Everything In This House (Has A Story That Makes Me Smile)

I will start the tour with the UPSTAIRS BATHROOM as that is my absolutely favorite room in the whole house.

In the “throne” nook are several pieces that I am madly in love with. The first is the wall sculpture over the toilet that is actually a plaster cast of my ass. We used to do plaster casts of women’s pregnant bellies at my birth center to immortalize their bodies in that fecund and sacred state. One day I asked my apprentice to make a cast of my butt to give to Tom as a Christmas present. (I used to love my ass in my youth, unfortunately now it has moved around to the front.) When the ass-cast was done I painted a great scene on the inside that I called, “Woman Stealing Fish At Night ~ 2001.” I made sure to give it to Tom to open while his parents were at our house. I told his parents that it was a chip bowl. But when Tom opened it, he recognized it right away. He said, deadpan, “Oh, honey…it’s your ass. Thank you so much!” I just love Tom, he’s by far the best husband I’ve ever had.

On the toilet tank are two pieces. The basket is a beautiful Nantucket basket that my mother made by hand when she was going through her basket weaving stage about 30 year ago. She made amazing baskets with elk and deer antlers for handles, sometimes woven with deer fur and anything else she found in the woods. This basket has a scrimshaw scene of a horrific whaling accident on the lid that she found when she lived in Alaska.

Also on the tank is a mystery. It’s an entire backbone with vertebrae from a very large animal that I found on the floor in my chicken coop. How or why it got in there I will never know. And whatever it was, apparently the chickens stripped it clean.

The framed art is a lithograph print that I did in 1992 which is titled “The Tribe of Tattooed Wimmin” to commemorate my girlfriends’ bravery when we got our ankles inked with the four phases of the moon. Actually, it was Kudra’s idea to get tattoos on the second anniversary of my second husband, Ken, killing himself. I was in a miserable funk and for some reason she thought subjecting ourselves to excruciating physical pain would cheer me up. We all got very drunk and went to a sketchy tattooist called “Rockin Rick.” I am still very proud of this skin-art with my “sisters” all these many years later, although I am the only one who didn’t get my moons colored in because I was too chicken.

Lastly, the ladder-back chair was given to me by my mother years ago. My neighbor, who is a very eccentric antiquarian, told me that it was made in New Hampshire in the mid-1800s. It is now what we call the “viewing chair.”

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