Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


So, I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of this fork and spoon, fabricated by the ever talented Jennifer Wells, in the mail. I have to make handles for these sexy things by Nov. 5th. I'm not panicking. . . .yet. I'll probably electroform something, 'cause that's what I do, and enamel them dark rock gray. Could be a couple of sleepless nights headed my way. But I can't sleep half the time anyway, so I might as well be productive, right?

Monday, October 25, 2010


Vessel by Loring Taoka

I should have posted this a couple weeks ago, but it totally slipped my mind, like most things that aren't right in front of my face these days. I have a piece featured in Loring Taoka's online exhibition "Non/Functional" over on Crafthaus. Here's the blurb:

"Non/Functional” is an online exhibition that features Crafthaus members from a variety of media. This exhibition questions the role of functional objects and how dependent function is on context."

It's great little exhibition, featuring a variety of work.Check it out here.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.

The Universe is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to hold it, you will lose it.

So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind;
Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily;
Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
Sometimes one is up and sometimes down.

Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses and complacency."

~ #29 of the Tao Te Ching.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Progress Report

I'm having one of those rare moments today where I actually feel ok about where I'm at in terms of the work. After I finished my first two pieces the other week, I immediately stuck them in a box and didn't look at them again until yesterday when I had a conversation with Bob about them. I always enjoy talking with Bob, and he definitely said some things that I needed to hear. He confirmed my own feelings that there's something not quite right with Sacra Sancta, and we talked about some possible solutions. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, and I'm going to talk to Ken about it later this week, but it won't be anything too drastic.

I'm stripped all the salt off my pieces for Salt in the Soul, and also realized that I need to drill some holes in my forms if I have any hope of stringing them. So I'm not so upset about the back tracking. Since I kind of have to conform to the salt's time line, I'm not real worried about finishing this piece right away, but it should be done by the end of the semester.

I've made a lot of progress on the wall brooches, up to 93 now, and I've made a little progress on Flow Like Water, which is going to be my main focus next. I finished the Upanishads, started the first book of Rumi's Masnavi, and a different translation of the Baghavad Gita. But, I think my reading is going to shift towards the resources for my geology paper until I get that done. Back to a more art and science flavor and less theology/philosophy/spirituality.

I also decided that Gray Prayer and Lightness of Being are going to go in the show. At first I wasn't going to use any old work, because I wanted to prove some kind of point. I'm not exactly sure what point, but I'm pretty sure it's something I thought I had to prove to myself. But I woke up Sunday morning and decided that these two pieces should be in the show, and it feels right.

Anyways, that's where I'm at on this gray Wednesday. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quote of the Week

So I just got this wonderful book Jewel: Hesitations in Art by Tanel Veenre. I am absolutely drooling over this work and the writing is fantastic also:

"Jewellry is crystallized poetry, a precious compact genre with a finely honed vocabulary of patterns. Spare, but taut. Art requires to be one's own storyteller."

How can I get to this crystallized poetry?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guest Star

Well what do you know, I was featured as a "Guest Star" over on Amy Tavern's blog!

I was fortunate enough to finally meet Amy in person a few weeks ago, and listen to her give a great lecture about her work. I've been following her blog for quite a while now, and it's been incredible to see her work evolve. We didn't get a chance to chat much face to face during her visit to ECU, but hopefully we'll get to hang out again in the near future.

You can read her post about me here.

Coastal Processes Field Trip

I got to go to the beach this weekend. I bet you're super jealous. Ok, maybe you're not, since it was a learning trip to the beach and not a leisure trip, but it was still a lot of fun.
We started off in Duck on Friday at the USACE Field Research Facility. We sat through a brief presentation, saw some cool equipment/vehicles that they use to collect data, and then walked out to the end of this giant pier. It was all pretty cool, and we even saw some dolphins. Although personally I think the diving cormorants were much more interesting than the dolphins. There were bunches of jellyfish too.
Then we went to Run Hill, a place that only Outer Banks locals really know about. We hiked around a bit, found a snake and ate lunch with this spectacular view of the sound.
Next up was more hiking through Nags Head Woods. It was a very pretty little hike. We saw dozens of Bay trees. I never realized that the Bay leaves used in cooking came from trees. I guess I just assumed they were some kind of bush or something. All that green stuff in the photo above is some kind of water plant. We speculated on the likely hood of alligators.
A nice view of the marsh.
The edge of the marsh. We took a core sample of the peat around here.
After that we went to Jockey's Ridge, which was pretty neat. I'd been there a couple times before, but had never hiked all the way out to the top of the dunes. This is a view of the sound from the dunes. There was a hang gliding class going on at the top of the next dune, which was kinda fun to watch.
Our last stop for Day 1 was the beach at Nag's Head which has this fantastic garnet sand. I totally brought some home. It's gorgeous. We also went to a section of the beach where everything's eroding and the beach houses are condemned and falling the ocean. We talked a bit about beach nourishment and management, etc.
The Atlantic at Nag's Head.

We spent the night at a tiny motel in Salvo, grabbed some dinner and some beer and just hung out for the rest of the evening. A few of us hit the beach in the dark, and tried to figure out what the mysterious thing out in the water was.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures from Day 2 because there's something wrong with my camera (sad face). We hit the beach once more at dawn to see if we could figure out what that thing was in the daylight (we couldn't) before heading off to breakfast. After that, we backtracked up to Oregon Inlet, New Inlet, the Haulover, Isabel Inlet and Cape Hatteras, so see where the light house had been and how the beach there is eroding. We did some ground penetrating radar too.

Then we hopped a ferry over to Ocracoke, hiked through all this marsh grass to talk to some Upenn students who were studying the overwash there, and then to the beach where we dug a trench to look at the sediment layers deposited by the tides. Then we caught another ferry back to the main land, which was really great. I like being on boats and this was a 2 and half hour ride across the sound. Much cooler than 2 1/2 hours in a van.

All in all it was a great weekend. I got to hang out with a different group of people for once which was nice. And while I did get asked about my work and what I do, it was nice to not talk quite so much shop. Or at least listen to people talking a different kind of shop. I got to see the ocean, which is always good for me, and collect some sand and some other cool things. I even got some input on how to fix the issue I'm having with my salt crystals for Salt in the Soul. It was exhausting, but good.

Now I'm buckling in for what's sure to be another crazy week. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quote of the Week

I may have posted this before, I don't remember, but here it is again, because it bears repeating:

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don't give up."

~Anne Lamott

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Break

So we're on Fall Break this weekend, and I've been trying to make the most of a few days off. I gotten nearly everything accomplished that I wanted to. I finished two thesis pieces, did some cleaning and laundry, some cooking and baking and some hard core bookmaking. The only things I haven't done that I really wanted to were spend some time down in printmaking, finish reading the Upanishads and make some brooches. All on the slate for today, as classes start again tomorrow. *Sad Face*

Here's some shots of Gray Grief: Potato/Rock being strung up yesterday. Only because Mike Moore asked for them.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Process Shots

I know what I said about process shots, but these were just too sexy not to post.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quote of the Week

"The 'turn', the moving meditation done by Mevlevi dervishes, originated with Rumi. The story goes that he was walking in the goldsmithing section of Konya when he heard a beautiful music in their hammering. He began turning in harmony with it, an ecstatic dance of surrender and yet with great centered discipline. He arrived at a place where ego dissolves and a resonance with universal soul comes in."

~Coleman Barks

Monday, October 4, 2010

Progress Report

So I think my "Process Shots of the Week" are morphing into "Progress Reports of the Week." Or maybe every other week, depending on how much I have to report.

So, I'm getting close to finishing my first thesis piece, Sacra Sancta. Like I mentioned before, one of the original rocks I made for this piece was too small, and I had to make another. The smaller rock has found a home in a different piece. The second rock came out of the bath this morning, and oh my god, it's surface is PERFECT. I'm a little sad that it's going to get covered up with enamel.

I've got another little detail of the piece to nail down, and then I'll be ready to string it up. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to do this yet, since even my longest needle is too short and I'm almost positive I'm going to have to splice threads together. This is one of those pieces that's going to be trickier to pull off than the final product will look.

I made ten more wall brooches last night, and added the "Brooch Counter" off to the right this morning. This is just a rough estimate, I need to go through and nail down my exact numbers.

Have I mentioned that my thesis title is Lithic Fragments?