a gallery about about
1a : reasonably close to – about a year ago
1b : almost – about starved, just about finished
1c : on the verge of —usually used with be and a following infinitive is about to join the army —used with a negative to express intention or determination – not about to quit
-merriam webster dictionary
When I pulled apart the big white bow and opened the heavy, stapled white box, I got quite the shock. And I thought she loved me! And, this is what I get, on my birthday? This?? Clearly, my mother was trying to kill me. Why else would she mail me a pressure cooker?
It took me two days to call her and three days to remember what I was so panicky about: the childhood terror my grandmother embodied when we rugrats showed up in her kitchen while she was canning her dangerous vats of bubbling death. Our appearance caused her to wet herself trying to get us back outside. “Get OUT!” My cousins explained it to me: we were at risk of EXPLOSIONS! Our grandmother was holding forth over a boiling, strawberry lake of destruction commonly known as a pressure cooker.
But, ahhh, yes, I am an adult now, and I can, in fact, pressure cook, without death – or even maiming.
My second such moment of adult panic was also fiery – the moment I picked up a blowtorch. Fire, blazing death, instant burning. Eyebrows would surely burn off first, and then, definitely I would accidentally burn the house down. But guess what? Not happening! Good deal! My eyebrows and house are safe and sound. I’ve fallen in love with more than just the photography and painting techniques with which I was trained – no, now I can torch things, and not just photos either – copper! Steel! I can even *make things rust*. And let’s remember all the other things to play with: wool, handmade felt, aged wood, glass orbs, porcelain dishes, marble slabs – even hair. My mother, who is very healthfully undergoing chemo right now, has dutifully saved her hair for me so I can include it in a tribute book to her journey. Weird, but cool.
The combination of fire and texture and words and images and the zillion pointy, rusty, crunchy, squishy, wiggly, scratchy, smelly, shiny wonders of this world – it’s a cacophony of joyful luxury and I can’t get enough of combining them to make works of my hands, instructed by my eyes, that make my heart sing.
The incredible freedom of bookmaking provides more means to play and explore and create than anything I’ve ever found, even though I feel like I’m cheating on photography, my first arty love. But can’t we all just get along? Yes, surely… so now I’ve got a kind of three way thing here: photography, writing, and bookmaking. t sounds kinky, but really, it’s not. It is love.
I adore what I do so much, and I hope you enjoy the bits and bobs I’ve shared here. It’s truly my pleasure.
Anjani Millet is a photographer, writer, and book artist in Seattle, Washington. She graduated in 1988 with a triple degree from the University of Washington (BFA Photography, BA Cultural Anthropology, BA Psychology) and has been running amok in the arts ever since, with a temporary stint in (what??) Engineering. Once saved from the clutches of same, she has encouraged and fostered her wonky brain, living full time between clear logic and furry dreaming.