This weekend marked the end of 3 months (counted in residency time, not calendar time) here in Vermont and was filled with a lot of reflection about my place here. April was a tumultuous month with mud season, issues with residents and staff, difficulties reigning in the office work and very limited time in studio. Cabin fever has been in the air along with wondering if I can actually survive a year in this bizarre contrived community. Every day is a roller coaster of emotions oscillating between really wonderful moments and complete despair over how trapped I feel here. It regularly occurs to me that I might hate living here. I love it as a residency, but to stay year round is something else entirely and I am losing all enthusiasm about this situation. It becomes more and more difficult to be excited when meeting new residents and to pretend I enjoy being here; more and more difficult to want to work to improve things, to invest any of myself in this place. Today marks the beginning of Vermont Artists Week, a one week residency just for artists who are Vermont residents, and then the following week is what is known as “Work Week“, the only week ALL YEAR when there are no residents at all. Rumor says it’s the best week all year for getting a lot of work done in studio because there are no residents to interfere and no scheduled activities. I can’t wait. I’m also hoping to use these two weeks of supposed good studio time as a gauge for whether or not I can stay through the year. If I can’t get good work done during the best week of the year, then I’m not going to be able to get good work done any other time and I need to leave. So wish me luck! I have made myself a new schedule that I think will improve my studio hours and includes good chunks of time everyday for walks and yoga to mentally escape a little. I also set my studio up so I can spend nights there in order to hide from everything/everyone when necessary (I’ve been going crazy at my complete lack of privacy)—all of which I think will really help in the future. I’ve also talked with my roommate about borrowing her car on occasion since I have no means of getting out of this stifling town and that should help as well, though I can’t go too far with it since it isn’t technically hers. That’s where I’m at with everything and I will keep you posted on how the next few weeks go. If this weekend doesn’t become a turning point in my time here, then I will have to start working on an exit strategy.

finally made myself stop working on the top of the diamond... I could continue carving away at it forever and never be done since it would never be perfect, so I made myself stop here...

Some new green casts

lime green transparent gem

they had already degraded a bit before I took these pics (with the new camera!)—all the little pock marks...

Week 11 of 52

April 19, 2010

I am taking a break from everything this week including the blog, BUT I do have one fabulous thing to share. A used but perfectly functional digital camera arrived in the mail this morning from a person I’ve never met. Thanks to my shameless pleas for a non broken camera in order to continue timely and accurate documentation of everything in studio, a faithful blog reader who first found me three years ago through my show at the RISD Museum sent me a camera!! Thank you soooo much! I gave it a little test run this afternoon and so far so good—what an unexpected and wonderful gift. So all of you reading this, hop over to Cerebus Fangirl where she writes about anything and everything related to Dave Sim, Gerhard, Cerebus and aardvarks and say thanks for me! If you are unfamiliar with Cerebus, the longest running English language comic book series EVER, you should read up on this fabulous series, which you can now get in graphic novel form as well. Thank you again Cerebus Fangirl! All the pics that show up here over the next few months will be thanks to you.

Sometimes things just have a way of working out.

Week 10 of 52 at VSC

April 11, 2010

It’s finally warming up here in Johnson, VT, though not very consistently. Last weekend we got a taste of summer and most of the following week was gorgeous as well—even the rainy days were beautiful. I bring this up not out of a need for small talk but because it’s adding a little pressure to the work in studio. Candy is melting and I’m not necessarily ready for it! So far everything has remained totally in tact all winter without much effort on my part and now that it’s warm enough for things to melt of their own accord, I need to prepare myself and my studio for it. I’m going to have to start working in a much more planned and purposeful way; gems are sticking to their shelves, detritus all over the floor is attaching itself permanently and stringy experiments are disappearing entirely. Luckily (or I guess not luckily but intentionally), I’ve been thinking a lot about various plans for all of this so I don’t feel totally unprepared… I guess it’s just funny to me that the catalyst for all of this is going to end up being the weather! It’s looking like the approaching spring will be what lights a fire under my slacking butt…

I borrowed an empty studio across the hall for a week or two to expand into the 2nd dimension...

Spent a day or two playing around with the idea of candy drawings

So far this one is the most interesting to me...

Not sure where these are headed yet, but they were super fun!

Once I've had a little more time to think about these, I will try another round...

Week 9 of 52 at VSC

April 4, 2010

This week’s entry is all about degrading candy. Earlier I mentioned wearing a piece of candy 24/7 just to see what would become of it; it only lasted a few days, primarily because of showering. I made a makeshift setting for it and every time I showered, it melted and dissolved so much in the hot water that it shrank out of the setting and fell to the shower floor. The first time, this wasn’t a big deal–I just picked it up and re-bent the setting (made out of a paperclip) to fit the new size. The second time, it broke into several pieces when it hit the floor and I considered that to be the end of that particular experiment. I’m wearing another piece now, and this time I think I will avoid showering with it to see how much longer it will survive and what kinds of marks it will make. It did quite a bit of melting in the surprising heat wave we have had the last few days, but then I also sweated a lot of the marks off so…

sticky morning neck after sleeping with it on

After the shower that melted it beyond salvaging

Kind of loved the mark it made in the tub...

The next set of degrading candy photos are from a rock candy experiment. I thought I would just drop one of the cast pieces into rock candy solution to see if crystals would form on the cast. Of course this didn’t work at all, but it was pretty awesome watching the cast piece slowly dissolve into the already sugar saturated solution. It may have also caused a later rock candy experiment to grow exponentially faster than the rest, which would be great if that’s what happened, but that theory has yet to be substantiated. More on that later…

Rock candy test lineup

Dissolve progress over a day or two until the jar appeared empty...

%d bloggers like this: