Week 34 of 48 (8 Months!)

September 27, 2010

As anticipated, September was actually a pretty great month. Carl Phillips came out dancing one night at The Hub, Adam Zagajewski was unbelievably generous, sweet, humble and funny (and gave TWO bi-lingual readings!), I received 150 lb. sugar donation (though of course now I realize I need more) and finished three proposals, and Bruce Gagnier and Rosemarie Fiore were both wonderful visiting sculptors who were very encouraging of the new work. I was shocked and honored when Rosemarie bought one of the rock candy experiments—her decision to purchase a piece and her encouragement in general really lit a fire under my ass to have something great done before I leave. Ever since, I’ve been unrelentingly getting back into the 40 hr./week studio practice in spite of the 30 hr./week office job and am looking forward to blowing this place out of the water once again. The studio has gotten a little out of control as I work on several different parts of the process in many different materials at the same time… I need more space!

The studio this weekend...

Things that are happening in here:

lace-knitting and blocking; dipping knits in solution and hardening over a form; loops and other forms hardening; various types of knits and loops growing crystals in fish tanks; sugar solution being cooked on the stove; insulation foam blocked up for carving more forms; plasticine for modeling forms to make new molds; fabric armor mock-ups; cardboard armor mock-ups and probably even more that I can’t think of at the moment. The image is also missing the wall with armor reference images and past rock candy experiments.

And just for fun:

A miscellaneous rock candy accident/experiment—about 12 or 14 inches in diameter of solid rock candy

I call it sugar lick since it reminds me of salt licks for rodents, deer and other animals...

Week 33 of 48

September 20, 2010

I’m finally ready to share the next project. I’ve been focusing on rock candy and learning how to control the forms that it grows in. I can’t control the crystals themselves, except for when to take them out of the solution, but I’ve found that I can control the overall form by stiffening the knit first. I didn’t want to stiffen it with starch or any other product that is not sugar related, but after some experimentation, I figured out how to do it with the sugar solution itself. I’m skipping a set of experiments that came before this to get to the real meat of what I’m working on now. I’ve been lace-knitting large swathes of fabric using patterns I’ve created loosely based on a suit of armor. Once the piece is knit, I harden it over a dress form when necessary to gain the correct compound curves. In some ways, I think growing the suit of armor out of rock candy is as much an exercise in seeing what I can make the candy do as it is an object in its own right. I would like to eventually work a little more abstractly, but for now this is a good starting point. It will force me to learn how to assemble large pieces of candy together (and of course how to grow it), how to display the piece when it’s finished, and how different types of holes and knits will effect the overall composition. So without further ado…

the lace-knit piece, hardened over a dress form in the shape of half a breast plate

the same piece submerged in a fish tank of solution

the same piece submerged in a fish tank of solution

a close-up of the piece starting to grow crystals from the bottom up—where the denser solution sits

the second half of the breast plate, ready to be submerged

I tried this with cheese cloth as well but the thread is too fine to hold its shape once it's submerged—I love the way it looked though...

Week 32 of 48

September 13, 2010

Remember waaaay back when I talked about some collages I had started? Time to share a few of them! I haven’t done them in several months, but picked them up again in recent weeks and showed them to one of the visiting artists for the first time. In case you forgot, I was cutting pieces out of Time and Vogue magazines back in April. Here are a few of the resulting collages.

the only rule is that each must contain at least one image from Vogue and one image from Time

so far they have evolved to come in these two forms

I am trying to fill a sketchbook with them

I'm nowhere close to being half way through the book, so I better get working!

Hopefully there will be many more of these to come

please pardon the bad lighting in these photos...

Oh, and the home studio I built where all of this collaging is happening

and hopefully more drawing too...

Week 31 of 48

September 7, 2010

I’ve been invited to participate in a show in the Korean DMZ! I’m hesitant to officially announce this as I can’t really believe that it’s true, but maybe it’s safe to announce it virtually until I know something more about whether or not it will happen. It is the tenth annual Korean DMZ Art Festival, which consists of 12 artists creating outdoor installations and an additional 25 artists sending in images to be printed on approximately 3 1/2′ x 6 1/2′ flags to be installed around the grounds. I will be one of the 25 international artists with a flag from either Korea, China, Japan, USA, Canada, Italy or Australia. The show opens October 1st and will be up for a month and is associated with the Seokjang-ri Art Gallery Outdoor Exhibition Place, which might be one of—if not THE—northernmost galleries in South Korea. I honestly don’t know a lot about it since their website is all in Korean (maybe one of you who knows Korean can explain some of it to me), but I went ahead and sent in my image this week and am just keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work out as it should. It’s a shame I can’t be there to see the show in person—it seemed like they would put me up while I was there if I could pay my own transportation to get there, but that just isn’t possible these days. They requested my address in order to send me a copy of the catalog so that’s a good sign… Hopefully I can at least see some good photos of the completed print—it’s hard to imagine what my image would look like six feet tall! The theme is Boundaries and Borders (in the DMZ, isn’t that always the theme?) so I hope they print the flag on something slightly transparent as it would fit the idea perfectly. It felt natural to apply this collage of images of candy with a figure looking through to the concept so I’m really happy with the fit considering I pulled it together in an afternoon. Will keep you posted if I hear or see anything more about the show and the printing of my flag!

image for a flag that will be printed 39"x79" for a show in the DMZ in Korea

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