Posted in Clay, Fiber, Pottery, Sexual Assault Is Wrong

Never Again

Never Again!

Never again will I be silent.

Never again will I be shamed into silence.

Never again will I be pressured into silence.

Recently, one of my classmates in my writing class wrote a story that ended with a sexual assault – a high school guy grabbed a high school girl’s breast without her permission. I pointed out – with great passion – that this behavior is a felony, that conviction results in the person having to register as a sex offender, and in NY, a state with a convoluted justifiable use of deadly force law, the girl would have been justified in shooting the jerk. I then spread out the quilt with the more or less life size, 3-D vulva and, inter alia, the words: If you touch this without my permission, I will break your fucking arm. I pointed to the line that says: For the woman who said no and got fired. I told the writer that this was me.

Since then, I’ve had pressure, twice, to cease and desist from making comments like that. Nope. Not gonna be quiet. Someone has to stand up and say the emperor is naked.

What disturbed me about the story is that the sexual assault was presented as guy behavior. No. Burping, farting and scratching your testicles is guy behavior. Annoying, smelly, but basically harmless. Grabbing a woman’s breast without her permission is not guy behavior. It’s a felony. Had the breast grabbing in the story been presented as horrible, never to be tolerated, unjustified behavior, I wouldn’t have been upset. Had the breast grabbing been done with the girl’s consent, I wouldn’t have been upset. That it was presented as acceptable behavior is not acceptable. Ever.

I was more disturbed to discover that I was the only one who was upset by the nonchalant attitude towards sexual assault. None of the other women in the class seemed to be bothered by this attitude. Or was I the only one who felt she could speak? We’ve been shamed into being silent. We’ve been told it’s out fault when some jerk grabs us. We’ve been told we were coming on to some jerk who couldn’t tolerate being told no. When, in Junior High, I refused to laugh, and spoke up against the behavior, when one of the guys pulled up a girl’s skirt. I was told, “You’re not the coolest.” I didn’t back down.

What the hell are we teaching our daughters? What the hell are we teaching our sons?

Never again!

I finally got pieces from the last firing photographed. And here they are.

Firing 10-20-17 16Firing 10-20-17 17Firing 10-20-17 11

The above are experimental bowls. I used some clay I want to use up because I’m not all that fond of it. I rolled out slabs, rolled on texture, and used wreath forms for a slump mold. They are three different sizes, and the glaze combinations are experiments. The top tow bowls were too large for the light cube. I should have done some different staging. I did’t.

Firing 10-20-17 13Firing 10-20-17 12

I’ve no idea what fell on the plate while it was being fired. A chunk of kiln wash maybe?

Firing 10-20-14 14Firing 10-20-17 3Firing 10-20-17 4

Another glaze experiment. Mayco flux over Potter’s Choice Shino. The flux is pretty good at surprising me. I had no idea I’d get grays and white from this combination.

Firing 10-20-17 6

The huge pinhole is gone and replaced by 4 little pinholes. It’s now my new lidded container. I’ll figure out what to put in it eventually.

Firing 10-20-17 1

I did a bit of experimental sewing to take with me to the Farmers & Craft Market this morning.

Personal Bag 10-27-18

This is a Personal Bag. I designed it to hold: a personal toy, the charging cord for the toy, lubricant – two bottles if you like coordinated lubricant, and condoms.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Stop by and see what other artists have been doing – and be sure to read Nina Marie’s post. It’s something I needed to read this week.

Looking for a gift? Check out my store, Deb Thuman Art here.

Posted in Beads, bipolar disorder, Clay, Cognitive problems, Fiber, Jewelry

Why is life so complicated?

I’m still having withdrawal from the antidepressant. While I know this is part of withdrawal, it doesn’t feel like any previous withdrawal I’ve endured. Physically, I’m pretty much okay. I get tired a lot, but I don’t feel as if I were jumping out of my skin any more. I am finding my brain is working better. But my brain feels….squishy??? Things aren’t quite right. I have moments of utter stupidity. I was bouncing off the ceiling the last court appearance. Ceiling bouncing doesn’t usually happen in court. I couldn’t concentrate in my writing class on Tuesday.

About a week ago, I had to read a story for my writing class. The story was about a sexual assault, but the story was written as if the breast grabbing was just boys’ behavior. I had a visceral reaction and said so in class. Subtly is not part of my skill set. I told the writer than what he described was a sex crime, a felony and requires registering as a sex offender. I then plopped my sexual assault quilt down in front of him, pointed to where it said “For the woman who said no and got fired,” and told him that was me. Oddly no one else in the class was disturbed by the story. That is disturbing. I haven’t decided how I feel about my teacher refusing to look at the quilt. It’s the quilt with the more or less life size and more or less anatomically correct 3-d vulva in the middle and the words: If you touch this without my permission, I will break your fucking arm. Sometimes, I wonder about this class.

Next, I had a court appearance where I was in the same courtroom with the jerk who has been stalking me. That had more of an impact on me than I expected. I had a deputy walk my client and I out to my car after the hearing. The jerk was waiting for us in the parking lot and didn’t leave until he was sure the deputy wasn’t going back into the courthouse. That’s both scary and infuriating. The next batch of stories contained a story written from the point of view of a pedophile. This was accompanied by #Me Too and an episode of Law & Order SVU about rape, hazing and bullying. Plus I watched an old episode of Roseanne and was deeply offended. The episode was about Dan’s mother having to go into a mental hospital and about mental illness. The writers made mental illness sound so horrible. I wouldn’t recommend being bipolar, but it’s hardly the end of the world. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s a disease to be treated just like any physical disease.   And I wonder why I’m exhausted.

I had to take one day this week when I worked on art just for me. Not art for sale. Not my novel. Not writing for a class. Not healing writing. Just art for me. I had reached an interim weight loss goal while I was on the Broken Tooth Diet, and my reward was to buy me Swarovski crystal.

Reward set 10-20-17Reward set 2 10-20-17Reward set 3 10-20-17

I’ve worn the earrings from each set, but I haven’t had a chance to wear the necklaces.

I fired the kiln. Twice because I misread the cones and didn’t get the kiln hot enough the first time.  I’ve been working on some chili ornaments. IMG_4134IMG_4130IMG_4126

I used a copper wash on these to make the texture stand out. The chili on the left is Amaco Jade Celadon over copper wash. The other two are clear glossy over copper wash. I’ve go to make more pieces with copper wash in the texture. I like the effect.

IMG_4123

I can’t remember where I read this, most likely on Facebook, but a fellow clay artist wrote about putting a piece of plastic wrap over a slab of clay before using a cookie cutter to cut out ornaments. I like how the edges are rounded over. I had a piece of eyelet fabric and I rolled it on a slab of clay to make texture.

Scrub Top 10-18-17Detail Scrub Top 10-18-17

While I was making art for me, I decided to use fabric I bought a couple months back. Yes, those are alligators and ducks in the fancy stitching. I couldn’t find my ribbing for the cuffs, so I grabbed some spandex that coordinated and used that. What a PITA to sew onto the bottom of the sleeve! But I got the scrub top finished. I wanted something funky and arty to wear when I set up at the local Farmers & Craft Market.

Ring 10-20-17

I bought some memory wire for making rings. And I bought the BIG bag of it. It’s hard to get the ends bent around. I ended up making a ring that is too wide for me to wear. My hands look funny when I try to wear large rings. I’ll take it with me to the Farmers Market and see if it gathers any attention.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Stop by her blog and see what other artists have been making.

Looking for a gift? Stop by my web store, Deb Thuman Art, here.

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Posted in Beads, bipolar disorder, Clay, Cognitive problems, Photography

Pain Sucks

I saw the neurologist on Thursday and demanded to know what caused the neuropathy, the extent of the damage and how this can be reversed. I’m having a nerve conduction series next month. I was in pain from 3:00 AM on Saturday until Tuesday afternoon. Then I had a reprieve until about 2:00 AM today. The pain was bad enough that if I could have been sure I wouldn’t have gotten caught, I’d have bought something on the street. You might think that after 23 years as a criminal defense attorney I’d know where to buy street drugs. Nope. I haven’t a clue. Probably just as well….I couldn’t stand to hear the cop laugh when I got arrested. Plus a felony conviction gets me disbarred from all my law licenses. 

The problem with neuropathy is that there’s nothing causing the pain. The pain doesn’t even exist. What feels like horrible pain is damaged nerves sending a scrambled signal to the brain.

It takes an hour and a half for the gabapentin to take effect, so I went outside and did some night photography. We’re at about 4000′ elevation here and when we have a full moon like last night, it’s BRIGHT. Everything had sharp shadows. So I played around with ISO and exposure length.

Adjustment 2 10-7-17Stars 1 10-7-17Stars 3 10-7-17

I got maybe four hours sleep last night; I’m exhausted, and I can’t fall sleep.

Every time I think I’m done with withdrawal, I find out I’m wrong. I stopped taking Wellbutrin completely last week Friday. I was bouncing off the ceiling during my class on Thursday. It was embarrassing. I thought I was okay, provided I didn’t have to be around people, until yesterday. I experienced severe anxiety. I tried art. I spent a couple hours in the mud making another large planter. I listened to my relaxation music. That helped, but not enough. I finally broke down and took a klonopin. For some reason, I feel like a failure when I need to take meds. Silly, I know. I still feel like a failure. I’m making progress, the feelings of failure used to be a whole lot worse.

Meanwhile, I’m having difficulty spelling. I know how the words are spelled, I type 72 words per minute, but I can’t get the words typed correctly. I’ve no idea how to solve this problem. I think I’m just going to wait until the withdrawal is finished and my brain learns how to work without Wellbutrin.

I’ve been experimenting with earrings.

Yellow:green leaf earrings 10-7-17Rootbeer earrings 10-7-17Purple & crystal earringsMulti purple earrings 10-7-17Irridescent purple earrings 10-7-17Greens earrings 10-7-17Clear & crystal earrings 10-7-17Black earrings 10-7-17

This is the necklace I made to go with my amethyst earrings.

Amethyst necklace 10-7-17

These are necklaces I’ll be selling. I was going to set up at the Farmers Market this morning, but that’s not something I can do on four hours sleep. Next week, God willing! 

Green leaf necklace 10-7-17Green fan necklace 10-7-17Green circlie necklace 10-7-17

Monday, I get the prep work done for the crown to fix the tooth that broke in half lengthwise. I’ll be glad to be able to eat food that isn’t either liquid or really soft. I’m so looking forward to eating crunchy food again.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Stop by and see what other artists have been doing.

Looking for a gift for someone special or for yourself (you’re pretty special, too)? My web store is here.

Posted in Beads, Pain

Ouch!

Art heals. It’s 5:03 AM and I’ve been up since 2:49 AM. I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet and right now, the pain is horrible. I’ve taken gabapentin. I’m using a TENS unit and still the pain in my left foot is unbearable. And so I write this in the hope that writing will make the pain go away. The sky is covered with clouds so I can’t do any night shooting. It’s too dark to work with clay. I don’t have any bead ideas. Writing is all I have left to try.

After being on ½ of my regular dose of Wellbutrin for two weeks, I decided not to take any Wellbutrin and see how that made me feel. I was a bit growly, by no signs of withdrawal. I don’t have to be around people until Tuesday so there’s 4 days to see if I can function without Wellbutrin. I came off of it because I was getting hallucinations. Since retiring, there has been little stress. I’m off blood pressure meds. The back pain is only when I don’t do my back exercises for a week. Perhaps I only need a mood stabilizer now. I hope.

I’m taking a writing class and we all read each other’s stories. The story I read yesterday disturbed me. It’s written by a male student but the story is told by a female character. There’s a sexual assault. The story doesn’t treat the sexual assault – in this case unwanted touching – as an outrageous act but rather as a act that is almost expected. The female character doesn’t call the police although she does slap the male character. My first response was to tell the writer to stand up and I’ll grab his crotch so he can understand what unwanted touching is like. At the moment, I’m considering saying that while it’s possible I completely misunderstood the story (yeah, right), that kind of story in this kind of political climate is not acceptable. I’ll also explain that the unwanted touching described in the story is a felony in New Mexico and upon conviction, the male character would have to register as a sex offender. While I am vehemently opposed to censorship and banning books, one can’t write this shit right now. Or maybe ever. If nothing else, the sex offender in chief has caused women’s fury at unwanted touching to be taken to the street and demonstrated against. Why else would a reasonably intelligent woman wear an ugly pink had and call it a pussy hat? It’s not okay to touch me without my permission. I was a cooperating attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union for five years. I’ve read a number of books for no reason other than someone wanted the books banned. I’ll defend this student’s right to write a story like this, but I won’t sit quietly and give the illusion that I’m not deeply offended.

It’s 15 hours later and I’m still in pain. I worked with clay this morning experimenting with a mug design. Then, because I didn’t feel like making another mug but I also didn’t feel like cleaning up, I started making hollow beads from clay. It’s an interesting experiment.

I’ve been working on jewelry. Here are some of the latest earrings. I’m thinking of taking them to the Farmers Market for a couple weeks and if they don’t sell there, put them in my online store.

Yellow Button Earrings 9-25-17White Leaf earrings 9-25-17Teal & White earrings 9-25-17Small Green Filigree earrings 9-25-17Silver heart earrings 9-25-17Green filigree earrings 9-25-17Center Stage earrings 9-25-17Bronze chain earrings 9-25-17Heart & Leaf earrings 9-25-17Gold button earrings 9-25-17

These are some experiments. I haven’t decided if I like them enough to make a second one.

Experiments 9-25-17

I see the neurologist on Thursday, and I almost pity the guy. I’m going to tell him – again – that I want this cured, reversed and gone. When he tells me – again – that can’t happen, I’m going to tell him that just because he doesn’t know how to cure neuropathy doesn’t mean it can’t be cured. There wasn’t supposed to be a vaccine against polio, but Jonas Salk refused to listen to that nonsense.

I’m linking with Nina Marie here. Stop by and see what other artists have been doing.

If you’re looking for a gift for yourself or another, please stop by my store here.