All Souls Procession Lantern Making Workshop!

October 17, 2011


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Held on the Dock at Dinnerware Artspace
Sunday October 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th
From 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM each workshop.

In the Mexican tradition the Day of the Dead is a time of celebration. Unlike many other traditions that surround death and mourning, it is not a time of loss, but a time when we feel the presence of our loved ones and enjoy their company. So it is in that spirit of fun, remembrance, community and celebration that I am happy to announce this year’s All Souls Lantern Making Workshop.

If you have materials or some money to contribute to this year’s workshop, please consider doing so. We need big pieces of cardboard, white glue or something similar, paper, snap blade box cutters and extra blades, things like plastic flowers for decoration and poles; I use yucca stalks and bamboo, but even an old broom handle will suffice. If you can’t contribute in that way please come down anyway. We always manage to have enough. I’m available to pick up materials before the workshop or just bring them down. Any money donated will go to buying materials. If there’s any left over it will be donated to Many Mouths One Stomach, the organizing entity for the procession.

We will be making the cardboard lanterns that I designed and developed after Artist Paul Bagley’s 2006 lantern, in which he honored his family. Many of you are familiar with this design and have seen them in the Procession, at GLOW and also during Luminights. These are beautiful lanterns and photos can be inkjet printed and glued into the windows. They can be lit with LED lights available from dollar stores all over town, flashlights, Glow-wire, etc. This style of lantern takes a few hours to construct so get to the workshop early.

For those of you who would like to try their hand at something more challenging I have taken the basic principals of the basic lantern design and advanced it so that you can make much more complex forms. These take time so expect to contribute a couple of Sundays to crafting one of these.

Finally, I lost a very dear friend this year to cancer. In his honor I am making a large sculptural lantern which will be mounted on wheels and towed. This project is already underway. It’s a big project and time is short, so I can use all the help I can get.

My friend was a member of the LGBT community, or as he put it a “filthy old queen”. He was a real forerunner in the activist community, being a member of the Cockettes. He was one of the original 60’s Flower Children which, for those who aren’t familiar with the history, was originally a group of out gay and lesbian hippies who adopted flower names for themselves. Only later did the term become generalized to mean the rebellious young people of the time. Snapdragon was the moniker my friend adopted though we just knew him as Snappy. He spent his life in the company of artist and thinkers on the fringe. He told of dinner parties with John Waters and of knife wielding drag queens down in San Francisco’s Tenderloin in the early seventies. At the end of his life he lived with and cared for long time friend Bill Bowers, well know photographer and AIDS survivor. To me he was a dear friend and endless source of delight. Snappy was a lot of fun and he wouldn’t want us to be all sad and weepy, well maybe a little but then he’d want the party to begin. So it is my hope that this project not only honor Snapdragon Mukluk, but also any one who stands up defiantly and unapologetically as who they are.

So, I’m sending out a special request. If you are a member of the LGBT community or if your life has been touched by by someone special like Snappy, for whom the cutting edge is but a fleeting glow in their rear-view mirror, then come down and make a lantern, contribute some of your time to honor our rebels and renegades, and remember those who mean the most.


P.S. A SUPER SPECIAL THANKS TO DAVID AGUIRRE for letting us use the dock at Dinnerware Artspace this year.

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