Tag Archives: Sharon Mann

Game of Cards

Here is the story of two friends who have never met, live 2700 miles apart on opposite coasts of the United States, and who nevertheless found a way to play a game of cards. Read on and find out the details.

In fall 2017, Sharon Mann asked me if I’d like to participate in another joint art project with her. I say,”another”, because we’ve done a couple of exchanges. In 2014, sculptures traveled across the country:

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My clay figurine and Sharon’s Time Traveler in Las Vegas, NV.

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The Time Traveler who came to Wyncote, PA.

In 2016, we completed a project that had taken place over about 18 months – two artist books made from two discarded library books that we altered and added art and text. Our work was intermixed in each book, as we each did a few pages, exchanged the volumes through the mail, and continued the process until done – then we each had our own book to keep.

Now we have done another collaboration. It was Sharon’s (genius) idea – a deck of playing cards. I thought it was exciting, but ambitious. You know there are 52 cards in a deck, right? Then you see what I mean. Could I make 52 pieces of art that were different, interesting, appealing, and could also be put to use? (I did not have any doubt that Sharon could do this, by the way.) But I really wanted to do another project with her, and it did sound like a lot of fun…


So we worked out a plan. Parameters were:

•Each card is the size of a postcard, 6″ x 4.25″.

•Backs are blue.

•We would do a few sets at a time, say, aces and fours and sevens. Finish them up, and then move on.

•Each of us would do half of each card and send it to the other, who would finish it and keep it. The person who started the card also did the back of that card.

•Enough rules, get to work!

In practical terms, it worked this way – I did a set of Aces, let’s say, halfway. Sent them to Sharon. She sent me her half-finished Aces, and I completed them. Aces done! We worked our way through the whole deck in a few months.


All right. As in our other projects, we approached our work from different directions and our styles are wildly different, and yet – there was always a harmony in the end result. I marveled at how that happened, again and again.

One thing we did differently – how we approached actually filling up the card.

My way of doing half a card was that I covered the whole card but set in half the elements, scattered over the surface. Sharon then added in her elements, again, all over the card.

She was very patient with me because sometimes, I got carried away and took up a lot of space, exceeding my 50%. I tried to make up for that on the next set of cards I sent her (leaving more room), but you know what, I really got inspired by the themes and colors of playing cards and forgot to stop.

Sharon’s approach was different: she divided each card in half, totally finished her half, and left me an open space for my half. I created a whole new image on my half, and I didn’t worry about what was on the other half, just did what I felt. It was surprising how they coordinated and enhanced each other, I thought, every time I finished one.

I also enjoyed the fact that each of us adapted to how the other worked. In my case, it challenged me to do things in a way that I had not envisioned.

Now we are finished with this project. We each have a deck of 52: that’s 104 small pieces of art that we collaborated on. I think that is just astounding.

Even more meaningful, though, was the base upon which this project was built: a friendship built on art and sharing and giving our best to each other.

I am really grateful to have met Sharon; in the past, we would have gone all our lives without knowing the other existed, living so far apart. In what way would we have ever met, much less intertwined our creativity? And yet here we are today, playing cards together. Thank you, Sharon, for this project and for being my friend.

If you want to see all the cards, and I mean all – I’ve set up a permanent page for them

and

Read Sharon’s account of her card-creating experience here at her blog.

 

Trading Art (Thank You, Sharon!)

For some time I have followed a wonderful blog: “Monday Tuesday Wednesday”. I look forward to the beginning of each week so I can see what Sharon Mann has been doing. I love her drawings and fiber art. There is humor and attention to detail in everything she makes. I marvel.

So, in the course of things, we came to the idea of exchanging art through the mail. About three weeks ago, we sent each other something to keep and something to set out into the world and find a new home. I’ve done the latter with my clay figurines but I’ve never taken on the pleasure of finding the right spot for someone else’s work.

I sent clay figurines to Sharon – she lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. A new geographic location for the figurine population to put in its scrapbook! Here are pictures of the subsequent experience.

And here at home in Wyncote, PA, I received two Time Travelers. One has stayed in my dining room. The other took a tour of my local sights before being left in Grey Towers Castle at Arcadia University, about a mile from my house. It seemed like a good place to set off on a new life.

Thank you, Sharon! It was so much fun to do this exchange.

Check Sharon’s blog to see the Las Vegas end of things and to look at more of her work: “Monday Tuesday Wednesday”. (Note in 2019: Sharon’s blog is now Make Art…Magic Happens)

Grey Towers Castle: Grey Towers Castle, Arcadia University

Wyncote, PA: Wyncote, PA

Las Vegas, Nevada: Las Vegas, Nevada