Ducky's Artworks


NAFTA Flag

I think we ought to have a flag for North America.

Piano Bar

I had a window nook that was 88 inches wide. I knew I wanted to build a high, wide, breakfast table for that space. I also knew that I wanted no ordinary-looking furniture to be in the "public space" of my apartment. "What am I going to do with a space 88 inches wide? 88... 88.... DUH."

So I built this "piano" bar! The keys are actually wallpaper; I found the trim paper at a store in my neighborhood and cut it down to fit.

84-foot Sofa

The root inspiration for this sofa is probably the University High School lounge, where the walls are covered with the handprints of former students.

Either that or I just wanted people to be comfortable putting their feet on the sofa.

Aquaria

I had dull bedsheets when I was growing up. I vowed that when I grew up, I was going to buy the loudest, most obnoxious sheets I could find. The ones I found happened to have fish all over them, so it was natural to make a headboard in the shape of a fishtail. Later, I had an art party which resulted in a lot of fish to hang from my ceiling, making the aquarium illusion complete.

Some years later, at a different house, I put up sheets of white plastic and drew on them with dry-erase markers.

Skate Wheel Wrapping

To celebrate my housemates' graduation, my husband and I got them skate wheels disguised as M&Ms.

Spacesuit Halloween Costume

I worked one summer in the Spacesuit Design Lab, so had some ideas about what spacesuits looked like. I did this the year that Challenger exploded, so astronauts were on my mind. I couldn't decide if putting seaweed on the costume would be funny or sick, but in a rare display of sensitivity for others' feelings, decided not to put the seaweed on.

Cow Halloween Costume

Me and cows go back a long way.

Parrot Halloween Costume

My husband decided to be a software pirate one year (complete with bandanna, earrings, and CD-ROM necklace). I decided to join him as a "parroty bit".

Glyph Shirt

Here's my husband Jim wearing the "glyph shirt" that I made for him. This is at his presentation at the Unicode 2002 conference. (Unicode is the standard for displaying characters -- ALL characters in ALL writing systems in ALL languages. In other words, this was a conference for font geeks. The kinds of people who say "type" instead of "font".)

On the front, in addition to the upside-down "A", you might be able to recognize Cyrillic, Old English (thorn, which looks sort of like a "p" to the left of his microphone), Arabic, and cuneiform (above his breast pocket). My favorite is the Tamil numeral 5, which is a roundish one to the right of the Arabic (Jim's left) and above the visible leg of the upside-down "A".

Page Mill Ziggurat

Here's me working on Jim's birthday painting, Page Mill Ziggurat. Uh, I didn't finish it by his birthday -- but that meant he could take a picture of me working!

Jim also named it. Page Mill is a major road near here.

The white strip is just a piece of illustration board that gave me tactile feedback that it was okay to rest my hand there. (Everything except for the red "doodle" was dry.) It also took me a few tries to settle on a brush, and I kept testing on the illustration board.

I'm wearing Test Shirt #2 in this photo -- one of the two shirts I made as practice for Jim's glyph shirt, above.

Here's Page Mill Ziggurat completed. This isn't a great photo -- you can sort of see the reflection of the flash and I wasn't square to the painting when I took the photo -- but you can get an idea of it.

... And the Word was "Sheep"

In 2003, my buddy George really wanted a glyph shirt like the one above that I made for my husband, but I wouldn't do it. The glyph shirt was something special for Jim! Instead, I told George that I'd make a painting for him. It turned out to be a lot of work, but I was really happy at how it turned out.

These glyphs are from all different writing systems, and are in chronological order (as best as I could determine). They go in time from bottom to top.

The title comes from the first character. There is a theory that ancient traders used to take tokens representing material goods and seal them in clay. They started pressing the tokens into the outside of the clay to show what was in the clay package. Eventually, the theory goes, they figured out that they didn't need to wrap the tokens in clay, but just press them into a sheet of clay. Finally, they figured out that they could just scratch the design of the token into the clay -- and writing was born.

One of the very earliest words thus would have been "sheep" -- which is the first sign in the painting.


George's Shirt

In 2006, I finally relented and made a shirt for George. This time, I painted the glyphs with fabric paint.

On the top picture, the left sleeve looks a little odd because the glyphs are on the top of the shoulder; I had to fold it over a little bit to show the glyphs.

Yeshe's Construction Shirt

I also made a tshirt for my nephew Yeshe for Christmas.

Rugzetta

I designed this faux rug for my husband's birthday. We travelled to Turkey, and he really liked the rugs there, but we didn't think we could afford a nice rug. I did this as a way to give him something that looked like a rug but didn't cost so much.

I had a print shop print it out large and mount it on foamcore. I glued tassels to the short side, and mounted it on the wall.

I also made some placemats, with a legend on the back.


(I can't find photos of the following.)

Screaming Mouth Coffee Table

I wore braces for 10 years, had a cyst removed from my jaw, had two or three minor operations on my mouth, and had serious major jaw surgery about six months before I moved into my apartment. It is perhaps no wonder that I thought of making a coffee table in the shape of a screaming mouth.

Alligator Toilet-Brush Holder

Toilet brush holders have always looked like alligators to me.
Ducky