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The Kitchen Tarot by Susan Shie
The Kitchen Tarot

A 22 card deck by Susan Shie

The Star from the Rider Waite Tarot card deck
Star card
from the Rider-Waits tarot deck

$21,000

Punchbowl, detail 2

Punchbwl, detail 3

Susan talks about The Punchbowl/Star:

The Star card in the traditional Tarot decks is about healing and a positive direction, after the upheaval of the Tower, which is the card right before the Star. Since I’m following the traditional order of the cards, in making my Kitchen Tarot deck as art quilts, I had already worked with some very heavy subjects this year: Death, the Devil, and the Tower. Temperance was in there, as a mildly positive card, but this Star is great! How uplifting to work with dreams, wishes, and the music of the spheres!

I did a lot of drawings for this composition, but after a week, I hadn’t come up with anything that really excited me. Then our kids came for the weekend, and I hoped I’d get something good for a hook idea from their visit. Instead, we had a big fight! It doesn’t matter what over. What matters is that we worked it out, and afterwards, I felt really good about the strength of our family, and how we’d cleared the air. But how could I put that fight into my painting? I decided to show us pulling together, with our family laundry freshening in the background.

The kitchen object I chose to represent the Star is the Punch Bowl, because you only pull this one out for parties, and it holds liquids. In the traditional card, a woman is pouring from two pitchers: one onto the ground and one into a pool. The punch bowl is instead of the pool, and I floated Eva’s birth chart, and her second year solar return chart inside of that, in the “pool.”

I split the chore of pouring the pitchers between my daughter Gretchen and me. I’m pouring water onto the ground, because I always want to stay connected to that good, slow energy of the Earth. And Gretchen’s pouring water into the punch bowl / pool, since she’s Eva’s main nourisher.

I put Gretchen on my shoulders, and Eva on hers. Because of this stack-up, Eva is able to touch the star at the top of the piece. This is our goal, as a family: to raise our children to be able to reach their goals, and for them to have the best lives they can. All families are like that. Mike’s standing beside Gretchen, helping to hold up his daughter, too, while he plays his guitar, because that’s his other love, besides his family. Jimmy’s saving the mice that got into our house, from the cats, because he did that while I was making this piece, and it really shows how kind Jimmy is.

On the punch bowl, I put some angels I drew from my grandparents’ wedding license, the most gaudy and beautiful one I’ve ever seen. How odd, since they were very plain Mennonites, getting married in the middle of nowhere, near Plainview, TX, when their families had moved there in 1907 as pioneers starting a new Mennonite community. My friend Rene just framed this license for me, so now it’s been rescued from its rolled up in newspaper place in the bottom of my grandma’s organ chest.

Equally beautiful is the Carnival Glass punch bowl I would always stop and admire at Early’s store Uptown/Downtown, here in Wooster. Purple, iridescent, all those carved details glistening, with all its cups and not one chip, this punch bowl is the inspiration for the one I painted here. It just takes my breath away!

And the Big Duck at the top left, is my affirmation duck, the one I made a reggae song about in the 80s –Big Duck Fulla Money. She’s also been in other pieces of mine as the Big Duck Full of Understanding. We really need both kinds of affirmations right now.

GEM’s cat Isis is walking along the clothesline (I love clotheslines…) and carrying a pie. Pies for me stand for gifts, inspirations, creation. Pie in the Sky. And with her is a lava lamp, my Light of the World image, which has written on it “Start the Peace Now. i. e. Stop the War Now.” There have been over 650,000 Iraqi civilians killed now, since we invaded their country three and a half years ago. And in this October alone, 101 American soldiers were killed, bringing that total to around 3,000.

Eva’s dress has her new dollhouse on it, since that was her big gift from her folks for her birthday party, on Oct 22, which was a New Moon day. I figure that every 30 years, we get a New Moon on our birthdays, and New Moons are new beginnings. It was such a nice party!

Gretchen has her house and the Cleveland Museum of Art, where she works, on her dress. And I’ve got our house and a huge Sunbeam MixMaster on my dress. That mixer was Mom’s, so she’s in here, too. She’s also the big face of St Quilta the Comforter, peeking out from behind the laundry.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is up in the top right corner, and the Peace Cozy (making this #11 in my series) is in the middle of the Star itself. Yeah, I know that’s too easy to find, but it really made sense there.

Elections are next Tuesday, while I’ll be in Tahoe, teaching at Art Quilt Tahoe. So I absentee voted, and I hope everyone else that’s going there did, too. What a hugely controversial election this is, with the Dems set to take over Congress, unless the elections are too rigged! Jon Stewart brought his Daily Show here to Ohio for a week ahead, and will be here for the elections. Our very sneaky Secretary of State, who runs the elections, is running for Governor, and he wouldn’t recuse himself from running the election. Imagine that. Well, we must think positively! Wish upon that Star! Vote, talk to everyone you know about the issues and the candidates, and the war!

Thanks for listening,
Susan Nov 1, 2006

PS. Nov 14: Well now! Some amazing elections we just had last Tuesday! So stunning that the people voted so much for the Democrats, that even here in Ohio, the rigging couldn't keep them from winning! We voted in a Democratic governor, senator, and most state office holders. Wow! That pendulum has swung back to liberalism, to getting us out of Iraq while taking better care of our soldiers and veterans, and to hopefully taking much better care of all citizens at home in our country and of people all over the world, and of the Earth herself. Power to the People!


Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

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Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)


Bottom left and right: Toward Barred Island (detail) by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade