¶ Computers Needed at the Mata Ortiz School
Computer education has finally taken off in
Mata Ortiz. Parents have formed a group and are pursuing the matter
with a wonderful passion. Walt Parks (909-684-4224, <email@example.com>)
talked at length last month with the Asociación Padres
y Familia de Telesecundario (President, Yolanda Rentería;
Secretary, Uriel López; Treasurer, Manuel Molina), which raised
the funds for the Secondary School (grades 7-9) to build a one-room,
separate building for computer studies. They then solicited 50
pesos per computer student per family per year and hired a teacher
to come to school one day a week to teach the 24 who enrolled
in the program. The teaching day consists of three two-hour classes
of eight pupils each. The school has four operating computers
to work with—the remainder of the dozen used computers Tom Fresh
brought down several years ago. So eight students have to work
with four computers.
Does anyone know a possible source of some used
computers that would be capable of handling Windows 98 or 2000?
Now that regular telephone service is coming to Mata Ortiz, Internet
access will be possible. This means that the next generation of
Mata Ortiz artists will be able to market their work directly
and perform design services worldwide. Exciting possibilities!
The group gave Walt Parks a tour of the school
proper, consisting of three classrooms. Walt was appalled at the
desperate need of school furniture, mainly desks (desk-chair combination).
What they have was cheap to begin with and now barely holds together.
If anyone wants to assist the community, there is a need of good
used computers and school furniture.
¶ Silver Jewelry in Mata Ortiz
Can you picture Mata Ortiz designs
translated into silver? Micky Vanderwagen, Mesilla, New Mexico,
has purchased the historic land and buildings that once was the
site of the Pearson Sawmill adjoining Mata Ortiz on the north.
The property is already referred to as "Rancho Miki."
He has leased out the agricultural operation and converted the
buildings into silver workshops, which became operational in August.
Any and all who are interested are welcome to learn. Tuition is
nominal. Micky’s goal is a silver jewelry industry with a "wholly
new look," using only Mata Ortiz designs and, so far as possible,
only stones from the local area. The curriculum includes hand
working silver, silver casting, leather tooling, lapidary, and
facetted-gem cutting. Although the first student, Ariel Renteria,
shows an aptitude that is nothing short of amazing, it will be
some time yet before Mata Ortiz jewelry is marketed. For information,
contact the Calendar (775-482-2038; fax 5897). firstname.lastname@example.org
¶ Mata Ortiz Library Progresses Slowly
The Mata Ortiz Foundation, set up as a fund
of the International Community Foundation of San Diego, a 502
(c) (3) entity, is dedicated to working with the people of Mata
Ortiz to benefit their community by combining tax-deductible donations
from here with local resources. Unidos por Mata Ortiz,
a non-profit formed in the village, initiates village projects
and requests Foundation grants. In January of last year, Unidos
decided to make their first project a community library. Manuel
Mora, school teacher and president of Unidos, studied the
process via a university extension course and obtained the needed
federal and state approvals together with a promise of books and
materials. A private Mexican supplier of educational materials
has donated educational videos. County (municipio) officials
agreed to provide an employee to staff the library, and the Ejido
of Mata Ortiz turned over a building along the river street.
So the library now exists, but there is more to do before it will
be fully functioning. Furnishings—tables and chairs, desks, lights,
shelving—must be obtained and installed, and the building must
be expanded to accommodate bathrooms, computers and videos. Physical
renovation of the building is about half completed.
The cause of the delay is that Mexico
City's Hacienda (equivalent to our IRS) rejected the Registro
(equivalent to our 501.c3 document) applied for by Unidos por
Mata Ortiz. Said they required more information. So the application
has been re-filed with new information. Ever consider how much
easier and more prosperous life might be without our so-called
public servants? Meanwhile, work continues on the building. Re-wiring
has been completed and expanded metal security windows installed.
Things are coming along!
You can help by sending your tax-exempt gift
to the Mata Ortiz Foundation at 1420 Kettner Blvd, Suite 500,
San Diego CA 92101. Contact Walter P. Parks, Foundation Advisor
(909-684-4224), 6154 Hawarden, Riverside CA 92506 email@example.com
Pot Packing 101
Yes, it is possible to safely ship a pot. Part of the secret is
double-boxing. Another part is not packing the wadding too tightly;
the pot and the inner box want to have some give. A physicist
once explained the dynamics of breakage. It's not the first hit
that breaks something when it falls to the floor; on the first
hit, the pot or whatever it is only bounces. It's the vibration
that bounce sets up, in conjunction with the second strike, that
is the killer. So, to damp all the vibration you can, loosely
fill the pot itself with the paper wadding or popcorn or whatever
you're using, and then pack the wadding lightly enough around
the pot and around the inner box that the pot and box can move
just a bit. Of course the outer box wants to be strong. Do not
neglect to wrap the pot itself in a plastic bag to protect the
painted design or burnished surface from chafing in transit.
¶ Protective Rings for Pots
Any good pot will balance without
a ring. Nevertheless, most collectors support pots on rings to
avoid scratching the bottom and, in earthquake areas, to stabilize
them. While clay rings are available in the village, other kinds
of rings have been hard to find. Here are several sources:
(1) Attractive molded nylon rings
in black, white, or other colors are available in three sizes,
inside diameter 2 1/4" ($2.75/pair), 2 5/8" $3.15/pair),
and 2 7/8" ($3.50/pair), from Rochelle P. Price (602-237-3514
/ Fax 237-3514), 11605 S. Price Lane, Laveen AZ 85339. firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) High quality rings for an especially
handsome effect are made by trader Herman Knechtle (626-447-1346),
140 E. Santa Clara Street #16, Arcadia CA 91006. They are cast
rather than extruded, have greater wall thickness (3/16"
for the first 4 sizes and thereafter 1/4"), are beveled 45
degrees on the upper edge, and flame polished. Herman is an exacting
craftsman. Heights range from 3/4" to 1 1/2". Nine diameters
are available, from 2" to 6" by half-inch increments.
Cost $6 to $15 each.
(3) "Cylinder acrylic riser
sets" (Cat. #408037/37) designed for elevating pots in display
are available from Rio Grand (800-545-6566), 7500 Bluewater NW,
Albuquerque NM 87121. Each set of three includes one 2" x
2" (diameter x height), one 3x3, and one 4x4. They are 1/8"
thickness. Per-set price ranges from $19.45 for 1 or 2 to $15.97
for 12 or more.
(4) Cast acrylic rings can be ordered
from Jule-Art Inc. (800-833-8980), PO Box 91748, Albuquerque,
NM 87199. Gallery owner Wally Blanchard, who told us about these,
usually buys 2", 3"and 4" diameter rings, which
range from $1.35 to $2.35 each. Both ends are beveled. The rings
are at least 1" high, so he usually cuts them in two with
a table saw to double his investment. The 1/2-inch height is just
right for most pots.
(5) Budget protective rings can be made from
small tubing. Richard Erlanger, Saga Gallery, South Norwalk, CT,
gives one to each customer buying a pot. He writes: “Ask at any
good quality hardware store for clear vinyl tubing for, say, air
conditioning draining. A popular size is 5/8" outside dimension
(OD) by 3/8" inside dimension (ID). Cut a short length (1"
or so) of the next smaller size, for example 3 /8" OD by
1/4" ID, and with spittle insert it like a plug into the
ends of the larger size tube, which has been precut into a suitable
ring size for the pot you wish to support, and draw the ends together.
The next smaller combination (3/8"OD x 1/4"ID) works
well when held together by the next smaller size, 1/4"OD
x.170 ID. (Note: With the 1/4" tubing you are better off
using the heavier frosted white vinyl tubing). Now you've a nice
clear ring with the ends firmly plugged together. Display the
pot with the seam turned to the back. If the final ring is too
large, cut it to suit. Experiment with sizes for both aesthetics
and safety. Very thick tubing does not bend easily, and the very
thin sometimes does not hold a curve. Avoid inexpensive tubing
like that offered by Home Depot that doesn’t have the heft to
keep a smooth curve.”
Note: To protect a pot against earthquake, weight
it with a "bean bag" of sand or lead shot. For further
protection, secure the supporting ring to the shelf with Museum
Wax, Museum Putty or clear Museum Gel (but don't put any of these
on the pot itself because they will stain), available from FWH,
Seattle. Contact Florence Helliesen at 206-285-1755.
¶ Insuring a Collection
Arch Thiessen, of Sunshine Studio (800-348-9273,
email@example.com), recommends that
anyone with a valuable art collection (1) insure it, (2) keep
a photo record, and (3) participate in a Theft Alert system.
Scheduling a small collection on a Homeowner's
or Renter's policy is simple and effective, but expensive. Antique
Tribal Art Dealers' Association (ATADA) and many other professional
associations have group policies.
For $100 annual fee, collectors can become an
Associate Member of ATADA and access their group policy. For large
collections, this may be attractive. Many dealers buy full membership,
entitling them to a dealer's policy covering their place of business,
shows, transit, etc. Visit ATADA's website: http://www.atada.org
ATADA has a Theft Alert system. Anyone, member
or not, can post details of a stolen item on their web page. A
Theft Alert then goes to members, who forward it to their correspondents.
Within hours, many collectors and dealers are watching for the
stolen items. Contact Alice Kaufman, ATADA executive director,
[Note: Be aware that digital records
of your collection are not permanent. They begin breaking down
in 5-7 years, whereas analog records (photos, microfilm) last
a century or more. Back up with analog! Editors]
¶ Solar Kiln
Master potter Jorge Quintana and Tom Fresh experimented
to develop a solar kiln of non-exotic, simple construction. In
experiments at Tom’s home near Idyllwild CA temperatures were
reached that have melted Pyrex. The problem is not heat so much
as an even distribution. The two pursued the project as a technical
challenge without knowing whether it might have any practical
consequences. Tom is convalescing from a serious illness. Until
his health returns, any who are interested in participating in
these experiments should contact Jorge Quintana or Spencer MacCallum
(775-482-2038; Fax 5897), Box 180, Tonopah NV 89049. firstname.lastname@example.org