Monday, January 30, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices.Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you."


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Make-a-Day 1/26-28

I moved back into Linda and Terry's house on Thursday, and immediately set about to pulling out all my art stuff and setting up a space to work. I also started my "Make and Object a Day" challenge, and three days in, I've got three objects. So far, so good.

Yesterday I made this little green Swiss and Stamps book with Swiss maps and vintage stamps.
Friday, I made these crazy earrings at the end of a full day of work and a couple days of an annoying sinus allergy thing. I finally took some anti-histamines (pill packages seen here), and got a little loopy making these. This is also when I decided that I just have to make something everyday: it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be something.

This book was Thursday's effort; both it and the Swiss book are "X" books, made by folding and tearing a single sheet pf paper. I filled it with all sorts of vintage paper things I have in my collection. I love the look of these things, so why not use them? What am I saving them for?

I'm trying not to get caught up in what I'm going to do with all these things once I make them. I suppose I could always start sticking them in mail boxes around the neighborhood.

Happy weekend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Symposium 2012: Book Brooch

I've got a few minutes before I rush off to the next thing, so I thought I'd post a little about the Symposium. I had a really great time this year. Partially because I didn't have to do any of the work, but mainly because there were more hands on activities as well as more presenters over all. I think that we all learned at last year's symposium that the workshops we had were just too full. By adding more workshops, each workshop had a more reasonable number of people in it so you could see more and do more.

One of my favorites was Amy Tavern's workshop on just making something, anything (well, a piece of jewelry) out of the materials you have on hand. She provided us with leather, fabric, cardboard, staples, tape, string and a few other things and told us to get to work. We had an hour to make a piece of jewelry.

These are some photos of one of my pieces (courtesy of Amy). I knew as soon as I saw the slick, glossy paper that I wanted to use some of that! I'd had a book technique that I'd been wanting to try rolling around in my head, so I started with that and just kept folding. The overall shape I came up with is a little too similar to the shapes that Amy uses for me to feel comfortable with it, so I tried to make it more my own through the mark making.

I also really enjoyed some of the conversations that came out of this exercise and hearing Amy talk about her work habits. She talks about how easy it is to get distracted, which I can totally identify with. Amy said that she'll tell her self to just go work for an hour, go sit at the bench for an hour and then she can go do something else if things aren't working out. I found myself doing something similar, yet opposite. If I just work on this job application for an hour, I can go play in the studio.

The recurring theme that I kept seeing pop up at this symposium was making something everyday. Renee Zettle-Sterling spoke about it in her keynote lecture, and Amy discussed it in her workshop. I've heard more than one person, post-symposium, say that they were going to implement this practice into their own lives. I'd been thinking about trying to make a book a day, once I'm back at Linda's where I can spread out, but maybe I'll open it up to just make something, one thing every single day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Whew! It has been NON STOP since I got back to Greenville!

On my way down, I stopped and saw dear friend and all around awesome person Jennifer Wells. She's got the cutest little studio, in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. We took a walk down to the river, where I got some choice rocks, and I even got to pet a cow. I got a lot of prep work done for my class and some sketching, but just being in Jen's studio had me itching to get back at the bench.

I started teaching an Art Appreciation class last week at a community college about an hour away. I like it well enough so far, my students seem cool, but learning a whole new system and administration is stressing me out a bit. (Anyone have any tips on Moodle?) Also, the lectures take FOREVER to prep and I'm still figuring out the pacing.

This past weekend was the 3rd Annunal ECU Metals Symposium and all that entails. It was crazy busy and a lot of fun. I got to see many friends from out of town, but after four nights in a row of being social, I think I'm ready for some serious down time. (read: hermetic)

Today, I started a part time job at the Children's Museum and Science Center in Rocky Mt, NC. I'm a little overwhelmed, but excited. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'll be doing everything from working at the front desk selling tickets to helping with demos and birthday parties to caring for the live collections.

All of this, plus Hot Under the Collar (I spent two full hours last night dealing with show emails and entries) has left little to no studio time. I'd fully intended to enter the Honey Exhibition, and even started my piece on Monday. But at some point yesterday, I realized that there's no way I can make this piece happen by the deadline Friday. I'm feeling really guilty about not making, especially since people keep asking about it.

And to top it off, I've been crashing with various generous friends. I'm grateful I know such awesome people who are willing to take me in, but I'll feel a lot better once I'm back in my own space (aka, Linda's place, which isn't really mine either). I thrive on routine, and I'm just waiting for things to settle down. I'm hoping once I'm back at Linda's with a space to work and all my stuff, I'll get back into the rhythm of making. I did some sketching while I was home and visiting Jen, so that counts right?

So anyways, 2012 is off to a whirlwind start. Hopefully it will settle down soon and I can get back to making stuff.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quote of the Week

"I am not what I am. I am what I do with my hands."

~Louise Bourgeois

Monday, January 9, 2012

Deadline Extended!!!

The Hot Under the Collar Deadline has been extended to February 1st, 2012!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good News!!!

Lavender Pearl Necklace by Amy Tavern

I just found out that the necklace exhibition I'm curating is in fact insured! Yay! There's still time to apply, the deadline is January 15th.

To get the prospectus you can go here or here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quote of the Week

"I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported and comforted. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. It's the history of mankind's search for holiness. If humanity had never evolved in its exploration of the divine, a lot of us would still be worshiping golden Egyptian statues of cats. And this evolution of religious thinking does involve a fair bit of cherry-picking. You take whatever works for you from wherever you can find it, and you keep moving toward the light."

~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

You take whatever works for you, from wherever you can find it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolution: More or Less

I just spent about an hour re-reading all my blog posts from 2011. It was an interesting year starting off with the ECU Symposium and progressing to my Thesis exhibition and graduation. Next came a summer of travel (to Arrowmont in June and July and Peter's Valley in August) and meeting more amazing people than I can count. Then, the utter bewilderment of winding up right back where I started, endless paperwork and nothing happening in the studio except some production pieces and a whole lot of bad enameling. Interspersed in all this were a few small disasters (the study abroad office screwing up my financial aid, Overnight Prints screwing up my show postcards, the Post Office screwing up nearly everything, the Grad and Registrar Office screwing up my paperwork and not posting my degree, the debate over my show in Phoenix, etc.) and A LOT of time in the car.

All this looking back has made me come to a startling and unsettling realization: I was a better person 6 months ago. I was a stronger, more fearless, more giving, grateful and centered person at the start of 2011 than at the end. The art was certainly better, and I'm wondering "What the hell happened?"

I'm not the type for New Years Resolutions, preferring to make dozens of smaller resolutions hundreds of times throughout the year, which I keep anywhere from 30 seconds up to a month or so. I've come to the understanding that one can make a change in one's life whenever one is ready and any day can be the start of the next new year.

I know the changes I want to make, they're always the same: more making, more making things happen, less stress, less worry, less anxiety. More beach, more love, more time with friends, less jealousy, more breathing. More cooking and baking and sewing and time outside. Less wanting and spending and time wasting. More giving and forgiving. Less existential despair, and more being "ok".

But it's hard to feel motivated safely ensconced on my parents couch, following the too full days of the holiday season. But I'll be back down south in a week or so, and for me the feeling of a chance to start over is typically tied to going, or even going back to a place. I'm teaching a class at a community college this spring, and I'm hoping the two day a week obligation will anchor me somewhat in my unfocused adrift of a life. You know, the chance to be more than just a walking talking cat bed.

So Happy New Year, today and everyday. Cheers.