Week 17 of 48

May 31, 2010

Mold! This week is all about mold making—probably a boring topic for the majority of you, but I was pretty psyched to both start and finish this mold in the last few weeks so I am going to share the whole process whether you like it or not! Now that the mold is complete, several rounds of casts will probably be necessary before a successful cast emerges, but I am ready to work for it. Mold making is such a long process, what’s a few more days to perfect the casting process?

prepping the plaster diamond for round one of polyurethane

I didn't want a pour spout so in order to make the mold in the round without a support, I had to make half at a time...

flipped over and polyurethane on the top half

back to the bottom half, prepping for part one of the plaster mother mold

the hydrocal sets so quickly I could only do small sections at a time... this is only 2 sections out of 5 needed to complete each half of the mother mold

first half of mother mold done but look at the mess! fiberglass, hydrocal, plasticine, polyurethane, etc.

prepping for second half of mother mold... not very professional looking!

second half of mother mold done... looks pretty wonky, but I think it just might work...

easily the most bad ass mold I've made to date

Still not done! There is a whole other set of steps to opening up the mold and preparing it for its first cast

All the parts opened, cleaned and ready to go! Wish me luck...

Week 16 of 48

May 24, 2010

This week I have spent the majority of my time vacationing in New York City. Vacation meaning running around to as many shows as I can squeeze in without burning out, seeing old friends, and various other things like visits to The Strand, the Botanical Gardens, the Public Library, movie theaters, etc. etc. All the cultural things I can’t do in Johnson, VT. Since I haven’t been in the studio much this week, I’m sharing a couple studio panoramic shots instead of actual work. It seemed like a good time to give you an update on what the studio is looking like these days. Compare these to the panoramic shots I took the first week I arrived to find an empty studio… what a difference!

View from the doorway

View from the window

Week 15 of 48

May 18, 2010

I haven’t shared much of the rock candy yet except for a few early set up photos, so maybe it is time to touch on that work a little. These were the very first round of rock candy experiments, all in slightly different solutions and staged to grow on different media (wool yarn vs. cotton rope vs. twine vs. thread, etc.). I have begun a new, more controlled set since the completion of these in order to really find out which variables work better than others, but this first set at least gave me a glimpse of what is possible…

rock candy growing on twine before (tied around a chunk of “starter crystals“) and after—this took 4 weeks and is kind of wimpy...

dyed with red food coloring, rock candy on cotton string at 2 weeks and again at 5 weeks

a clear solution growing on blue/black Japanese wool at 2 weeks and 5 weeks

this is the real goal of all this—to grow candy on swatches of fabric or knit forms. This was grown on cotton cheese cloth over 5 weeks and is truly beautiful. The pictures don't do any of these much justice.

Week 14 of 48

May 10, 2010

I feel a little bit bad for the May residents; their arrival yesterday was greeted by snow. Two weeks ago it snowed a foot in the middle of Vermont Artists Week—and I mean a foot of accumulated snow, not just general precipitation—but none of the Vermonters flinched though there was some surprise. Yesterday it snowed with a cold blizzard-like wind ALL DAY as residents arrived and dragged their luggage from check-in to their rooms to their studios. Yuck. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that there will be no more of that until November. Enough is enough. Now for some miscellaneous art-ish things…

3D doodles...

Been having fun making these inbetween bouts of endless plaster carving

they make me feel like I am accomplishing something other than making the pile of plaster dust bigger

don't ask me what they are... nothing more than doodles for now...

after well over 40 hrs. of carving in 3 days, the bottom is almost complete...

Week 13 of 52

May 3, 2010

I realized recently that I am not going to be here for 52 weeks! I looked at my contract and saw that I am only scheduled for 11 months, not 12!! I haven’t taken the time to actually count out the weeks, but I should be able to update the number to something a little more accurate soon. Anyways, on with the real entry… Given that a big part of what makes living here difficult for me is isolation from the rest of the world, it is changing my work. Aside from the problems I have making it to studio and getting work done, the place is changing the work itself and how I think about it. In fact, I’ve apparently started a whole new project based on this isolation. Other than the internet (which I don’t use for news), my only contact with media of any type is through magazines. I have a subscription to Time, which I never read—I only flip through headlines—and the slew of fashion magazines I purchased at the beginning of my stay in order to build the advertising porn wall in studio. These two sources are essentially the only way I have any idea what is going on outside Johnson, VT (weeks or months after the fact—did you know there was a volcano in Iceland? And that military inspired fashion is in?). And of course they are highly edited, specialized and tailored to specific audiences—demographics which I probably fit perfectly. Somehow these media staples, my only lifeline beyond the village of Johnson, came to represent the “real world“ and it was suddenly important to do something with them. So I’ve been working on “mash up“ collages, combining images and symbols from both. I work on them fairly brainlessly, which is great these days when I can’t push my own anxiety aside long enough to think through a whole project. I’m not ready to share any of the actual collages, but they have taken over our living room at home (since there is no space for them in studio) and occasionally get spread through the house with the help of Penny.

taking over the living room...

body parts...

heads and faces

the language of hands and arms

For a while I thought about just building a catalog of parts. I wanted to go through one entire issue of Vogue and cut out all the flesh… In the end I decided against it, because while I would find it to be a fascinating study, I’m not sure anyone else would care and what would I do with it after that? It may still happen anyways if I get sick of the collaging… I’m only sharing about half the pieces collected out of Vogue so far and nothing from Time, but once I’m ready to share some actual collages, you’ll get a better sense of how they end up working together.

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