J-E-L-L-O Redux

My most recent evil anti-unimaginative holiday blog post gave rise to a fun discussion about Jello creations this weekend. It took place on Facebook, a new holiday gathering tradition.

My sister-in-law (that is the first time I’ve ever been able to use that phrase and it’s kind of a rush♥) responded to my anti-lame holiday traditions rant with info about her inherited Jello molds and cookbooks. I put up a link to Portland graphic designer/blogger Theresa Rohrer’s blog the Joys of Jello.

Jello has reached the retro cool stage wherein the hipsters ( I mean this not in a cruel ironic way but to identify intelligent, creative, questioning young persons) have embraced it and its funky 50s housewife advertising memorabilia.

There is a *nostalgia for the mud from which our grandmother’s/great-grandmothers came. Hazy visions, enhanced by ad men propaganda, involve a crisply coiffed, well-manicured, apron-draped, smiling housewife. Kitchen bound, she lovingly ponders preparations for never-ending family feasts. She gleefully does her duty with a wink (not Sarah P) and a nod. The domestic goddess had mastered the art of appearing submissive while fully exorcising her obsessive creative urge.

There is something satisfying about being enveloped in that domain, creating beauty with everyday ingredients.

I have said that I see my creative urges and the things I do as a sort of carousel. The place from which I pull my  inspiration is murky. Way down deep there is a well of images and sounds and ideas. Fishing something  out of the well is tricky. It’s all about the transition. How can I get the nebulous into the 3D world intact?

Things from childhood, things from television, from advertisements, from film, serendipitous combinations layered and stored in the memory, off those shelves and into the real world. There are so many places to slip and lose the grip and there in lies the rub, the challenge, the art.

I must admit to taping into comfort food glitz with my Big Donuts. Americana, fifties, sixties junk food, Wonderbread,  baked goods, candies, filled the cornucopia of  modern, streamlined production.

My kitchen is big and funky enough to be a wonderful cooking space and a mini soft-sculpture studio. It’s where the light is.

 If you look carefully you can see the boarded up pass-through space in the far wall of the kitchen, near the stove. I really wish I could open that back up but I’m pretty sure I lack the skills. Renter’s dilemma — my landlady wouldn’t like my messing with it but wouldn’t it be great to pass a wobbly shining Jello mould into the living room for the pleasure of guests gathered there?

 The view from over the snack / prep bar (?) toward the two windows is looking very stuffed full of materials. I plan on removing/ relocating the shelves holding the mushrooms before guests arrive in August, It’s pretty claustrophobic as it is now. Not when I’m working, but it’s not conducive for hanging out with company.

I love the picture, on the left, of Jim Morrison holding the watermelon. I think it’s from his time in Mexico.

It’s pretty sexy, a bit subversive and, at the same time, food related. The colors are beautiful. I like the shades.

Oh, the implications, the insinuation. Have a bite? You know you want some.

*Tom Wolfe from Electric Kool Aid Acid Test


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