Saturday, December 14, 2013

Interview With Ted W. Fickisen (Part Two Of Three)

"Carlisle Building" - Ted W. Fickisen
Here in part two, I get to share with you some of Mr. Fickisen's work. To the left, you will see the Carlisle Building located in downtown Chillicothe, Ohio. This building holds great historical significance, and is one of the oldest buildings in Chillicothe.

About ten years ago, it suffered a major fire, forcing shop owners inside to shut down most of their business for years until restoration and remodeling was completed.

It sits on the corner of Paint street and Main street, close to the law enforcement center.

"Casa Loma Castle" - Ted W. Fickisen
To the right is Casa Loma Castle which is located in Toronto, Canada.

Keep in mind that it takes Mr. Fickisen anywhere from 100 to 150 hours to complete one drawing, sometimes longer.

Mr. Fickisen's style is different from most other pen and ink artists. His method is the 'dot-dot-dot' method, meaning that no lines are drawn, everything is done with dots, kind of like a modern day computer ink printer.

I almost hate to think how long a drawing such as this might have taken to complete. One must exercise great patience and focus to draw by the dot method.

"Santa Maria" - Ted W. Fickisen
To the left is Ted's drawing of the famous ship, the Santa Maria.I am always amazed at Ted's "attention to detail", and to think that Mr. Fickisen is "legally" blind. Yet piece after piece and for each individual dot he makes, the end result is a magnificent picture. Truly stunning work. Wouldn't you agree?

In this portion of our interview, Mr. Fickisen displays stunning works of creation from Zimbabwe. The Pump House Art Gallery sells exclusive pieces of art to support The Zienzele Foundation - Dawning of Hope for Orphans and Their Caregivers in Rural Zimbabwe. They are collective baskets and and Chidudus (pots with covers). When you buy a Zienzele basket at the Pump House, every cent goes to pay school fees for orphans in Zimbabwe. Also, you are helping to preserve a traditional African craft that might otherwise die out. Finally - and this is hugely important - you are encouraging women and the orphans in their care to believe in themselves, to believe that through their own efforts, they can achieve a better life.

Zienzele baskets are made by 36 groups of women. They are created using fibers from the sisal plant. The fibers are twined and wrapped around a core of sweet grass. Most colors in the baskets are created by boiling the fibers with various tree barks, or flower blossoms, or in a few cases, by using the plastic string from fruit bags. The dark blue colors are created by boiling the fibers with carbon paper.

The baskets are generally bowl-shaped, but there are also canister-style baskets called "chidudus" that come with covers. All are hand-made, all represent hours of labor, and no two are alike. These baskets are all original expressions of their makers' taste and creativity, so they can not be ordered in pre-set patterns or color schemes. Prices are determined simply by approximate size.

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