A Hex Sign Calendar

From October 30th to November 9th, I got to be a resident artist at The Future Minneapolis, where a series of Hex Signs (similar to barn quilts in function) were produced. Eight in all, one for each of the year’s quarter and cross-quarter days – the Solstices, Equinoxes and the midpoints in between. Hex signs are a folk art form from the American East coast, brought here by Germanic immigrants. Traditionally, they were used to decorate outbuildings, but their designs have roots in folk magic. They have been used to sustain good health, attract prosperity or stave off fire and storms. More recently, they have become a kind of Neo-pagan meditative art practice, focusing the mind on a given set of intentions.

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What we Feed, Grows

The theme of this year’s MayDay parade was ‘What we Feed, Grows’. And as I’m breathing in moist Spring air, fragrant with fertility, listening to the sounds of birds wooing each other; I have budding intentions myself. After Winter’s dormant research phase, idea-seeds have swelled, sent out roots and shoots, and will bear fruit in due course this Summer. If they are tended well and weather permits, creative outputs will grow, yielding their own form of nutrition. Filling a need for storytelling and meaning, the folk arts cycle with the seasons. 

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Enameled Talismans

Stencil images airbrushed on clay surfaces have given way to enameling on copper. What I’d read is that it’s one of those things, you can learn in an evening and master over a lifetime. So, I chose a color palette to play with and hit order. Now, I’m easing into incorporating this new finish into a coherent body of symbolic imagery, applied across two different mediums. My thought is that the most frequently absorbed imagery around us should be planted in place with an intention to uplift. The talismanic use of an everyday object can apply to art, a garment, your favorite drinking vessel or necklace. If these are heavily laden with meaning, then they serve to reaffirm an idea about who we are every time our eyes pass over them.

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