Monday, June 8, 2009

Gay Animals, New Bracelet Listings, Lovely Colors out of the Kiln

METAL CLAY ADVENTURES

When I go home today, I will have Christmas. Well, it FEELS like Christmas. I open my kiln and sift out the "treasures" from the charcoal.

What did I put in there and what changes/experiments am I up to?

I've got six copper in bronze charms. Although I'm getting closer in my progress to perfecting this skill, I still have much work ahead of me. I did make the bronze parts thicker. But a new problem has shown itself. I thought my molds (stamps?) were deep enough, but I think I prefer to find even deeper ones. The grooves left for my copper inlays are still so shallows. Maybe I'll play with forms rather than stamps next time.

I also have one larger inlay pendant and then my five re-fires (from like a month ago). They were the hollow forms that didn't sinter properly.

The good news is that I used my new tin (do I say "tin" if it's made out of stainless steel?) for this firing. It's a flan pan, actually… and I'll try to get some photos of it tonight so you can see. It's larger in diameter than the table pan I was using previously. It's more shallow and it has a flat lid. All the things I was looking for.

Well, I didn’t take a picture of the new container, but I am home now and I got a picture of my pieces straight from the kiln.




After seeing these colors, I wish I’d put that one pendant in. Well, maybe I can still pull some good colors with my next firing.

Again, very little (if any) ash. I’ll run some experiments and report to Hadar when she returns from her teaching trip. I think her kilns are very different from mine so we may have a new learning curve here.


NEW JEWELRY

Got some new pieces listed! All bracelets…



BTW, made my first bronze clay sale… thanks!!!


And Tango Makes Three

Today in LE, someone posted a recent article that mentioned a book I'd read once. It's the story of Roy and Silo, a gay couple, living in New York's Central Park Zoo—they are penguins—who adopt a fertilized egg and raise the chick as their own.

You may be surprised to find out how often this type of thing happens in the animal kingdom.

The book (And Tango Makes Three) is banned in many places. Why? Because of "the book’s homosexual undertones". I find the use of the word "undertones" funny. Not sure why… or if I can explain myself well, but my first thought was: "Why do they have to be undertones? Why can't someone just write a children's book about same sex relationships?" Well, I'm sure they do, but I guess "undertones" makes it easier to … well, you know.

And, I don't think the point of the book was to try to get children to be gay. Ha ha ha! I think the point was to tell the true story of an awesome, loving happening in New York's Central Park Zoo.

As quoted from National Geographic: " Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York's Central Park Zoo have been inseparable for six years now. They display classic pair-bonding behavior—entwining of necks, mutual preening, flipper flapping, and the rest. They also have sex, while ignoring potential female mates."

Another interesting paragraph from that article: "The bonobo, an African ape closely related to humans, has an even bigger sexual appetite. Studies suggest 75 percent of bonobo sex is nonreproductive and that nearly all bonobos are bisexual. Frans de Waal, author of Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape, calls the species a "make love, not war" primate."

What if children's books on hetero-sexual relationships were banned? They could be because they are promoting the idea that only male-female relationships are appropriate. Why not either have nothing out there or have it all out there and let children decide for themselves as they get older and figure themselves out? Why make them feel disgusting and perverted if it turns out they prefer same-sex relationships?

Did they used to try to make left-handed people into right-handed people, thinking being left-handed was a choice and they were choosing wrongly and we must "fix" them?

So… all these arguments about homosexuality being a "learned" response… doesn't the fact that there is homosexuality in nature kind of negate that theory?

Playing devil's advocate, however, you don't want to go with the argument of, "Well, if it's good enough for the animals, it's good enough for me." There are many things that go on in the animal kingdom that are very NOT appropriate for our current society (and most likely never will be).

But I think the fact that there are homosexual animals (and bugs) does make one think it's more of a nature thing than a nurture thing. I don't think people can learn to be gay. I think they either are or they aren't… or they're both (bisexual).

Whether it's part of the natural "master plan" or some difference in the formation of the human/animal brain, this planet has homo- as well as hetero-sexual beings on it. Always had, and I would think always will.

Anyway, this was the latest article.

In 2006, a museum display "Against Nature?" opened in Norway. The display presented 51 species of animals exhibiting homosexuality. "The argument that a homosexual way of living cannot be accepted because it is against the 'laws of nature'" can now be rejected scientifically," said Geir Soli, project leader for the exhibition. "A main target for this project was to get museums involved in current debate; to show that museums are more than just a gallery for the past."

Did you know that: "Almost a quarter of black swan families are parented by homosexual couples."

Not everyone is hard-wired to procreate… and only procreate.


NOT EVERYTHING THAT'S GOOD FOR YOU IS GOOD

Ew… had (or tried to) something really nasty today. It looked good. But it smelled dreadful and didn't taste much better. It was Khichari (mung beans and rice with vegetables, spices and ghee). I'll stick with my Kung Pao Tofu salad instead.


GETTING READY FOR DARTMOUTH

Started looking at the cost of flights (and hotel and rental car) for our trip back east. Eek! Sigh…

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