I have officially survived my first month as a year-round staff member. Woohoo! It’s actually quite terrifying to think it is March… I’m not ready! What happened to February?! It flew by so fast I can only imagine that the rest of the year will go by equally, insanely fast. It feels like I haven’t gotten anything done yet, which is slightly disappointing, but then people keep telling me that the first month doesn’t count… Regardless of counting or not, I am still working on polishing off that diamond in order to make a mold of it and I started making molds of a bunch of smaller faceted forms. Oddly enough, I found some glass knobs (purely coincidental that the previous candy test pieces look like door knobs) that are perfect for the job on one of the antique chest-of-drawers in the office, so I am borrowing them for the week. I also started a new batch of grow-your-own crystals. The package claims they are aquamarine and the solution is certainly bright blue but we will see what it actually produces after a week or two. Already they are looking pretty fantastic, after less than 24 hours… Outside of the 3D world, I have given myself a juvenile drawing assignment of sorts. Realizing that I have a horrible relationship with drawing, which hasn’t always been the case, I am trying to draw every day. Initially I was supposed to start and finish a drawing a day, but I have already broken that rule so instead I am trying to just draw every day; either completing a drawing or adding to one I’ve already started. So far there have been some interesting results, though I think I will save sharing them for next week… Without further ado, this week’s photos:

mold making station

antique knobs and one fake acrylic one—so obvious which is which!

After about 18 hours, crystals were growing up the side of the container and out of the blue solution

these images don't do them justice—they are quite amazing looking

Oh! I listened to the new Knife album today not knowing it is an electro-opera that hasn’t been released on CD yet (only for download until tomorrow, March 1st). I had NO IDEA what I was listening to because it was so weird—I thought maybe I had downloaded the wrong content since I didn’t recognize any of the vocals. Over half way through I finally recognized some of it, so I looked it up to figure out what kind of crazy concept album it is and not only is it an opera, it is also based on Darwin’s, The Origin of Species, AND these illustrations are part of the album art:

how insane is that! fig l. is a diamond! life is so weird... illustration by Sara Hernandez

Week 3 of 52 at VSC

February 21, 2010

Unfortunately, I am ridiculously ill this week. The only reason I left the house at all today was in search of internet to write this weeks entry. To my chagrin, there is no internet in my house or studio, so I can only make use of it in the lounge or at the coffee shop. Since I have spent the majority of this week dying in bed or in the office working, there has been very little time in studio. But, before I came down with the illness, I managed to get started carving the plaster diamond I started back in December. As it creeps closer and closer to diamond-like perfection, I get more and more nervous about messing it up—to the point of actually having nightmares about destroying it! I guess I don’t usually make such precious forms—I’ve never been one for preciousness in individual objects, so I’m sure that adds to the anxiety. In any event, as soon as it is done, it will be time to mold it, and if I can get over this flu/cold quickly enough, I should be able to make the mold this week…

One last oddly photoshopped panoramic of the studio, pre-working

Carving the diamond, making a huge, nasty, dusty mess in studio... photo creds to Kate

State of the diamond by the end of the week... not a lot of progress, but only a few facets left to cut and then lots of patching and sanding...

The only benefit to spending so much time at home wanting to die is lots of quality roommate bonding; Kate has been sick with the same thing. For several days now, all we do is sit at home and chat about anything and everything over hot totties, herbal teas and lots of Emergen-C…

Week 2 of 52 at VSC

February 14, 2010

Week two was slightly less insane, but only slightly. While everything is unpacked and in its proper place, there still hasn’t been much time to feel very settled, to really dig into the work or to establish a routine. Next week! Although next week will be abnormal too. Presidents day is one of our few vacation days and Tuesday is a huge deadline for applications so the office should be especially wild as everyone chips in. I also worked changeover this weekend, which is what they call the process of helping new residents arrive, get oriented and started on their own work, so that will cut a chunk of time out of my work week as well. Because every week is different depending on changeover and scheduled monthly activities, maybe routines aren’t actually possible here? Maybe what I need is just a rhythm, not a routine… Anyways, enough chit chat, how about some photos from this week:

An oddly photoshopped panoramic of the studio before I started but after the loft was done...

First round of test casts in little molds—unfortunately I dont think they will work as I originally intended, but they may be good for something else...

A close up of one—actually the bottom of one of those vending machine containers...

I found this plastic diamond on the street months before starting all this, forgot about it and found it while moving... here it is photographed on a sea of candy...

The view from the pillow lounge I made in my loft for nap taking

I also wrapped my table in aluminum foil... definitely should have done this before but it makes cleaning up the candy so much easier...

Also, have I mentioned I added a subscribe button to the page? If you don’t already subscribe, you should! New posts will magically appear in your email so you can stay up to date or link to read it here…

Week 1 of 52 at VSC

February 7, 2010

What a week. It could not have been any more of a roller coaster ride, even if I was trying to make it so. I won’t bore you with the details of the weeks drama, except to say that the death of a far-too-young friend has added new perspective to all that is going on in my own life. It seems more important than ever to consider how we use our short time on this planet. Life is too short and too precious to be unhappy or to let things pass you by. Despite the emotional throw down, I am here and that is most important. Unfortunately, I am not quite ready to go, but only because I am on the brink of being sick AGAIN and so might not really dive in until later in the week when I am feeling 100% again. In any case, I moved up with lots of amazing help on Satuday, immediately began work by driving to the train station in Waterbury that night to pick up a slew of new residents and had all of Sunday off to concentrate on unpacking. I worked in the office Monday through Wednesday, orienting myself to the location of files, the processes and the people who will be my coworkers for the next year. Other than a webinar on social media, Thursday through Sunday was all free time to get settled into the studio and begin picking up where I left off at the end of December. I hired one of the maintenance crew to build a loft in my studio, which is amazing and spent a LOT of time just cleaning the place up, trying to make it feel as fresh and new as possible before I start messing it up. I also attended the first Visiting Writer Reading, which was by Van Jordan and the first Resident Writer Reading, which showcased 4 current residents’ work. Anyways, here are a few images from my first week here…

Not quite from this week, but this is a years worth of sculpture packed up and ready for storage—porcelain teeth and sheets. Thanks Chris!

Not quite from this week, but this is a years worth of sculpture packed up and ready for storage—porcelain teeth and sheets. Thanks Chris!

New loft full of stuff!! Thanks Dave!

All clean and ready to go in Barbara White

I grew these in December and then left them at VSC in storage until now

They got shaken up by a certain visiting artist but still turned out like mini diamonds in the end

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