Open Studios Success!

November 4, 2009

I had over 300 visitors over the course of the weekend!  The building received over 700, but I imagine most people got lost and didn’t hit every studio or were scared by the room full of teeth and didn’t bother trying to come in.  Here’s what they missed:

Entrance

My studio door: Old Arsenal work outside, New teeth work inside

Specimens

Wall of real and fake teeth specimens

Teeth Book

Book of printed Teeth Stories

Teeth Wall

Wall of Teeth Stories

Overall View

Overall view of the whole setup

And just for fun…

Enjoying

Larry, Curly and Moe enjoying the view

I also took a ton of photos of the big piece by itself in super dramatic lighting.  I will post those next…

Teasers…

October 28, 2009

A few pics for you loyal readers out there (if you even exist!) of what’s coming this weekend.  By no means is this finished, but most of the teeth are in place…  I would say it is 83% there…

Lighting 2

Ignore the pony in the background...

Cat Install

Don't mind the cat, she's just enjoying the view too

Install Process

Casts some great shadows...

Test View

A view from underneath it... where the bed will be...

That’s it!  That’s all you get.  Come to the show this weekend to see the finished version for yourself and all the other little surprises I have in store…

Postcard Design

Postcard Design

Finally came up with a name for my show!  I submitted the design for my postcards and had to invent a title to put on the cards so there you have it.  I hate making up titles.  Half the time I end up just throwing something random together; sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.  This might be one of those not working times, but the title is slowly growing on me so we’ll see what I think by the time the show rolls around.

Making the postcards meant I had to finally set up my studio corner in the new apartment.  In addition to finishing a few teeth, I had to assemble some sort of photography booth.  I took a few pics of my corner and the crazy contraption I put together for the sake of taking a few nice photos…

My corner studio in the new apartment

My corner studio in the new apartment

And lastly, here was the second favorite postcard photo.  It’s a tiny version what’s to come in the next few weeks and at the show on November 1st.

Postcard Design Reject

Postcard Design Reject

Apartment Show

October 10, 2009

Part of my difficulty with consistently blogging lately has been due to several factors.  One, I moved across the city into a new neighborhood, building and apartment and even though we technically moved in August, we JUST NOW busted all the boxes and finally made the place look decent.  Two, I took on a new role at the Harvard Ceramics Program, which has required a lot more of my attention and energy than I was expecting and I find myself continuously playing catch up with the workload there.  Three, a hefty number of keys on my keyboard are broken and I have to copy and paste way too many letters, numbers and punctuation—as a result, I don’t really like typing much these days.  And four, most of the summer was spent in production mode, pumping out as many teeth as I could manage.  I figured writing about repeating the same process ever day would be about as interesting as watching water boil… so I didn’t…

Now I’m gradually working on pulling all the disparate pieces of my life together and hope it will culminate in a mini one woman show in my new apartment.  The new place is a large one room studio with plenty of space for a bedroom corner, living room corner and work corner in addition to the brand new IKEA built in kitchen and bathroom (with utility sink!).  I’ll be sure to post some photos soon, now that it finally looks like an apartment and not just a box jungle…  Anyways, I will be installing the teeth project in this new home, The Distillery, an all artist building of work studios and live/work spaces.  There are about 60 units in the 170 year old Rum Distillery, half of which are now work spaces for artists, writers and musicians, the other half are live/work apartments.  There are 3 galleries in the building, an urban garden in the parking lot, 2 enormous freight elevators, and a ton of arts resources if you befriend all the right people.  Every year the building hosts 2 open studio events, one of which will fall on Halloween weekend this fall.  This is when I plan on premiering the teeth piece and also hosting my own mini reception in conjunction with open studios.  So mark it on your calendar!  South Boston Open Studios, October 31 and November 1 from noon to 6pm PLUS a reception to celebrate the completion of the piece on Sunday, November 1st, immediately after open studios in my apartment from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  Be there or be square!  Also, if you are not already on my mailing list, or have moved, send me your new info!  I will be mailing postcards to announce the event within the next week and I don’t want to miss anyone!

South Boston Open Studios

Unemployed!

March 13, 2009

So my first full week of unemployment has been crraaazzyy!   First of all, I’m not actually unemployed.  The day after my last day as a designer I started training at a local bakery, thank god not as a baker because I would ruin it, but as a front store, pastry selling, barista, sandwich making, etc. person.  I had 3 training shifts, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday and my first full official shift today!  Inbetween those I’ve been running errands, making various doctors appointments before my insurance runs out, trying to get a bit done in studio, and getting really really sick.  In fact, my first day with NOTHING on the calendar, when I was supposed to get sooooo much work done in studio, some sort of flu-like illness swept in and completely knocked me out.  So that’s been lame.  But there have been lots of other insane stories like the most ridiculous bus/crazy bag lady/public transportation story EVER (maybe one of these days when I have nothing else to post I’ll write about it–I wish I had taken some photos to back me up because it’s too good to be true) AND my apartment building caught on fire!  In fact, the trucks and crowds are gathered outside right now.  Any normal person might take all this as a sign that maybe they shouldn’t have made this rash decision to ditch design in favor of art-making, but instead I’m blissfully posting photos from the de-installation as the fire trucks battle the flames next door, with tissues stuck up my nose to stem the endless flow…

An overview half way through de-installing aka. sorting out the mess...

An overview half way through de-installing aka. sorting out the mess...

I was amazed at how much people had re-arranged things on their own...

I was amazed at how much people had re-arranged things on their own...

I liked these shadows that were left...

I liked these shadows that were left...

A different kind of shadow--left from brushing aside unsalvageable shards to find the nice big pieces that were left

A different kind of shadow--left from brushing aside unsalvageable shards to find the nice big pieces that were left

Boxing up the last of it...

Boxing up the last of it...

What now you ask?  Well… I still don’t really know.  Basically every page was broken.  I was pleasantly amazed to find a few complete sheets–sometimes even super thin ones–at the bottom of some of the stacks.  The weight must have been balanced exactly right, and the stars aligned when I set those down, for them to have survived 6 weeks with 100 other ceramic pages on top.  It’s possible there will be future showings of the piece, each one more degraded, broken and with more missing information than the last.  I feel a little weird about showing it anywhere other than the Arsenal, but maybe if the actual information is unintelligible anyways, it doesn’t matter?  I’m not sure, I haven’t really decided yet… In any event, they did have a mini show at the ceramics studio immediately following the de-installation.  So next time I post something, I’ll include some photos of that.  And maybe a crazy bus lady story or two…

De-Installation

February 23, 2009

It was time to take down and pack up the piece yesterday afternoon.  De-installation is always sort of a bittersweet moment; nice to be done with it (until the next time!) but also sad since it was so much work and it will never live again in the exact same way.  Onwards and upwards I guess!  Next time it will evolve into something different–I don’t know what or when or how yet, but I’m sure it will on its own terms.  By now it absolutely has the ability to stand on its own, I’m here to just give it some direction every now and then but it is its own entity;  I can only be so controlling and obsessive…

Again I forgot my camera, but I did borrow one from the Arsenal to take a final set of shots in its birth context and a few of the sorting and packing process.  Hopefully I’ll get those soon and be able to post a few here. 

I am hoping to be much better about keeping this blog relatively consistent.  Entries will probably rise as a particular project draws to a close or enters a space, but outside of those fluctuations, it would be great to use this as a means of documenting my processes on any and all projects in as continuous a way as possible.  It’s been six weeks since I wrote something–I know this because the show was 6 weeks and my previous post was written the day after the opening–and I’d like to really work on posting entries more consistently.  My excuse in recent weeks is job troubles and those are about to change pretty dramatically so… we’ll see what my new schedule allows.  I handed in my resignation today with the intention of focusing my time and energies on art making instead of design.  Given the current state of the economy (yes, I’m aware we are in a recession), this was a pretty difficult decision to make, but I’ve been feeling the need to make this change for a long time and handing in my resignation will be the quickest and easiest way to begin changing the way I work in a forcibly proactive way.  It was also an incredibly difficult decision on a personal level; I love my boss and we have a really great design team so it’s very sad to have to say goodbye.  But I’m also ridiculously psyched for the change and I can’t wait to see how everything will play out.  I don’t have anything else lined up, and while this is terrifying since I have no savings to live off of and a laundry list of monthly student loans to pay, I’m also very excited by the limitless possibilities this allows.  I really don’t know what will be next!  But I do know it’s a step in the right direction.  I’ve thought about it enough over the last six weeks (and really, the last 6 months) to know this is something I HAVE to do, and why not during a recession?  Artists have a tendency to be poor during the best of times so will it really make a big difference?  I’m not quitting the day job in order to live off of selling art, so in that sense the recession won’t affect me in my new role as starving artist at all.  And it has the added benefit of giving someone else who probably really wants and needs my job an opportuniy where there wasn’t one before.  Granted, I’m not doing this for un-selfish reasons, it just so happens that someone who will appreciate the job more will get to take my place.

To make sure this really was what I wanted, I wrote a sort of memoir/essay about the thought process behind this decision.  It was as much about convincing myself as it is about convincing other doubters, so if you have any interest in reading it, let me know and I’ll send it on to you.  I try to avoid writing extremely personal, self-reflective, self-indulgent entries here (although lets be honest, blogs are pretty self-indulgent) unless it’s directly related to a project I’m working on.  While this is related to my overall process, I’m not sure it’s necessary to subject everyone to it, so just drop me a note if you’re interested in hearing my reasoning for this seemingly insane move.

Moral to the story is, now that the show is over and I’m quitting my job, I will hopefully be diving head first into the next big project in the next month and will continue to write with more regularity.  Unemployment, here I come!

Installation

January 11, 2009

The show opened yesterday.  Sadly I forgot to take my camera with me in the rush to get out the door so I have no photos to share yet. I can, however, share a couple from the installation process.  I went to the gallery on Thursday, after the majority of the show was already up, and began installing the “pile”, then went back on Friday afternoon to install all of the frames throughout the gallery and touch up the pile.  I don’t have any photos yet of the completed piece, or of the framed elements hanging throughout the gallery, so those will have to come later.
When I walked in with my boxes of tiles, here's what the show looked like.

When I walked in with my boxes of tiles, here's what the show looked like.

And here's what my piece looked like after the first day of installing

And here's what my piece looked like after the first day of installing

Initially, I was just stacking them randomly because I had no idea what I wanted to do, or what form they should take.

Initially, I was just stacking them randomly because I had no idea what I wanted to do, or what form they should take.

A few unexpectedl did this wonderful layering with the broken edges where you could see some sort of form emerging

A few unexpectedly did this wonderful layering with the broken edges where you could see some sort of form emerging

To me, it hinted at some sort of decay or ruin to the perfectly arranged stacks, so intentionally rearranged them to empahsize this

To me, it hinted at some sort of decay or ruin to the perfectly arranged stacks, so I intentionally rearranged them to emphasize this

I had one box of blank tiles left, so I printed those later in the evening and brought the final pieces in the next day to complete the "pile"

I had one box of blank tiles left, so I printed those later in the evening and brought the final pieces in the next day to complete the "pile"--I will post those photos as soon as I take some!

One of the coolest things about installing was the breakage factor.  Especially with the larger central tower, as I added more to the stack, tiles below would break as they succumbed to the weight of the tiles above them.  They made this amazing popping noise and would shake the whole stack whenever one broke.  I thought it was so cool, and something no one else would get to see once the stacks settled, so I caught a bit of it on video just so I had some sort of documentation of this phenomena.

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