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  • April Gavin

Successes and Failures


Greetings everyone,


The whole world is at sea right now and we are temporarily lost. We're lost because the people we expect to lead do not know how. We're lost because greed overcomes the common good. We're lost because we allow centuries of racism to dominate and cloud our judgement. We're lost because as a species we think we know best, but then nature comes to plate and bats. Nature will always win the game. We need to find our way back into the arms of nature if we want to survive - and that means all of us.


To ground myself, I've picked up abandoned projects some of which I started over three years ago. It's time to bring the past into the present day, but the past has a way of catching up. Here's something that didn't quite fail, but didn't quite succeed either.



Back in 2017, I designed this gourd and called it hummingbird basket. I had created the holes for the pine needles and created the hummingbird design. The gourd went through two studio moves and suffered damage. The crack you see to the left was huge. I tried glue, but a gourd is too fragile to clamp. The wood filler was too dried out and reconstituting would have taken a long time. So, I sewed the crack. There are a few more cracks in this gourd that I also sewed some of which interfere with a hummingbird's beak. Looks like I'm making a statement on the free speech of hummingbirds.




The pine needle coiling was meditative and fun. It took me time to get back into the rhythm of this. The intentional dome shape took effort and the stitching suffered. Somehow getting two things right at once is hard. It's called practice - do it everyday.


Now for a success!



Howl daily! This gourd was begun at the same time in 2017. The faint red color in the background is alcohol ink that I applied and then set the gourd aside to think about what to do next. Three years go by and I find this gourd. The top and bottom band came first. I mixed dry pigment with matte medium for the red/blue mountain pattern. Then, set the gourd aside for another few weeks.


The coyotes are enjoying life as should we all. I used F+W Acrylic ink (the alcohol ink did not survive the two studio moves) for the coyotes and the moon pattern at the top. Alas, I didn't have silver ink so we'll live with a golden moon.


In mid-May, my local PBS station aired a documentary on the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. It was beautifully done and re-acquainted me with a song I've always loved. This is the original Oh Happy Day with the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Enjoy and if you feel like dancing or crying (or both at the same time) just go for it.


Be back soon with more!





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