I'm walking. A piece of paper with handwriting catches my eye. It implores me to pick it up. I control the urge, because my apartment is cluttered enough. My friend Tracy collages found, handwritten fragments. To my delight, she says I can participate in the finding. Hooray—permission granted for succumbing to temptation!
We meet and have an unveiling ritual, examining each piece of paper I’ve brought. We guess at its author and purpose. A youngster’s list of future bridesmaids? Another: Items sold by a drug dealer?
What I find won’t often fit my Pick-me-up project, but this ritual inspired me to make things for others to happen upon.
Gleaning materials from the streets is a fun activity for me because it feels like hunting for treasure that is provided by my surroundings. I imagine San Francisco as a living entity and intend on expressing gratitude for its generosity via “The Pick Me Up Project”. I will create small, fused glass objects and leave them around for others to find, with the aim of spreading the joy of discovery.
The Pick Me Up Project will consist of small pieces of ceramic-impregnated paper (CIP) encased in slightly larger pieces of fused glass. The CIP will have writing (such as handwritten, uplifting messages) or designs on its surface and look like scraps of regular paper. CIP sizes will range from fortune-cookie fortune size to 1.75 x 1.5 inches. The glass will be large enough to leave a ¼’’ glass border and small enough to fit in a pocket.
Early attempts at realizing my idea didn’t work very well. After several months of research and experimentation, I was finally able to achieve satisfactory results. The images accompanying my project proposal depict successful test pieces and exemplify what will be left around San Francisco.
Funded by San Francisco, CA (October 2023)