Week 42 of 48 (10 Months!)

November 23, 2010

10 months down! 1 until the new year, then 3 more in 2011 before I’m off to NYC! I am so ready to go but also looking forward to having those extra months to pull a new body of work together, another show and then packing it all up to move on. For the month of December, the number one focus will be pulling the suit of armor together, as well as some other odds and ends around studio, in order to photograph it and add it to my portfolio before MFA applications are due in January. I spent part of the week drafting a new artist statement, which I always dread, and will be focusing on that as well as the website for the next week or so. I’m using the Thanksgiving holiday as a “stay-cation” to crank some work out in studio that’s been stressing me out of late so I’m really looking forward to having almost a full week of uninterrupted studio time. Anyways, enough miscellaneous talk, here’s some pictures!

arm guards after a week or two of growth

pink knits growing in a green tank

green crystals growing on the side of the tank

Week 41 of 48

November 15, 2010

I’m a little woozy and headachey today after blasting through 4 cans of spray paint to spruce up Belinda de Milo, the latest addition to the studio team. She’ll be helping me with the assembly and eventual display of the suit of armor as various parts and pieces are completed. I have a table full of finished parts that are ready to go and some scraps of leather and vinyl to experiment with figuring out how to pull it all together. Some parts are still in the tanks for a last round of growth or still need a couple weeks before they will be ready. In the meantime, there is somehow still an overwhelming amount of work to do!

Belinda de Milo thanks to Zach and Andy!

Week 39 of 48

November 1, 2010

I finally gave in and set up a proper poor man’s photo studio in an empty studio across the hall. It’s far from perfect, but after several rounds of experimenting with both the lighting and my camera’s settings, I managed a few rounds of decent photos. I’m also in a building where it’s impossible to have total control of the lighting so despite taking all the flourescent tubes out of the ceiling lights, there is still some bleed from other studios’ lighting. At the very least, I learned a lot more about how to use my camera, so that was exciting. I’m also in phase 1 of the website refresh so all the new photos will show up there whenever I launch the updated site. Here are some of the better rejects from the photo shoot:

my scraped together photo studio...

A close up of the first piece of armor

funky wave of crystals

one of the first experimental pieces

Week 38 of 48 (9 months!)

October 25, 2010

Before leaving town for Denver, my goal was to have as many pieces of the armor submerged in solution as I had sugar for. I received another 150lb sugar donation and converted it all to rock candy solution within a week. Unfortunately, I grossly underestimated how much sugar it would take to fill the fish tanks (nearly 100lbs for a 10 gallon tank!) so I didn’t end up with as much as I needed. If anyone wants to make a sugar donation, let me know! Its about $1/pound… Nevertheless, I managed to fit all the pieces in the tanks except one leg. Here’s a step by step sample of how this is working.

first the dress form and arm/leg I carved are fitted with various armor pieces mocked up in cardboard

the knit is then stiffened over the form into the correct compound curves and shapes

here is one of the dried pieces just so you can see how it will eventually fit the body

to maximize tank space and sugar solution, I've been packing as many pieces in each tank as I can possibly fit

layers submerged and growing...

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...

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