Sunday, September 7, 2014

My First Solo Show :     Weavolution

The works selected for this show highlight my evolution from craftsman to artist.

Click here to visit my website: http:/

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thesis Show and final critique

The past weeks have been very busy and eventful. It is still hard to believe that the culmination of my master's program is here. I am measuring my time by milestones. Our thesis show All This Happened More Or Less opened to a crowded house. I completed my oral defense on Friday. That leaves my thesis paper, website, and documentation. The install was one of the most intense experiences that I have had at CCAD to date. I pulled two all nighters working on and installing the pvc piece and spent many hours weaving my blue morpho butterfly.

 I would like to thank everyone who helped me and the rest of the second year MFA students. The first year group and gallery staff went above and beyond to get this show ready. I personally would like to thank: my family; Toby Hale(who either never sleeps or has several clones that help him out) without whose help the butterfly would not have happened; Alenka De Los Rios, Rachel Rush, Drew Wilson, Amy Lewis, Kim Roush, Russ, and Toby (again) who all helped with the install of the pvc piece; Kim Webb who was gracious enough to lend the grow light for the Germinant piece; everyone in the gallery especially Michael Goodson, Ian Ruffino, and Matt Flegle; The Genova Company including Jan Carrothers and Janet Kellogg who generously donated 2000 pvc elbows; the thesis committee; Susan Li O'Connor for her encouragement and for being part of my thesis committee; Molly Burke for all of her help, being my mentor, and for keeping me in line :) ; and last but not least Ric Petry for believing in me and for all he does for everyone in the program. I hope I have not forgotten anyone, if I have, please know I am grateful.

Here are some of my images from the show and a few work in progress shots.

Germinant, xray with layer map, and process images
 The pvc sculpture was made from 2100 pvc elbows. The process photos are from the first stages of weaving which was done on the second floor of the design studio building.

The butterfly is a Morpho godartii didius pseudassarpai (local form) from the Nymphalidae family, commonly known as a blue morpho. It is indigenous to Cuzco, Peru. I chose to weave a 2/2 twill with the wings because it compliments the form and references the vein structure. Photo 1 is the gallery display. Photo 2 is the dried butterfly protected in a triangular paper envelope before spreading. Photo 3 is my work area. The final photo shows the weaving structure on the back of the butterfly.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The clock is ticking.....

Time seems to be simultaneously dragging and flying by for me this semester. I appreciate everyone in our MFA family. I am grateful to everyone who sent cards, gifts, and thoughts my way when I lost my mom. I still get the group card out and look at it frequently. I have struggled with unexpected bouts of insomnia since her death, but things are slowly returning to normal. 

I am very busy this semester with sketching class, CADD class, and as a teaching assistant with the Airstream project - in addition to grad classes and my thesis work. Despite the cold, I have been outside in the woods and fields a lot lately. I am searching...trying to connect the dots, working to relate to nature and understand its potential and what that means in my work. 

I am still looking at many of the same artists: Andy Goldsworthy, Martin Puryear, Jackie Windsor, Wolfgang Laib, Louise Bourgeois, Patrick Dougherty, Orly Genger, Sayaka Ganz.

Artist images:
Orly Genger

Martin Puryear
Jackie Windsor
Louise Bourgeois
Sayaka Ganz

My reading has shifted to an interest in chaos. I am currently reading Chaos: Making A New Science (Gleick), Nature's Chaos (Porter, Gleick), and Symmetry In Chaos (Field, Golubitsky).

Detail of grass plumes
Weaving in progress
Cut material
The mix of pieces for my thesis continues to shift. The germination piece is finished - 20 structures total. It measures 1 cubic foot and the final layer was woven using ornamental grass. I will be starting the germination process as soon as I get documentation done.
Finished piece

The pvc piece has been delayed by material availability issues. I am currently awaiting a decision from the manufacturer. I have done some additional experimentation with structure. I am leaning towards using a version of the longer units seen below.

The butterfly project is moving along....slowly. I finally got the butterflies in the mail. I am using Morpho didius specimens. These morphos are a neotropical species that can be found in Peru and are a member of the Nymphalidae family.They came dried and folded in paper squares. Like this......

I had to put them in a rehydration chamber for several days and then pinned them and spread their wings in an open position.

I had to allow them time to dry so they would stay in position. I have been talking to Toby about getting them into the laser cutter. I feel that would be the best route to take because of how delicate they are. I might just get to watch a butterfly burst into flames...

I am also looking at making a large scale woven piece from corn plants. I have access to several acres of corn that never got harvested. The farmer who planted it has given me permission to take all I need. I already used some leaves from these plants to make one of the layers of the woven box.

I am working with el wire again and have some ideas in the queue that may or may not make it into the body of my thesis work. Time will determine what can realistically happen, but I have to have a plan B.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Work, work, work

The past several weeks have been very busy. I am trying to keep my focus on being productive and getting work done. I have several projects in progress and in the works. I am learning how very important it is to cultivate a network of relationships with businesses and individuals in order to find and have materials to make art with.  I am grateful for every source of materials I can find.

My studio is nearly full. That's good in a way, but I'm not sure how that will work for critique. I am continuing to investigate material possibilities as well as various scales of work. I have made progress with every project - in one way or another. My plan is to continue adding projects to the queue as time and resources allow. 

The list of artists that I am currently looking at has expanded to include: Andrew Goldsworthy, Martin Puryear, Jackie Windsor, and Wolfgang Laib. Seeing Andrew Goldsworthy in action has given me a lot to think about. There is a documentary about his work entitled Rivers and Tides that was well worth watching. For those unfamiliar with his work, his medium is nature and he creates intricate and ephemeral sculptures using minimal or no tools.

In closing, I am grateful to be a part of the CCAD learning community. I would like to take a moment thank the following people who have recently helped me in one way or another: Molly, Angie, Alenka, Toby, Dalong, David Burghy, Joel Gundlach, Michael Goodson and Michael Geiger..

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This week I have been thinking about what important ideas are wrapped up in a personal ideology. My understanding of an ideology is that it is basically a set of ideas that organize and shape your understanding of reality. I think that societal ideologies can be a part of, but differ from individual ideologies. So what ideas are part of my personal ideology? I believe in the power of personal potential. I believe we are all capable of much greater things than our everyday lives lead us to believe. I think that encouraging and helping others is important. I think that being actively involved in the community can be beneficial for everyone involved. I value persistence and patience. Exercising patience is especially important when interacting with or helping young people. Personal freedom is very important to me. I don’t believe it is anyone’s inherent right to pass judgment on others. I try to resist the idea and influence of materialism. I strive to find peace and balance in my life.
During this initial stage of working toward my thesis, I find myself opposing the ideas of perfection and control. This shift in approach and attitude is a big deal for me. I was initially exposed to these ideas in my work last year and have come to embrace them. This change in attitude is born of a new found respect of my process and materials. I like the contributions, changes, and challenges that manifest themselves during the making. I am also starting to appreciate the value of doubt and uncertainty that are involved in the process.

Like everyone else, I continue to research. Some additional artists I have been looking at:

Dorothy Gill Barnes – although she is not technically a weaver, she has used weaving in her work. I include her because I know her and I actually got to see and touch some of her work at her home.

Marilyn MooreI met her several years ago and I like her choice of material and her forms.

Theo Jansen – I think it is amazing that he has created mobile sculptures from pvc pipe and plastic soda bottles. I find these “beings” beautiful but eerie. They don’t really move like machines, but more like a kind of soulless automaton. There are some videos on Youtube that are worth watching just for the sake of seeing them move.

Marco Casagrande – I liked the scale obviously…

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MFA Semester 3

Welcome back to the wall. I took the summer off from blogging. As usual, I had a very busy summer. I spent some much needed time in North Carolina where I had a lot of interesting experiences and found a great deal of inspiration for research and work.
I am still very much interested in the potential of integrating technology with weaving technique. I am attempting to become familiar with Arduino hardware and programming. It would be great to have the interactivity/reactivity piece to experiment with.
A few of  the topics that I have been thinking about and researching include: cellular degeneration, neural networks, natural occurrence of geometric patterns, life force/spirit, nano technology, life cycle, microscopic phenomena and lifeforms, bio luminescence, and repetition.
I am continuing rehab from my bout with carpal tunnel. I plan to be very proactive about physically preparing myself to produce larger scale work. I need to be smarter about how I work and about taking breaks when I am doing something requiring large amounts of repeated movement
As we start the new MFA year I have been looking at artists who have produced large scale intricate installation pieces. I have focused on work that has been woven or is very weaving like in appearance.
This is a list of a few artists I am interested in:

El Anatsui                                                                    Henrique Oliveira

Orly Gengar                                                                 Patrick Dougherty
Ernesto Neto                                                               Janet Echelman

Machiko Agano                                                            Leonardo Drew

Andrea von Chrismar