Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Is the physical activity of making a work the only consideration, or is the artist's total experience of observing, thinking, and gathering also valid?"

~Kendall Buster and Paula Crawford, The Critique Handbooks: The Art Students's Sourcebook and Survival Guide

I love this line. Of course it's valid; it's vital. One of the most frustrating comments I hear about art (some art) is that "It looks like something my five year old could make." or "I just don't think the artist put a lot of work into this piece." My Art Appreciation students say this quite a bit, usually about artists I love, such as Rothko and Cornell. Some of my work tends to be minimal to the point that it appears to lack effort. But all the reading, writing, and looking and sketching informs each piece of work. How do you convince non artists (and even some artists) that these hours of research prior to making the work, are just as important as the finished piece? Or do you let it go, and let the work speak for its self?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rust Never Sleeps

So excited to be a part of this show, juried by ECU Alum, Sharon Massey! I wish I could see it in person,  but I hear there's going to be a catalog. Check it out if you're in the Slippery Rock area!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recent Books

A few shots of some of the books I've been working on lately. Experimenting with handpainted covers and some new stitches/structures.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ring Repair

 Finally finished up a repair job I've been working on; a simple gold band that needed to be re-enameled. It wasn't a difficult repair, but it was a little nerve wracking. I've never enameled gold before, and in addition to belonging to someone else, this piece is also quite  old. But I just got word from the client yesterday, and he was quite happy with the results.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Peters Valley Re-Cap: NJ State Fair

 It's fair season here in the south, but way back in August I went and hung out at the New Jersey State Fair for a bit. Peters Valley always has a tent where we spend the entire 10 days displaying art, running hands on activities and presenting demos. I volunteered to do a torch fired enamels demo since, 1. I love to enamel, 2. Fire always gets people's attention, and 3. Peters Valley will actually be running a torch fired enamels workshop during the 2013 summer season.
 One of my fellow Artist Fellows, Jesse Lerch from the Special Topics studio was there doing an encaustics demonstration while I was firing away. I was worried that the combined heat from the torch, griddle and an August day in New Jersey would make things rater unbearable, but I actually had a great time. We demo-ed an extra 30-45 minutes past our scheduled time, to about a dozen or so interested folks in total, explaining that the enamel isn't a paint, it's actually a powdered glass, and no, Jesse is not painting ceramic tile. We then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the fair.
My favorite parts of the fair are always the animals and agriculture and less the rides and food.  This duck was such a flirt! He wouldn't stop posing for us! A prize winner for sure. There were also tons of rabbits, a few show pigeons and some chickens trying to impersonate David Bowie.
 I'm a little ashamed to admit that it took me about a day to put two and two together and realize that this "skinny pig" is really just a hairless guinea pig. I thought he was a bit cuter than his furry compatriots.
 Loved the vegetable and plant displays. There was an astounding amount of garlic. I never really thought of New Jersey as a major garlic growing state, but there you have it.

This was my other favorite thing from the fair besides the "skinny pig". I paid a dollar to see the "The Rat! The Rat! The Giant Amazonian Water Rat! Drinks Gallons of Water Daily!" The "rat" turned out to be a capybera, who was pretty stinkin' cute.
It was a long and exhausting day, but overall really fun. I rode a couple rides and ate some funnel cake, and got my fair fix in for the year. 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Process Shot of the Week

Been working, even though it doesn't seem like it on the blog. Maybe not working as much as I should be, but trying not to beat myself up over it. Anyways, pulled out the gauche and been sketching, thinking about water and the way it moves. Finally did some translations into enamel yesterday. Both use china paints (yeah, back at those china paints) and the opaque sample was much more successful than the transparent one. But neither really look like water. Still, they suggest the look of water and maybe that's all I need.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Peters Valley Re Cap: Luna Parc

 While at Peters Valley this past summer, I got to go to Luna Parc not once, but twice. Luna Parc is the home and studio of madcap artist Ricky Boscarino. The place is hard to describe, sprawling grounds, miles of mosaics and re-purposed everything, wine bottles, bowling balls, license plates and trophies. It's just 10 minutes down the road from PV, and a group of us went one Saturday, when Ricky was hosting an open house and the power was out in the studio.

 There was literally something to see everywhere you looked. The experience was a little overwhelming. Not only was there the main house, but also the metals and ceramics studios behind the house, and numerous little out buildings like this one made from cement and blue glass bottles. There was also building materials for future projects everywhere too. A little ways behind this building were several shopping carts full of more blue glass bottles.

 The inside of the house was as detailed as the outside, if not more so. Inside were more mosaics, paintings done by Ricky and various items he's collected  from his travels all over the world. This was just a small part of my favorite room, which was rather like a minerature natural history museum. My other favorite part was a tiny chapel behind the house full of all kinds of religious kitsch, like this saint covered in rosaries.
 The second time I went to Luna Parc, I went with the Special Topics class, and it was just us. I enjoyed this visit more than the first. There were less people and it was less overwhelming, so I felt like I could notice more details or absorb more. The first visit I took pictures, the second trip I sketched. The second time I went, I also actually got to meet Ricky. He showed us some areas of the house that are still in progress and weren't open to the public during the open house. I got to see more of the studio and learned that Ricky has a metals degree from SUNY New Paltz. He wanted to be a smith, but says the jewelry pays the bills.
 I have a feeling you could spend a week at Luna Parc and not see everything. It really is incredible that someone chose to live in a place like this and devoted nearly 10 years of his life to making his vision come true. I guess it goes to show you anything is possible with enough time, patience, love and and spare parts.

Oh, and yes, Ricky's house was featured on TLC's first episode or Four Houses

Friday, October 5, 2012

Perfect Pairs

Four new "Perfect Pairs" added to the Etsy Shop today! These are great little pocket books with blank pages and coordinating colors. I'm really loving some of this paper I picked up last week!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Enameled Bits

Some new enamels I made while at PV. Not sure what to do with them just yet.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Charm Swap!

 Yesterday I went to the Metals Guild Charm Swap. It's been awhile since I've participated in one. There's a lot of new faces around the department, and I found that I really don't know that many people still in the program at ECU. But such is the way of Academia, I suppose.

I always enjoy the swaps, and the was a big group of us, and all the charms were really great. The top image in the charm I took to swap. It's sterling silver and anodized niobium, which I made while I was at Peters Valley. I came home with this powder coated and spray painted "Watch for Deer" sign by current ECU grad Danielle James.

It's really fitting, because as I mentioned before, I hit a deer with my car this summer, which was really very traumatizing. One, because I love my car, and two, I'd never had to file an insurance claim before, which was complicated by the fact that I was far from home and by my lack of a permanent address. So, right off the bat, I was feeling hostile towards the species at the start of my summer. We were also all so terrified of getting Lyme's Disease and deer=deer ticks=Lyme's Disease= bad juju. We would all watch the deer and their grace and beauty and some one would inevitable mention that they were probably crawling with ticks. Also, they were in the gardens. And the middle of the road. And simply everywhere. It became a running joke that I wanted to smack on in the face with a frying pan. As I said, I was feeling a bit hostile. And just the two days ago, a neighbor was telling me about all the deer that run through this neighborhood.

So I think this needs to become my little anti-deer talisman. I might even hang it in my car. I'm not sure. Either way, it's funny and fitting. I feel like I traded one piece that reminds me of Peters Valley for another.

Thanks for reading! Happy Monday!