As my first draft of SCRATCH is complete, I am applying for an artist’s grant from Chattanooga’s Create Here to work on its completion. I feel confident in my project and asked two great resources—my fellow-MFA, editor Danielle Ibister and my former professor, celebrated poet Julia Kasdorf—to read my manuscript and offer references for the grant application. They both agreed!
With these great reference-writers on board, I am now considering my needs in relation to the grant and find myself somehow stumped by the requested budget list. For what, specifically, am I requesting the money? What are the tools of my trade? Unlike visual artists, I don’t need a kiln, paints, or photo-processing chemicals. But I do need a new range. The stove/oven in our kitchen—my studio—is irregular, problematic. The oven is off-temperature and the burners are touchy and flicker off when asked to offer low-flame; I don’t have an age on the unit, but I would guess that it’s thirty years old and certainly not easy to construct accurate recipes by. Still, a range seems an odd artist’s request, somehow, and, even more odd, to list grocery items.
My more standard requests: I need a good printer/copier/fax unit as well as funds for accompanying food photography—juicy, hot pictures. Lastly, I have an artist in mind—a friend of my sister—who I would like to create some scratchy-cool food illustrations—my Ralph Stedman.
I am terribly optimistic regarding the grant, believing that I offer a significant and interesting project. And I certainly stand behind in my from-scratch-for-all premise. Hopefully, mid-April, I’ll get cookin’ on perfecting my recipes—on a shiny, temperature-accurate range!