Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo. . . .

As a Halloween bonus, here's the horror show of enamels I've made in the past few weeks. Muddy china paints, sinking cloisonne wires, base coats coming up through the top layer, accidentally grabbing an opaque when I thought it was a transparent, dropping things in the kiln or on the screen or on the floor or in the sink. October was one of the crappiest months I've had in the studio EVER.

I was going to add that blue atrocity from this post to the pile, but now I can't find it. Maybe one of the cats ate it.

Happy Halloween!

One of the spookiest rabbits of all time: Bunnicula.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peter's Valley Part 4

The first of the two classes that ran in the Fine Metals Studio while I was at Peter's Valley was Beginning Metals taught by Raychel Wengenroth. It was a jam packed class that covered a TON of techniques. The students were super eager to learn everything and Raychel was just one of the sweetest people, with truly impeccable craftsmanship. Seriously, I don't know anyone who brings anything to a high polish, let alone everything to a high polish. We all had fun rockin' out in the studio, but the New Jersey State Fair was happening down the road, and Raychel and I managed to get away to see it one evening, despite the rain.
I'm not super into riding all the rides, but I do enjoy the look of the. The ferris wheel was them only one I managed to get a shot of though.
I love fairs for the agriculture. I've never done any real farming beyond a vegetable garden, but there was some farming blood in my family in the not so distant past. I don't really have any interest in farming myself, but I do appreciate the amount of work and dedication it takes.
Baby goats!
I was so enamored with this rabbit. He looked like a ghost rabbit, and also looked like he'd be super speedy.I'd totally love to have a rabbit like this someday, but out of about 50 or so rabbits on display, he was the only one without a label on his cage, so I have no idea what breed he is.
Bunny butt!
There were a couple of these crazy show pigeons that looked they they were wearing feather boas. I've never seen anything like it.

I would have liked to spent a little more time at the fair, but after checking out the livestock, the Peter's Valley booth and the domestic arts exhibits, the fair was closing for the day. I also missed both the Pitt County Fair and the North Carolina State Fair, which makes me mad because neither of them are very far away. I just didn't get off my lazy butt to go. Oh well, who knows what state I'll be in next year!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Process Shot of the Week

So I've spent the past few days watching spooky movies and turning this:

Into this:

And then these:

Check 'em out in the paper shop!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Two of the four exhibitions I'm in are opening this weekend. Tonight, the Greenville Museum of Art Jurried Exhibition will open with a reception from 5:30-7. I got a brief sneak peak when I went to pick up my rejected piece and it looks like a great show, representing many different media by many talented locals.

If you're close to Catskill NY, check out the Masters on Main Round 3 opening tomorrow afternoon. It starts at 4pm, and will be followed with a booty shaking party at a local hang out, with live music by the resident didgeridoo player. There will be 12 installations, including my own. I really wish I could go to this opening, not only to see the awesome work, but because it sounds like such a fun time. Here's an except from the press release:

"With a focus on site specific sculptures, exhibitors’ projects include a fiber installation addressing themes of chance, order, and chaos by Eunjeong Lee from the SUNY New Paltz MFA program; an atmospheric sculptural video installation work by Seo Jo from New York University’s MFA program; an interactive mini-opera by San Francisco Art Institute’s Brad Messenger; a site specific installation from University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA candidate Ariel Lavery creating work based on the recent flooding from Tropical Storm Irene; an apocalyptic photography series by Matthew Cetta and mysterious composite portraits by Justin Bitely both from School of Visual Arts BFA Photography program; a series of exhibitions by 2011 summer residents of the Byrdcliffe Art Colony featuring work in
ceramics, sculpture, painting, and installation; one-night-only sculptural installations responding to the town’s Main Street created by collaborative groups from the SUNY New Paltz MFA and BFA programs; one-of-a-kind necklaces and broaches made from rocks, gold leaf and silk thread, both wearable and conceptual by East Carolina University’s Liz Steiner; and Kathleen Faught’s photographic explorations of meditative waterscapes."

If you can't make it to either of these openings, I hope you venture out to see the art in your area! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's Goin' On

I suppose a few of you may be wondering what I've been up to professionally lately. I've been applying for both jobs and shows and trying to keep track of deadlines and when which pieces are out. I actually bought a calender, and feel it is only a matter of time before I have to jump to a keeping a day planner, something I've never done. I never even wrote down my homework assignments in school, because I could usually remember everything.

I subbed a metals class on Monday at the local community college, and today I get to give an enameling demo for another metals class. I need to make a sketch book because I'm getting ready to start research for a new body of work. Probably no actual pieces for a while, but I'm in a sketching/gathering mood. I need to make some pieces for some shows including this one.

I was a little surprised at myself yesterday when I realized that I currently have work in four exhibitions. Maybe it's not that much, but I feel like it's the most work I've ever had out at once. If you're in any of these areas stop by and see it for yourself:

Alchemy, Arrowmont Galleries, Gatlinburg, TN

Radical Alchemy, Courthouse Galleries, Portsmouth, VA

Annual Juried Exhibition, Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, NC

Masters on Main, Round 3, Downtown Catskill, NY

So that's what I've been up to, besides keeping track of everyone else's keys and taking care of everyone else's pets.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peter's Valley Part 3

Swimmin' Hole eat your heart out. . .

One of my favorite things I did while at Peter's Valley was go swimming at Crater Lake. It was just so beautiful and peaceful. The water was shallow and warm. There were large rocks that were also warm (sometimes I need to sun myself like a lizard). And after the bus load of kids left 1o minutes after we arrived, there were only a few other people around.

Crater Lake is sort of a local secret. It's hard to find and doesn't show up on GPS, so you have to have someone show you where it is by actually taking you there. I only went with two other people, and even though I tried to pay close attention, I have a terrible sense of direction, and don't think I could find this place again. But after that first week, I didn't really have time to go anyway.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Process Shot of the Week

Well it was a bit of a crazy week getting stuff together for an exhibition, and sending out applications, and a misplaced package at the post office so I didn't get in a whole lot so studio time, but here's some stuff from the past couple weeks.

The prints may look familiar: I made them in my Stencil Madness: Monoprint Gone Crazy class at Arrowmont this summer. At our final mini crit, another student in the class said how she would love to see these translated into jewelry, which I thought was interesting, so I tucked that in the back of my head. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a fantastic piece by Kathryn Osgood (always a favorite of mine) at the Greenville Museum of Art. It was a pretty sizable piece, and it was framed. I'm not sure if it was wearable or not, but it got me thinking about making really beautiful enamels just for the sake a making really beautiful enamels, and not necessarily worrying about making them wearable. I know, I know, getting away from the idea of making these images into jewelry, but I thought maybe there's room for both.

So, I went back to the imagery from the prints I made this summer, and pressed some die forms and tried to make that translation. Well, the first one, the dark red color scheme, was so bad. It just came out looking like mud. So I decided to do some watercolor "sketches" first, to lay out compositions. I find these watercolors immensely satisfying, but I tried another enamel anyways. Still not so great. I've been using the under glazes and over glazes on these, but I think they would translate better with the acrylics, so I might try one more with those. Or maybe I'll just go buy some water color paper.

Happy weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peter's Valley Part 2

The Fine Metals studio at Peter's Valley is up at the part of the campus called Thunder Mountain, along with the Photo, Fibers Surface, Woodworking and Special Topics studios. It's quite a hike to Thunder Mountain (neither thuderous nor a mountain), over a road rife with pot holes and puddles, one large enough to be a small pond. But still, the drive was very beautiful, and I found myself staring at the ponds and swamps even though I drove past them several times a day.

The fine metals studio is small but very well equipped. Biefi Cao, the Fine Metals Fellow for the summer, and my boss did A TON of work cleaning and organizing the studio before I even got there with the help of the other assistants. They were replacing the lights when I got there. Biefi and I cleaned out the storage closet and painted it to match the fresh paint in the rest of the studio.

There wasn't a metals class my first week there so after I sorted through all the enameling stuff, and finished mucking out the closet, there wasn't much else to do but make work. There isn't much to do at PV anyways, other than make work. I posed for a drawing for the kids day camp, and spent a day making books with them, but other than that, I was in the studio, making, making, making.

And counting rabbits. There were rabbits everywhere.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pondering. . .

Trying to get myself back on track. . . . .

Quote of the Week

"A new moon teaches gradualness and deliberation and how one gives birth to oneself slowly. Patience with small details make perfect a large work, like the Universe."

~Rumi, New Moon, Hilal

Friday, October 7, 2011

Arrowmont Pt. 3

I know I'm ping ponging a bit, but I do want to show off some of the work I made at Arrowmont. My first workshop was Plastics and Resins for Jewelry with James Thurman. I have to admit, I'm not a plastics kinda gal. I tend to develop an uncomfortable skin rash as a result of working with most plastics. I also kinda hate the feelof most plastics. Give me stone or glass. But, I was interested in the mold making aspect of the workshop, and hoped to learn about some different resin products that I might not be allergic to.

We experimented with several casting resin, Rio's Colores system, two types of silicone mold materias, and made soon to be pateted Thurmanite; layers of paper held together by layers of industrial airplane resin. We went over the basics of how to turn our plastic components into jewelry, and some studio set up. We also had the best Tuesday night kareoke ever that week.

I, of course spent the week making plastic rocks from model train rock molds and molds I made from rocks I found. Which, as it turns out are pretty convincing as real rocks, leading me to believe that my only real talent is the parlor trick of making fake rocks out of anything. I also made some rosary components with air dry paper clay and the Colores System. I was pleasantly surprised that they turned out exactly how I wanted them too, seeing as I'd never worked with those two materials before. I'm pretty pleased with the finished rosary too, it's perfectly sparkly and oceanesque. Sorry I don't have a picture, but the white/turquoise pieces are the reject components.

I really enjoyed the Thurmanite also. The cutting/shaping isn't super fun, but I really like the results. I just wish I knew what to do with it.

James was super great also, super knowledgeable and super high energy. The class produced a TON of stuff. I probably produced the least, because I was concerned about my skin allergy (which did start to pop up by the end of the week). It was still a great workshop, even if I don't think plastics will ever be my thing (did I mention that I also hate being sticky?), but it's still a good set of skills to have.

Now what do I do with all those plastic rocks?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Peter's Valley Part 1.

I've only mentioned Peter's Valley, and it's been more than a month since I left, so I thought I'd better blog about it a bit. For those of you not familiar, PV is a craft school much like Penland or Arrowmont, only not as big or well known, located in the middle of the Deleware Water Gap, near Layton, NJ. Seriously could not be more different than Gatlinburg, TN! This was the best thing about PV, how beautiful it was (when it wasn't raining). This is the swamp across from the building where I slept. I loved this view. I'd go out and sit by the swamp if the weather was nice and I had free time
This is Hilltop, where I and several of my fellow assistants stayed on the upper floor. The downstairs is the weaving studio. Unfortunately, only one class ran in that studio in the time I was there, and that was the week I went to dog sit. PV had a lot of class cancellations, due to enrollment, and later in the summer, the weather. Only two metals classes ran while I was there, which was a bit dissappointing. Especially when Marjorie Simon's Torch Fired Enamels class was canceled because PV was still without power after Irene.
They were firing the Amagana kiln at PV while I was there too, so I got to seem 2 Amagana's fired this summer. The first was at Arrowmont, and there was actually a student from the A-mont class that was also in the PV class! Small world! I didn't get to see much of the firing though, because of the distance between their studio and my own, but I did get to walk inside of it. That's the real downside to PV, everything is so spread out. You have to drive everywhere. It's nearly 2 miles through the woods from where I stayed up to the metals studio. It just didn't foster the same sense of community of Arrowmont. But, since the land and the buildings at PV are owned by the park system, there's only so much they can do.
PV has a blacksmithing studio, which I thought was pretty cool. Only one class ran while I was there, which was a bummer. I didn't spend much time there, but I did go check it out, and took pictures of all the tools.

More to come! Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Arrowmont Recap Pt. 2

Just a few more shots from Arrowmont. It's beginning to feel like forever ago that I was there. I find myself missing it, and wanting to go back.