Untitled 7 (Places)

November 30, 2009

For the first time since owning a cell phone, I forgot that I have one! How’s that for being disconnected from the world? This object that is normally an extra appendage, must always be on or near me at every moment of the day or night, gets more attention than my personal hygiene, and now I completely forget about it. It’s kind of awesome. Maybe I don’t have to be linked in at all times… Of course, let’s not mention the computer that I am still completely attached to and often carry around from building to building in search of the best wifi connection. It’s also really nice to be free of the TV. I have almost forgotten about the holidays entirely without advertising to remind me that I haven’t started on my shopping list this year…

Anyways, I went for a little walk around the grounds the other day to shoot some pics before it snows. Here are all the essentials:

Pearl House: my room is the middle window on the 2nd floor

Johnsons old Firehouse, now divided into 5 sculpture studios with 2 kilns. I am in the back studio, furthest to the right in this pic

The much newer and nicer sculpture studios, Schultz, including the wood and metal shop and 9 or 10 studios

Sculpture patio out back, to the left is the sculpture yard which includes a bonfire pit...

The Gihon river winds around the grounds-here are its falls shot from the Red Mill Building, the heart of the campus

View out my studio window. Thats the Red Mill Building across the bridge, which houses the gallery, offices, dining hall, lounge and founders' home

Yesterdays Schedule: Slept in, brunch, nap, shower, open up mold, cast candy, order food safe silicone, open up mold, dinner, make new batch candy, writers reading, cast candy, begin to prep plasticine for next molds, room to edit video, read and write.

Untitled 6 (Townies)

November 29, 2009

The polaroid film I ordered for the $5 camera I found at the thrift store in South Boston arrived (that not only had batteries but when I pushed the button to see if it still worked, a photo popped out!). How hilarious is this:

It has an ancient coupon for candy on it! Obviously this pack of film was destined to fall into my hands at this point in my life...

I also went into town (you know, around the corner), and bought a case and a half of sugar and half a case of corn syrup. The manager obviously thought I was a little crazy but humored me as I’m sure she gets weird requests from VSC kids all the time. I wasn’t sure how to lug it all back down the street, short of borrowing a shopping cart or checking with the staff for a wheelbarrow, but then remembered I have rolly luggage! Thank god for boxes with wheels on them…

About 60 or 70 lbs of sugar in various forms...

I think that’s all I’ve got today… It’s been almost a full week and I still don’t feel ready to actually share any of the work I’ve been doing. There has been a lot of mistake making so it feels like slow going. As usual, I expected to be much further along than I am! So once I feel a little more confident with where I’m at, I’ll post something… hopefully within the next couple days…

Yesterdays Schedule: Up at sunrise, online time, breakfast, open up rubber mold, lunch, make and cast candy, set up reference images, catch up on emails, watch season finale of project runway, dinner, model sugar molecule, out to local bar for drinks with crew and townies

Untitled 5 (Raging River)

November 28, 2009

Ah Black Friday. It is so appropriate to be working on this project during this commercial holiday. How have we as a culture come to this point where something like Black Friday could possibly exist? Not to mention the fact that it gets crazier every year! Are we so easily manipulated by commercial marketing that we would trample our fellow shoppers in the name of a bargain? And what exactly are we gaining by participating? The satisfaction of having won the battle against all other shoppers who may have wanted that deal, but won’t get it because you were there first? Consume, consume, consume, that seems to be all we know how to do. We shop in order to feel better about ourselves, having been brainwashed to think that stuff can fill the gaps in our lives. But let’s not forget that buying things for other people will make you feel twice as good! We attribute all kinds of value to meaningless objects that have no inherent worth-the diamond industry being one of the best examples-especially during this time of year. Here is this meaningless rock, that isn’t even that rare in the grand scheme of geology, which is somehow the most precious and sentimental of objects to be given during the holidays. Watching TV tells us that if you buy her a big rock, she will love you forever and be beautiful and you will have sweet children and a big car and a gorgeous house and a gentle dog in a nice part of town with great neighbors. And if he buys you the right rock, then you will know that life will be easy and wonderful and fulfilling for the rest of your days together.

OK, enough ranting. I am as much of a consuming zombie as the next person so I should probably stop talking. Here are some pictures I gathered today as reference images. Enjoy.

Soap Bubbles

Layered Bubbles

pollen molecules

Urine molecules

Sugar Crystals

Sugar Crystals



Cuts Diagram

Yesterdays Schedule: Slept in, straight to studio to pour rubber for mold, realized mistake and invented new mold making technique to fix it, online time, lunch duty, research, dinner, print images, back to room to edit video, read, draw, doodle and write.

Untitled 4 (Black Friday)

November 27, 2009

Spending Thanksgiving with 75 almost strangers was surprisingly lovely! The kitchen crew did a beautiful setup in the main hall with wine and cheese at 1:30 and the full out dinner at 2:00. It was amazing. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce from scratch, sweet potatoes, green beans, roast beef, crab cakes, salads, cheeses, fruit, egg nog, apple cider, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, creme brulee, apple cobbler and more that I know I am forgetting. And all of it was amazingly cooked. I sat with a few new people that I had seen around but not really talked to yet and it was great! I decided to actually treat the day like a holiday and not spend all of it working in the studio. So after eating a disgusting amount, went for a nice long walk up the mountain and back for beautiful views of the valley, got back at dusk and lounged drinking wine, playing balderdash until the served they leftovers for dinner at 6:00 with to go containers in case you couldn’t eat anymore. Then downstairs to the lounge for more drinks, bingo and chatting until it was time for bed!

The beautiful holiday dining hall setup

Yesterdays Schedule: Up at dawn, online time, breakfast, take apart mother mold and prep for rubber, scavenge materials for pouring rubber, shower, tday wine and cheese, dinner, walk, hang out, dinner again, bingo, drinks, chilling, bed!

I have got to figure out how to pace myself! Having the ability to concentrate on nothing but art all day, every day, is crazy and I find I am just exhausting myself. Coming in with a plan was great, because it means I can jump in without wasting any time thinking, but I might have dived in a little too deep right from the start. I should probably slow down and build up some studio endurance. But wow does it feel good to be able to live in the studio if I want. And spread out!! I can have separate areas for different materials so stuff doesn’t get contaminated, or have 5 molds in process at the same time, or everything at once if I want. It’s amazing!

And now some images that hint at what I’ve been working on. I did these test casts before leaving Boston:

A whole bag of Jolly Ranchers, ready for the melting

Jolly Rancher candy art

Jolly Ranchers, cast into an old rubber mold

Set of candy tests. Orange is candy I made from scratch, reddish is what a whole bag of melted Jolly Ranchers looks like

Yesterdays Schedule: Up at sunrise, online time, breakfast, plaster other half of mother mold, lunch duty, studio store, try to take mold apart and break it, replaster mold, dinner, online time, resident slide show, drinks, bed.

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