Friday, January 31, 2014

  More adventures.  

I am actually finding bursts of energy here and there to make some stuff.  Mostly experiments.  Things that I had been meaning to finish up.  We have some incredible things happening at school.  I can't quite talk about it yet but it is kind of big.  I have two commissions, a solo show, two classes, two workshops, one group show and of course the digi lab to manage.  There is a lot on my plate right now.  I am keeping up but just barely.  So far so good.  I will try to keep things going on the blog but it is a stretch.  

  I had this bag of prints sitting on my desk and I finally strung them together.  Also we finally put the last layer of ink on the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow prints. Not too bad.  I still think they need something more.  Good news is we wont run out of spoil boards anytime soon.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

ECU symposium

Liz and I recently returned from a whirlwind tour of the south. In a lot of ways we miss living there. Living in New York for so long has changed us and we forgot what it is like to interact with happy people.  It is so strange when you go into a store and hear  "Hello, good morning, how are you darling?" or "Are you two okay? can I get you anything?", "Just hollar if you need something."  It just makes you feel good. It is such a contrast from what we have grown accustomed to.  While the conference was incredible our visit was somewhat bittersweet. My father is recovering from a serious illness and needed some TLC. So our visit down south dovetailed together neatly with a visit back home. 

 I was invited to demonstrate electrolytic etching at East Carolina University's Metal symposium. This year the theme was Material Topics: “Image and Meaning”. It was the first time in a while that I have had an opportunity to lecture on my complete body of work. While the schedule was a tight, two, two hours sessions back to back, I think that it was a hit. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces in the audience and poking around the symposium. 

The following day I was off the hook. I tried to step into as many demonstrations and exhibitions as I could.  I have found that you can go crazy trying to do everything.  I am sure my experience was just the tip of the iceberg.  I think I came close to seeing everything before I ultimately succumbed to sleep. 

 So in order here are the highlights: David Clemons kicked off the conference. His lecture was great. I have to say that it was one of the more captivating metals lecture I have attended in years. His work crosses boundaries few dare to go.  I also scored a sweet print from him which I am stoked to get in a frame and up in my studio (pictures soon). Teresa Faris's lecture was also compelling and moving. It was amazing to see such emotion balanced with humorous collaboration. The 50/50 show was a power house of an exhibition. It was a who's who of metals folks. It was curated my Bob Ebendorf and Tara Locklear. I was honored to be a part of it (photos below). I was so mesmerized by all the work that I didn't take any photos. I am stealing Tara's facebook photos for the blog. There was a reliquary show with some great pieces (Lin Stanionis pieces pictured below.  To quote Bruce Pepich from his great lecture during the symposium her work ".....totally rolled my socks down!"), I do I do an exhibition put together by Nicole Jacquard and the IU grad students and finally the Saw, File Solder relay! They should title next years relay "There will be blood!"  I also loved the demos by Avery Lucas (chaising), Andrew Kuebeck (photo transfer and leather embossing) and Alison Pack (micro shell forming).  At the end of the symposium the president of SNAG Renee Zettle-Sterling announced that Bob Ebendorf was receiving the Life Time achievement award.  It was an emotional acceptance and the cherry on the sundae for the whole event. CONGRATS Bob! 

 So to sum it all up, it was a smaller, more intimate conference when compared with SNAG. It reflected the younger, vibrant, energized metals scene. It is such an amazing group of people, all doing different things yet functioning normally unlike some of the more sterile, antisocial, faceless conferences that I have been to in the past.  It was invigorating and exhausting at the same time. I miss having such a positive creative community. I am excited to be able to start the semester again. There is so much great stuff happening at school. It is nice to be home with Taco and I am happy to sit still for a minute before getting back to work.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The new year

   So in usual fashion nothing ever slows down for me.  It is just layers and layers of being crazy busy.  Unfortunately, over the break my father fell very ill and has been hospitalized.  It is unclear what will happen but for now he is where he needs to be with around the clock attention until he is better and can go home.  It has put me in a funk of sorts which is a bad place to be when you are busy and have deadlines. 

     With the semester looming and multiple commitments to workshops, lectures and everything else life is throwing at me right now I was actually given an incredible gift by a colleague.  He actually forced me to slow down and make something just for fun. It has been a long time since I had just gone into the studio without having to make a piece for a show or crank out 100 little doo dads.  Sadly, as I grow older I actually use the word "fun" less and less.

   I don't think it is a secret that I have found myself doing exactly what I want and I am still not happy.  I can't quite put my finger on it.  I have always thought that when the passion is gone it is time to move on.  This gift that was given to me to just play in the studio is exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.   I really had a blast, and it has given me some hope that I will be able to actually start this year on the good foot.  

   My new years resolution is to remain positive.  I am going to make the fun things more important than the not so fun things.  I am going to take more time for myself and my family.   

  So....for some reason I have been saving the spoil boards from the CNC.  The CNC had a table top that I level using a leveling bit.  Normally you don't want to cut into the table top.  So we lay down a spoil board to cut on.  I have collected about a dozen of them.  One day a fellow technician Dylan MCmanus who happens to be a printmaker said  "We should print those."  I kind of brushed it off at the time.  For some reason I like them as objects and couldn't visualize them "on paper".  Until now.  Here are a few photos documenting what we are doing.  There is much more to come but for now we are starting with two layer then three, then four..  The sky is the limit.