Pistachio People - Retrospective 1982-2021
1982- The first Pistachio shells were glued together while waiting for hubby to get off the phone. Then I got the paint and varnish out and they were born.
I couldn't stop putting them together. Here is how they progressed over the course of 30+ years....
A worm, goose, dog, rabbit, turtle, .....
and then a Person!
The start of Pistachio People.
I sold at fairs in Babylon, Bayshore, and out east.
Popular but not very durable.
I created a chess set, paper mâchéd a stand-up about 2 ft tall and eventually a 2 ft tall ceramic that was fired in sections and interlocked.
I started illustrating the characters.
and trying alternate sculpture mediums.
After the shell development I tried paper clay, (air dried) then painted with acrylics. Finished them of with soft hair, embroidery thread, fur, dried flowers and feathers.
These were pretty tough but hard to get a lot of fine detail.
They were so much fun to make!
Every one came out different.
I started naming them and drawing them. This was the first-"Mr Achoo".
&"Mr Achoo" the 2nd.
Around this time I wrote a children's book inspired by my two young girls.
They loved to play with them so I wanted to write a book for them.
"Mr Achoo's Shoes" All illustrations done in watercolor by me. (Click on next page to view the full book)
Available for purchase: $20.00 + shipping
I tried to publish in the 90's but no takers. So it has sat until last year when I self published the book.
Mr. Whodo. a paper clay character on the left.
Then I started with real clay but the bake in the oven kind. All finished with Acrylic and sealer.
I experimented with clay and started using a local ceramic shop kiln to fire my people and other projects. I loved the clay. I could get much more detail. The characters kept evolving. Even in clay I created the pistachio shell shape.
Finally I bought a kiln and started my own firing. A learn as you go education in ceramics which is pretty much how I have evolved as an artist,
self taught by books no less.
The Pistachio People designs were really starting to take shape and were selling. Their shapes became more humanized but I have always kept the big head and feet!
I had some commissions and retail art space. Unfortunately the time it took to make them made them harder to sell for a profit.
My painting, family and work became my priority. Ceramic production tapered off and I focused on my career in graphic design.
2011- I lost all my ceramic equipment and the lower part of our home in Hurricane Irene which was a game changer.
It was very hard to recover but we did and then a year later we lost the whole bottom of our house again (Hurricane Sandy). Disaster really slows you down. I am finally starting to rebuild my creative inspirations. A very long 6 year lapse.
These are looked at fondly as the best evolutions of my beloved Pistachio People. I have many creations still in storage.
I am not done. I am just getting started. Someday, hopefully my art will be who I am and what I do.
2021 Now the time has come to retire from the job that paid the bills but I am too happy to stress. I am doing what I love to do; create and dream on.