Sunday, March 28, 2010

red lake

                         shout out to shep.


talking with an elder about the process of wheat pasting.

my crew (who had never pasted before), loving it.

my favorite part - taking the time to work the paper into the underlying surface.  the paste is all soft + mushy against the pliable paper being pushed into the firm, undulating surface of the sandstone.  how can you not love that?

me with orlando (who sang a nac version of the happy birthday song in the sweat later in the day).

I'm exhausted, but i want to get this out.  I pasted Red Lake today.

I woke up late this morning, around 10:30 or so.  Stumbled out of bed thinking ", I'm not up for pasting today afterall."  Around noon I wandered outside for a moment and thought "...Shit!   The weather is perfect.  It's warm and there's very little wind.  I've got to go paste."  I'd thought I was going to collaborate with someone this weekend, but she pulled a no show (leaving me alone to hang a 14.5 foot piece in 4 parts).  On the 30 mile drive over to Red Lake I rethought through hanging this piece alone but hoping all the while I'd be able to find someone at the old trading post to help me.

Once I got there I connected with Lorenzo who runs the place.  I learned later that he lives above the trading post.  He said he'd run the place since 1991 and thinks the lower part was built in 1891.  (Dig that.)   I love old trading posts.  The inside of this one is totally old school.  

Lorenzo was super nice.  Upon seeing me, he started cracking jokes and giving me shit for not knowing more Navajo after 23 years.  We have a deal going.  I'm going to find a hot, young nurse for him at the clinic where I work and in return, he's going to find for me a hot, young, sheep herder.  (This was all his idea.)  I'd told him I'd try to get there last weekend to hang this piece.  He greeted me today with "....I had four young sheepherders waiting for you last weekend."  I thought "...great.  I've no idea why I didn't come last weekend but really wish I had."

Lorenzo and his three grandsons (by clan), along with the cashier from the trading post, all helped me. And here I thought I'd be installing alone and I ended up having 5 people help me.  Gotta love it.  I asked Lorenzo to document the process with my camera.  These are his photos.  

Once we were done, Lorenzo invited me to join them in a sweat. It was a most incredible end to a day when I thought I woundn't paste.  In addition to the teachings from the wise ones and his own life observations, Lorenzo gave me the name "Hosteen James."  He said "...Chip just doesn't sound right."  

They went a full 4 rounds.  I loved the songs and sharing of the 2 rounds I experienced.

What a day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this, I love this so much! The red lake piece looks so good, very organic, well done. Congrats on the Wooster shout out!


March 29, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger chip thomas said...

right on craven maven. thanks for the love. i really enjoyed working the paper into that sandstone wall. and to think it was built in 1891! i was honored to get the chance to do that piece.

March 29, 2010 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

caught this on Wooster. Really digging it.

March 30, 2010 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Erin Wilson said...

I can't even tell you how much I love what this became. And I'm not talking about the art here, much as I love it.

March 31, 2010 at 8:23 AM  

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