Goodbye Vermont!

April 18, 2011

Hello Virginia! Just arrived in Roanoke, Virginia yesterday evening in an aptly named Ford Escape full of studio tools and materials for my upcoming residency at VCCA. I packed the rental car in Vermont with snow still on the ground and reports of flurries to come that evening, and unpacked barefoot in Virginia surrounded by green and late spring flowers. The last couple weeks of packing, cleaning and departure partying have been pretty ridiculous–I’m happy to have survived it! It hasn’t hit me yet that I don’t live in Vermont anymore, but I’m sure over the next week or two it will slowly sink in as I am free of the office drama, meals in the dining hall, and the general fishbowl that is life at the Studio Center. I left a TON of stuff behind–I didn’t realize until it was time to pack the car and nothing fit, that my studio/artwork was one car load and my personal/apartment stuff a second car load. I tried to get rid of as much stuff as I could–studio, artwork, and personal–but I obviously did not do a very good job! In the panic of trying to get out of town at a reasonable hour, I ended up packing all my studio and leaving behind all my personal belongings. I have 1 suitcase worth of clothes, otherwise everything else will have to be picked up in June or July when I can make another trip up there to grab the rest of my stuff. Until then, I’ll be doing a lot of residency prep work for the next two weeks and then be able to dive right in when I arrive on May 2nd. Can’t wait to get started!

purging artwork

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Science is Fiction

February 14, 2011

It’s show time again! My last show at the Studio Center is coming up–only 3 weeks till I start installing! The show will sort of sum up my year here–a mini retrospective if you will. Hopefully a nice way to end my year-long staff-artist residency. Check out this pretty little show announcement…

Announcement for my upcoming show in March

Old Habits Die Hard

January 10, 2011

Here I am on a Monday, my usual blog time, itching to post something. I guess despite letting go of my personal rule to post something every Monday, I can’t let go of the habit. So I will continue for now… Things I found while cleaning my studio upon my return from the holiday season and purged:

A years worth of residency calendars

and name tags (I got lazy at the end)

This is not nostalgia. These are battle scars I’m happily throwing away.

First post of 2011 and last post of the weekly series from my year at the Vermont Studio Center. I will definitely continue to write entries about how things are going in the studio but not on a weekly basis—just whenever something of interest or special excitement comes up. I returned to Johnson, VT last night after a couple weeks of east coast travel (Roanoke, VA, New York City, Binghamton, NY, Boston and Providence). Here are a few images Warren Buckles shot of my studio before I left for the holidays as well as a few images of a new experiment I set up to begin growing while I was gone. I will return to the studio this weekend to check on the progress of all the new test pieces to decide how to move forward during my last couple months on campus.

photos of studio shot by Warren Buckles at the end of December

shot from the doorway

the first of a new set of experiments, set up before the holidays

kind of festive looking for the holidays!

I am really attracted to how it looks right now, regardless of whether or not the crystals grow...

Week 44 of 48

December 6, 2010

Wow, I can’t believe there are only two weeks left to my year here (in residency time that is). Back at the beginning of this, I thought it would never end and of course it has flown by soooo fast. Time here is incomprehensible… it’s funny to me that I tried to blog every week to help keep the time, but it still feels equally ungraspable. Something about the way the residency schedule works and my odd relationship to it as a staff member makes time especially bizarre. It seems all the more appropriate that I do time-based work. As if by working with time as a medium, I could force it into compliance with my objectives, but of course in the end it doesn’t actually make a difference. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to take a more personal direction with the work—something that reflects the transience and instability of my own life and time here. Since I will be wrapping up the suit of armor before I leave for the holidays, I will try to set up the beginnings of the next piece so it can grow while I am away. This means that I have to decide what the next piece is! So, in between working through the difficult task of assembling the armor, I am trying to make some decisions about how to move forward after it’s done. I’m actually not happy with the suit of armor itself. I have to finish it since I already invested three months worth of energy and sugar into growing it, but I realize now that it really isn’t the right application for the rock candy. I don’t regret making it—I needed something concrete to get started and figure out what the candy can really do—but now that I’ve learned everything that I can from the process of making it, I am ready to step back and rethink my approach. Lately I have been more excited by thinking about what is next then with finishing the damn thing in front of me! But I guess that’s often how it goes…

Anyways, enough chit chat. Here are some pics of a few new experiments growing crystals on raw wool, fresh off the sheep.

just a wad of wool, half dipped in solution, growing crystals

these blue ones also served as a test of making solution with fabric dye instead of food coloring

I needle felted these a bit first so the fibers are a little more dense and purposefully shaped

these were also needle felted but grown in a tank of regular solution instead of fabric dye solution

Week 40 of 48

November 10, 2010

I’ve been out of town traveling again, which is why this post is a few days later than usual. Rather than get into studio stuff, I’d like to use this post to officially announce that I’ve decided to stay at VSC for a few extra months. This might sound crazy to those of you who know how hard my time here has been (the count-down nature of this blog from week 1 is case in point…), but I’m looking forward to having a few more months to push one more big show/project and to making a little extra money to move with, before packing up for the next thing life has in store for me. I’m technically scheduled to install another show in the Red Mill a week from today–which is insane as I am not anywhere near ready for it and have done nothing to prepare for it in terms of announcing it, making show cards, etc. I think I’m approaching it more as an opportunity to continue my photography efforts in a nicer space and just to get some things out of the studio with some space to really look at and think about them. It will also force me to make some decisions about how to present certain items that have been sitting in the studio for months, waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. So I think I’m going to move forward with it anyways without making too big of a deal out of it. Then I can schedule one last show for March (I will leave VSC late March/early April) to round out my time here.

That’s all for now! Next week I’ll post some in progress shots and I’m getting closer to having the website refresh done so I might be able to post that soon as well. I’m going to continue to write once a week until the initial year (48 weeks) is up. After that, I’m thinking of doing this a little less regularly since it doesn’t feel as important anymore to mark my time here. I’ll probably go back to just posting things whenever something especially exciting is happening…

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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