Friday, July 29, 2011

365 Day 210

coffee, conversation, roller derby and Art-o-mat

What a delightful time -- I met up with Jennifer Lenardon this morning for coffee at Tuscan Cafe in Northville to talk about her upcoming is nearly ready!

You may remember I was a volunteer for the Detroit Derby Girls for a few years. At one point I was also a DDG Sponsor with Michigan Art-o-mat. During that time period several skaters and another volunteer became interested in Art-o-mat and expressed a desire to make art for the project but no one had time to do an entire 50-piece series of their own. We put our heads together, cleared it with Artists in Cellophane, and I curated a group series for DDG.

One of the participating skater/artists in that series was Seoul Slayer -- a blocker with D-Funk Allstars. Seoul enjoyed making her pieces so much
that she decided to do her own series.

Seoul Slayer is also Jennifer Lenardon, an 8th Grade English teacher at Pierre Toussaint Academy in southwest Detroit. As you can well imagine, between her career as a teacher and her skating/practice/training schedule with DDG, it doesn't leave a whole lot of free time.

Well, Seoul managed to get her prototype made and accepted by Artists in Cellophane but then things got put on hold for a bit. She initially started her series in mid-summer 2010 but then she had to go back to work and "that cut 8 hours out of my day." In September of that year she was also back in school herself, taking two classes. And now this summer is almost over and she is back at school/work in 2 weeks...BUT Seoul has set aside a block of time for production of her series. YAY!

Seoul Slayer is coming up on her 5th season skating as a blocker for D-Funk Allstars, one of

DDG's five home teams.

Seoul's solo series for Art-o-mat is called "Block and Chain". She wanted to keep her design simple but symbolize roller derby.

"I'm a word queen, not a technical person."

"Block and Chain" consists of a mini star and four blocks that feature the image of a skate joined together with jump rings. It can be worn as a piece of jewelry or hung as a tiny piece of art.

"The image of the skate is my actual first pair of skates I used for roller derby."

"The background on the info card comes from my 15 minutes of fame in a newspaper article in the Redford Observer."

The article was about DDG's first Championship Bout at Cobo and it was also D-Funk's first Championship win. Seoul was quoted in the article and you can see her name in the print on the design on the card.

"It was cool how it all worked itself together."

info side of the info card

some of the mini moo cards that are included in Seoul's series

The art pieces come in several different colors and you can see there are a number of different mini card designs...why not collect them all?

The process for making "Block and Chain" is pretty time consuming and can be a bit tedious. Seoul says the precision that is required is challenging. Here is what is involved in making her series:
  • create the image as a word document and make sure the colors are right
  • print out images onto shrinky dink paper
  • cut the 2" square 4-part images
  • use a corner punch to round off the corners of the images
  • use a template for the placement of the holes in each of the squares
  • bake all the pieces together for 3-4 minutes (each batch)
  • make the the mini star and then bake/shrink it down
  • join the 4 squares with jump rings at each corner and add 2 rings to the top for hanging
  • attach the tiny star with a jump ring
  • print the info card
  • attach the assembled piece to the info card
  • pack the box with the art, mini moo card and filler/box weight
  • label the boxes
  • wrap the boxes with cellophane/acetate
  • pack up and ship the boxes to Artists in Cellophane

Yes, it IS a lot of work...but what drew Seoul Slayer/Jennifer Lenardon to Art-o-mat?

"It's a fun thing to do and I like that it is portable art. And maybe someone will get into roller derby."

Seoul is also curious what people will do with their "Block and Chain" art pieces, besides wearing them as jewelry. She is very interested to hear from her customers and hopes they will drop her a note...make a connection.

Watch for "Block and Chain" by Jennifer Lenardon/Seoul Slayer coming SOON to an Art-o-mat machine near you!

1 comment:

Kimberly Vanlandingham said...

Pretty cool! I would probably just use them as jewelry or sew them onto a jacket/coat as embellishments. Interesting post!

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