Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Still Here

Sorry for the complete lack of blogging in the last week. The first week of school is always so crazy, I'm sure you understand. I would like to think that things are going to settle down, but there's so many events going on in the School of Art this semester it's insane, but in a good way.

The first big event is the Print Summit, which is happening next weekend, then a few weeks later is the Making a Living, Making a Life Symposium. We have Charon Kranson coming as a visiting artist the following week. I'm really excited for this, and more than a little nervous. Then two more visiting artists are coming at the end of October to discuss creativity. Oh, and I have two geology field trips, one over night to the Outer Banks. It's a lot, and I'm going to participate in as much as I am able, but I might have to skip a few things in order to keep up with the thesis work.

Speaking of which, I feel like I've barely started my thesis. I've been working on my brooches for the exchange arranged by Loring Taoka, and I spent a lot of time last week playing with all the different painting enamels I have to teach on Thursday. And it's so much harder to keep up with the reading now that school has started. Especially since my geology class is pretty reading heavy. Right now, I'm just trying to make a little progress everyday and taking things one day at a time.

Although today I feel like I had a small breakthrough. I realized that I shouldn't even bother to put "make forms" and "enamel forms" on my to do list, since they will be there for the next seven months.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Etsy Fav

I totally want these so I can make books out of them.

Brass Lockets from weiwenhaitun.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day

Well, here we go again. Classes started today. What the hell happened to summer? At any rate, it wasn't too bad. We've got a little bit of faculty crazyness going on in our department right now. We have Ken Bova filling in for Linda while she plans the semester in Italy program and another of our faculty will be out these first few weeks recovering from surgery. But, all the classes are covered, and we're whipping the studio into shape!

I'm assisting the enameling class with Ken this semester and I'm SUPER excited! Linda will be popping in and out too, as needed. We've got a great group of students so I'm looking forward to having some great work to show off. And Ken is way cool, and I'm really looking forward to working with him.

So that was a big part of the day, along with some logistics (the symposuim is happening again!!!), but I did manage to melt some wax out of some forms that have been sitting around for a week or more. I bought myself a heat gun, which is pretty effective with melting most of the wax without setting any fires. I can then torch off the rest of the wax residue with "minimal" fire. Much safer. Although things did get a bit smokey when I was working on one of the bigger forms.

Tomorrow I get to go to my geology class! Whoot!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


"The essence of the principle of the Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is changed."

~Benjamin Hoff The Tao of Pooh

Friday, August 20, 2010

Process Shot of the Week

So this week rigged up some new anodes in the bath and got back to electroforming. Over two days I reduced this:

Down to this:
Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quote of the Week

"The images are outward, but their reflection is inward."

~Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Charm Swap

My friend Tara Locklear has organized several charm swaps since past spring, and I finally participated in one about a month ago. The theme of this round was "The Circus", and I had a really hard time with this at first. Then I figured it would be cool to find some kind of vintage circus ephemera, sandwich it between some mica and some metal frames and rivet the whole thing together. It took me a while to find the paper/circus component, but I finally came across a great vintage paper shop on Etsy, that had a bunch of old circus schedules for a buck each. So I bought one, and this is the result:

I know I'm a dork, but I'm really proud of these rivets. I don't do a whole lot of riveting.

The charm I received was from ECU graduate and former studio mate Mara Friedland! I was so excited, since I really enjoy her work, but had yet to acquire a piece. This piece is more indicative of her style of work and not so much the circus, but I absolutely love it.

Anyone can participate in these charm swaps. In fact Tara has done quite well in recruiting people outside of Greenville. If you'd like to participate, feel free to contact Tara or myself. We'd be delighted to include you!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Andalusite Cross

So I FINALLY sat down and made myself start the enamels for John. They're going to be double sided champleve, with an andalusite cross (see above) on the front and a mosaic type deal on the back. We saw mosaics just about every where we went in Italy, but for some reason the ones we saw in Rome stick with me the most. I took a bunch of pictures of the mosaic floors in the Vatican, and Marissa and I totally had this moment with one of the mosaic walls in the Borghese.

So I'm etching the crosses on the fronts first (in the acid as we speak!), then I'll pierce out my shapes, re-resist everything and etch the mosaic squares in the back. I'm a little concerned about colors though, because I'm not sure if these pinky andalusites go with the rest of the componants (smoky quartz, tiger iron, and limestone). I think I just have to make sure I stay closer to the beige/brown side, or go with a deeper sort or pink/red to go with the tiger iron.

Anyways, I'll figure it out. I'm just glad they're started.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Performance of duty without attachment.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Movie Review: The Cove

I know I don't usually do this, but I just watched "The Cove" last night, and it was pretty horrifying. "The Cove" is the 2009 Academy Award winning documentary on the annual dolphin slaughter in Tiaji, Japan.

A lot of the movie centers around activist Richard O'Barry, who helped capture and train five dolphins for the "Flipper" series. After one of the dolphins died in his arms, he had a complete change of heart and immediately set to freeing captive dolphins. Read more about his incredible story here.

The title "The Cove" refers to a secluded lagoon in Tiaji, where over 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered each year. The way they "heard" the dolphins into the lagoon is one of the most inhumane things I've ever seen. Some of them are selected as show dolphins, and the rest are killed for meat. Meat laden with toxic amounts of mercury. Most of the Japanese people don't even realize that they're buying dolphin meat, because it's usually mislabeled as higher quality whale meat. The city council of Tiaji was even planning on introducing dolphin meat into the school lunch program. They wanted to feed MERCURY LADEN MEAT TO SCHOOL CHILDREN!

This movie made me sad to be part of humanity and really glad that I don't live in Japan. But the lengths the film crew went through to make this documentary were pretty incredible. You can't help but admire their compassion and courage. And you've gotta love cameras hidden in fake rocks.

Anyways, that's my little soap box rant. You should totally see this movie. If you're an ECU student, you can get it from Joyner Library after I return it.

Quote of the Week

Moyers: "In this sense, unlike heros such as Prometheus or Jesus, we're not going on our journey to save the world, but to save ourselves.

Campbell: "But in doing that, you save the world."

~ The Power of Myth

In other words, I can not hope to save the world if I can not first save myself. In saving myself I save the world.

By the way, I totally found The Power of Myth at my local Barnes and Nobel in hardback for $8. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Yes, I changed the image to the right. Yes it's a rabbit humping a chicken. No, sadly it is not mine. I don't know much about it other than I cut it out of an old Art Forum magazine out of an add for Tommy White at the Harris Lieberman gallery, and pasted it in the front of my sketch book. It's my favorite thing about that sketchbook.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Sorry it's been a few days, but I spent this weekend in Atlanta, attending the wedding of two very, very dear friends of mine. Congratulations Dan and Marion!

So, as for the Italy group of rosaries, Matthew, Mark, Luke are all finished. John is nearly there, I just have some design stuff to sort out with the enamels, and then of course, the execution. I have all the other elements figured out, so it's frustrating to be this close and be this stuck on some other aspect of the design.

I've made three additional "other" rosaries since that shell one I posted. I've basically been going though my bead stores and putting things together. And since I don't keep actual rosary parts on hand, I've taken a bit of creative liberty with the crucifix, and center medallion pieces. I like what I've come up with though. Sort of understated. I see them as a kind of "non-denominational" rosary.

The black one on the far right is a seven decade rosary, similar to the rosaries certain sects of monks use. It's going in my studio space. The other two are hanging in my apartment.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


So I had another "Universe Moment" today. Something I read helped me finally make sense of a past encounter and put it in the light of the present. I wrote up a whole post about it, quote included, super excited about this newest little tidbit of clarity, went to spell check it, and whoops! Two thirds of it disappeared.

I couldn't bring myself to re-type it. Maybe it's not important. Maybe it's only important to me. Maybe our shining moments of clarity are only significant to us because they're ours.

So here's something a little more universal, a recent great Etsy find, I've been wanting to post:


Monday, August 2, 2010


I'm reading more and more in preparation for my thesis paper, so you're likely to get more than one quote a week for a while. Right now I'm working on "The Power of Myth" and I have the Upanishads waiting in the wings as well as a short book of meditations from a monk I picked up super cheap yesterday at the bookstore. Oh, and another translation of the Gita. It might be time to get back into my GoodReads account and update it.

If you haven't read "The Power of Myth" you should. The whole book is an interview/discussion between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell. Here's a passage I read this morning that I found particularly pertinent:

Moyers: "Have all men at all times felt some sense of exclusion from an ultimate reality, from bliss, from delight, from perfection, from God?"

Campbell:"Yes, but you also have moments of ecstasy. The difference between everyday living and living in those moments of ecstasy is the difference between being outside and inside the Garden. You go past fear and desire, past the pair of opposites."

Moyers:"Into harmony?"

Campbell: "Into transcendence."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Monastic buildings show us how an intense interior life may generate an outward form of art, craft and the care of things. Out of a simple life has come an extraordinary heritage of books, illuminated pages, sculpture, architecture, and music. The cultivation of inner life overflows with outward displays of beauty and richness."

~Thomas Moore Meditations: On the Monk Who Dwells in Daily Life