Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ginkgo in rubber


What common being lives in the parking lot of Mexicali Blue in Wappingers Falls, near the house on my uncle’s farm in Kentucky, and rooted next to the sidewalk on Liberty Street in Newburgh? A ginkgo tree. Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest living tree species on earth as well as a wildly popular herbal supplement. It’s commonly referred to as the “brain herb” and is used in remedies for memory, veins and eyes. A single tree can live up to 1,000 years.


Last week I paid a first-time visit to Chime In, a popup shop on Liberty Street in Newburgh selling used items and crafts from local designers. A few hours later I found myself seated at the store’s paper-covered craft table immersed in a rubber stamp making workshop. Surrounded by sheets of pink rubber, knives, and inkpads, I tried to decide what image to create. It had to be small and not too detailed. Sipping ginger lemon tea in a bout of option paralysis, I decided to make a ginkgo leaf. I’ve seen them in drawings, paintings, and in jewelry pieces. I brought up an image of the triangular leaf on my phone, and other attendees decided on initials, a logo and a face. We each penciled our small images on paper, then rubbed them onto a pink rubber pad and started cutting. Flavia Bacarella, a local artist whose focus is on woodcuts, uses a similar method to carve wood. I like the frame she often includes as part of her images, so I etched one around my leaf.  


Chime In’s other activities include music, spoken word, movies and art exhibits. 

Chime In: www.chimeinworld.com
Flavia Bacarella: www.flaviabacarella.net

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