we were at the jersey shore — wildwood — this weekend. i had a needlework-free vacation and packed with me only the materials necessary to try out a few of the horn-making projects i had posted tutorials about in an earlier post. alas, there were no eureka moments for me. wire-and-paper mache horns seem too heavy to attach to the mask i am working on (which is a krampus-buttnmandl hybrid) and while the horns i made with crayola’s model magic are wonderfully light and hold great detail, the color mixing i did with them does not satisfy me at all. i will be working with the model magic further, as it was, if nothing else, REALLY fun to touch and play with. it’s so 21st century — nothing like anything i ever played with as a kid!
i’d also found some fascinating seaweed on the beach that i had hoped i could work into the buttmandlesque mask but, not unlike with the kombucha mother experiments, it was smelly and didn’t look right, and i discarded it. (“Focus does not mean saying yes, it means saying no.” — Steve Jobs)
i have to move faster than i might otherwise do to complete two of the in-progress pieces i am making for krampuslauf. the mask i have made for ben, the buttnmandl/krampus mask that i expect to be worn by our friend abi, and the frau perchta headdress i am working on for myself will be the pieces i am entering in the juried exhibition for FiberPhiladelphia 2012. i don’t know that this shorter deadline will do me any favors, but i still think i can make it so i’m still going to try. but i am feeling the pressure, between those and the kids’ halloween costumes!
while at the shore, not making much progress, i was still able to note an extant example or two of how we as americans do still embrace some forms of folklore of our own. here’s one we can all recognize:
the ubiquitous “old-timey” photo taken at the beach — where you dress up as a criminal of some sort (gunslinger, prostitute), and pose in a “jail cell” or atop a bar, with moneybags, bottles of whiskey, and firearms (or taxidermied raccoons). it’s an american institution. do they do anything like this in other countries?
then, of course, the closest we can come to our own krampusy-traditions in america is the holiday just around the corner: halloween. and the traditional spook house, one of which my three year-old daughter went through this weekend. this is what guarded the door:
i’m not going anywhere specific with this, other than adding to the new and active file in my own brain about regional folklore, the differences and similarities of same, and the coping mechanisms it provides to our young. mexican day of the dead? krampusnacht? dressing your child and/or yourself as a prostitute or robber with a gun? necrotized disabled people?
why would you/they? why wouldn’t you/they?
i posted a video link here recently, and arun has made contact with one of the members of this group. i have so many questions! what do those costumes look like on the inside — i want a video tour of their construction. what ARE those mallet instruments they are playing and what is that beat?
arun will have a guest post here shortly and i think it will be quite amazing. when my energy flags, his is always there, and i am grateful for him. this week, head down, and back to buttnmandl-krampus and frau perchta’s headpiece.