nice. It is nice to be in a new place, but feel like you have a community.

On the way to Boulder I found out where the Merry Widow radon mine is, so I think a bike ride is in order tommorrow to see it. In the hill about the mine Merry Widow is spelt out in letters similar to a tiny Hollywood sign, but for some reason they reminded me of Christmas. Well that will be a task to bring you back a picture.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yesterday I was walking up this road and an 18 wheeler came up behind me, crazy. I have never seen a big truck on a dirt road. It wasn't moving fast, it kind of glided at a steady speed, it was a little mystical. It gave me a real fright that I didn't know what side of the street to be on, and I did that thing that chipmunks do, start out for one side then change their mind. I slipped. yup.

Also yesterday was so windy and smokey. Today is beautiful, clear and has great temperature.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

This is the first big mine I have ever come into contact with. I was walking and there was a lot of mining debris around a burnt out ore shart and a giant smelter across the street. These things did not surprise me so much, but when I came across the mine I got a little funny. I was excited by it and also super afraid of it or some creature that was going to crawl out and suck me in and that would be that. Well, not a creature but another human, who had made their home in the cool deep mountain. I'm a chicken. I could totally squeeze through the doors on the mine, but I didn't. I kept dancing around up and down, into the mouth out of the mouth, I felt very undecided about the whole matter. I feel really dumb, mining is apart of Montana and especially here no one is geeking out like I am.

Today I asked Debbie and Suzanne (they run the residency here) if I could go up the hill near the smelter and they said yes but be careful because it is crumbly. Then I asked, since there was an open mine under the smelter if I could go in it, since it was open and didn't have metal gates on it like the other mine I came across. That my friends was a dumb question and I knew it and they said that I shouldn't. But I want someone so badly to say, oh yeah sure go in, or oh yeah I'll take you in after breakfast, you buy me a cup of coffee and I'll bring a flashlight. I won't go in on my own, which is probably wise.

Have you ever read the House of Leaves? At one point in the book there is a door with a cavernous space behind it in the house. When I looked at the mine today with no doors I had this weird feeling of pulling and pushing from the space. This was the same feeling I imagined when I read that book about that space behind the door.

here are some links about Basin, the Montana Artists Refuge, and mining in Montana (disclaimer: I don't agree with everything on all of these sites but I find them interesting and have been looking at them all a lot)

Oh what a terrible pun. Hello I am here in Basin and it is really lovely. If you would like to see pictures please go to
I will be posting pictures on there with little snips of information.
I will also actually be using this blog, really really this time, it's just that it is really funny to write sometimes it kind of makes me feel squishy.
over and out