Uncategorized22 Dec 2008 03:03 pm

The longest night of the year… by some old calendars, this was the middle of winter because the long nights are halfway over and the days will start to get longer again.  In our family, we celebrate this night by having a birthday party for the sun, baking cookies for him and exchanging presents and asking him to please rise in the morning.  So, happy birthday Sun, we’re glad to see you coming back again even if the cold and snow has just begun.

Next week, a special poetry issue.

Uncategorized08 Dec 2008 09:20 am

Mixed Media and Metaphors

by Michael H. Payne

Love Puppets #1 – http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ts2.0/love_puppets_ch1/1
Love Puppets #2 – http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ts2.0/love_puppets_two_ch1/1

When I first read Polu Texni’s mission statement, the part about “the intersection where different media, styles, crafts, and genres meet” made me think immediately of the webcomic Love Puppets by Jessica McLeod and Edward J. Grug III.  I wrote to Editor Dawn and asked if she’d mind me popping in here to let folks know about the comic, and she said not at all.  And so here we all are!

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Uncategorized01 Dec 2008 09:11 am

“Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.”

Carl McGowan leaned over the railing and stared down into the pen as the she-wolf strutted back and forth, showing off.  The bitch’s mate hunched down, lowering its tail between its legs, and growled at Carl, who just smiled.

“What’s the matter, Boy?  Jealous?”  His smile faded.  A group of elderly men and women made their way down the path toward the pen, led by a young girl he recognized from his Senior English class, though her name escaped him.  She looked very uncomfortable, dressed in the brown and white polyester zoo uniform.  Carl backed away, trying to blend in with a tree.

“And to the right we see our wolves,” the girl said.  “Wolves are the ancestors of domestic dogs.  They are highly intelligent and their remarkable endurance is legendary.”

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Uncategorized10 Nov 2008 09:10 am

It’s been two months since I started this magazine.  In that time, we’ve posted four excellent pieces of short fiction and pointed you towards some interesting artists.  We’ve also tried to encourage some interesting works of new art, and I hope that will continue.  I’ve been busy trying to publicize the quilt challenge, and I hope I get a lot of takers on that.

Since I’ve started, I’ve been working on defining my vision for this page better.  You may notice that the wording in the sidebar has changed. (There is also a new dedication page that describes my goals in this project more.)  My goal is that same space as one of the better art shows at a science fiction convention — ideas, artwork, discussion and arguments sparking all around.  And of course, the artwork is grounded in the stories and books that created this literary genre. Often, it seems that fantastic artwork consists of illustrations, or even cover art created only to sell a book.  But there’s a lot more than that… you can find visions of other worlds in there, stories told without words.  Fiber artists, sculpters, and costume artists bring textured fantasy into the world around us for us to interact with.

In the two months since this has begun, there have been 17 entries.  We’re getting new registered users regularly.  In September, we averaged 250 page views a day and now we’re up to 450.  We’ve been linked to from Locus Magazine among others.  We have a Facebook page — we’d love to have more people link to it.  I’m particularly pleased that we’ve maintained a regular schedule.

We’ll be adding ads and merchandise soon — hopefully, for cool things that you will be happy to discover so it adds more than just some income to pay the writers (did I just say ‘just?’)  We have more publicity to go — now that we’ve got enough content to show what we’ve got we’re going to kick off a marketing campaign.  I’ll be pleased if you let me know when/where you see our name.  And, of course, we’re working on more art and stories.  Let me know of anything you’d like to see here.

Uncategorized27 Oct 2008 09:05 am

Many art materials and technologies are ageless.  Pottery is one of the oldest skills of mankind, pre-dating even writing by 6,000 years. Cavemen painted.  But it’s easy for us to forget how much technology has gone into these skills, from the development of paint beyond the egg tempera used in the Last Painting to pigments derived from petroleum products.  Our generation has polymer clays,  digital painting, computer animation, film and photography, and other new media that developed over the course of the last century.  So what is emerging now, and what will develop over the next century?

As primarily a fiber artist, I suddenly have an unprecedented urge to learn more electronics.  A lot more about electronics.  My inspiration has been projects like these:

Technically speaking, this is a present technology, since after all, these projects do exist.  However, it seems to me that this is relatively unexplored territory for fiber artists, and there’s a lot of room for great things in the future.  This gives an overview of smart materials that change color, give off sound and interact with their environment.  Another thing that excites me is the chapter on toymaking… sure, many of us grew up with dolls that cried or had other gimmicks, but can you imagine making your own original interactive art dolls with that kind of material?  My copy of the book now has big drool marks all over it.

What other technologies do you foresee having an influence on artwork in the future?  If any of you are working on something new, or are aware of something new, I would love to hear about it.


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