intervention

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My collaborator and I plan to intervene in this space in some way this week.  It’s currently a large ashtray/garbage can with a very attractive bench attached.  Our survey shows that people spend time there waiting for class to start and perhaps reading.  Survey also says that nothing has been reported to grow in this space for quite some time.  Some feel it would make a good garden.  One soul has attempted this task planting what looks to be a small avocado tree.

life before grad school.

it’s grim.  haha.

after 8 months of living a somewhat subsidized life (via student loan money) i hit a financial wall.  all the sudden i found myself with bills up the wazoo and no money to pay them.  omg, i had to find a job! 

in gainesville. 

kind of the land of way too much supply and not enough demand (job candidate-wise). 

i had been putting aps in at the hospital all semester, picking up shifts at planned parenthood and the sweetwater branch inn (as banquet staff) but the hospital wasn’t calling me and with out student loan cash i wasn’t making ends meet.  i mean, the pp here isn’t even open on saturday! (hitherto my bread and butter day as a contract employee.)   so i hustled.  i EVEN wrote a resume specifically for reception.  (i hate making new job specific resumes.)  the first call back i got was for a martial arts school in jonesville, which is about a million miles away as far as i was concerned, not bikable (at least not according to MY definitition of the word bikable) and a hot BUS mess away.  the second call back was way better.  (thank goodness, i didn’t want to write a COVER LETTER!-seriously)  small, locally owned plumbing business needing a dispatcher.  i went for the interview and got it.  there’s even a bike path (not a lane but an actual shady path) pretty much the whole 6 miles between it and my house.  in the weeks since i started working here i also got a car (another hot mess for another time) which helps (kind of).

next week i start a fourth job (yes FOURTH) working as a studio assistant for nan smith.  i’m so happy to work with and learn from an amazing artist for a little while this summer.

so that’s what i have been up.  most of my inspiring fellow clay folk seem to be gallivanting off to haystack, arrowmont, penland and lots of other legendary locales (i.e. the bay area) but i’m not complaining!  i’ve been pretty lucky to get to live a life focused on the pursuit of dreams for the last few years.  now that i’ve accomplished one of my big goals (get accepted to grad school–oh, have i not mentioned that??) i can handle a few months being studio-free, working behind a computer, and staying in one place. 

buuutttt all those facebook pics do make a me a LITTLE envious of course:)!

updated statement.

it’s always such a struggle, but it feels so good when, for a little while anyway, you can feel confident in your artist’s statement.  g.m. told me the other day, “no one writes there artist’s statement alone.” what a relief!  he helped me out fundamentally, providing primary guidance, as well as other friends and artists, all of whom i respect a great deal.  getting feedback from a variety of people really helped A LOT. when i saw people’s responses i really got an idea of what was actually coming across in my words.

thanks SO MUCH to everyone who provided me with their feedback.

and if you haven’t read it yet, check it out here and let me know what you think.

notes from the studio.

sorry for the rough pics.  they are from my phone.  anyway, i’m still plugging away in the studio.  the trip to florida, and working quite a bit has been keeping me away more than i would like, but that’s the way it goes. in addition to my regular job i’ve been doing something really fun and educational assisting a local artist.  so far we’ve installed a piece at the nceca invitiational and pulled some stuff out of storage, organized and packed up work.  it’s a really wonderful experience.  i’m learning a lot just seeing how she does things.

i’ve got some aps in the works, and a few deadlines coming up.  like every other  ceramic artist at the moment, i’m scurrying to finish up aps and wondering what i’ll be doing next fall.

in the studio i’ve been amassing some work, but i’m still really struggling with how to finish it.  i haven’t even bisqued any large sculptures yet.  i’m waiting for them to get super bone dry, but i’ve been keeping plastic on them for weeks.  i’m afraid to keep them uncovered and risk cracking.  and since i don’t know exactly how i’ll finish them i need them to be perfectly smooth.  ehhhhh, finished work…..sometime….eventually…….:-)

new sculpture in progress….

studio mate e. with her giant math mold……

talking about working

well, the big challenge of my new studio life is all this talking.  for me, talking, speculation, thinking out loud, comes naturally.  but i usually just try to keep my mouth shut when it comes to my work.  on the one hand, i’m not so confident talking about my work.  on the other, i do think there is a bit of fantasy in my work and i don’t want to give people words to hinge their interpretation on.

it’s about nature, and the nature of things.  ehhhhhh, blehh.

maybe this is something i should continue writing about.  we’ll see.  anyway, here are some shots red sent me of the shot glasses i made for the anagama firing before leaving florida.  hopefully soon i’ll get to post shots of all the lovely shot glasses i receive!

thanks red, for the sweet shots!

boneyard.

when i move i purge.  but it’s hard for me to let go of work sometimes, even if it’s suffered some damage and can’t be shown again or sold.  sometimes pieces are transitional work which will lead to something else, and sometimes, it’s JUST too soon.  these works go to the boneyard of art which is my parents beautiful overgrown gardens.  they both love to garden and grow fruits and vegetables and succulents.  here are some snaps of work i left behind before heading up here to PHILADELPHIA!

cha cha cha changes…

i guess there always comes a time when you have to decide whether you are going to write about how great everything is or how things really are.  the thing is that things are not usually great with out some hiccups or horrible with out some bright spots.  the last month has been quite a lot of both.  it’s been awesome seeing friends prepare to exhibit, to see them succeed and move onto the next step in their careers.  it definitely makes me very excited for the next move i’ll make and for my upcoming show but it’s hard as well to see folks moving on.  it occured to me while wondering the streets of bowling green, ohio with j and s that this last year has definitely been a hey day.  these are the times you remember.  i’ve always felt confident that if you go after what you want the universe (or whatever) will sweep in and provide support, whether that means money,friends or public transportation.  and it certainly has.  what a great year with a great studio, great friends and roommates, great jobs, the list could go on and on.  great and comfortable.  then enter the last week.  studio is full of new people, everything at work is different and of course two of my favorite folks are gone.  thank goodness for j and n.p. and m and v.    it’s funny though because everyone is going through these changes alongside me but for some reason i’m balking.  i just don’t want to move right along to the next step.  i feel grumpy about music in the studio and and nervous about sharing the bathroom with some one new and possible less tolerant than s and i feel like i want to escape.  why the heck am i so full of all these super useful and rational feelings?

oh yeah!  i hate change.  i crave it but when it’s happening i hate it.  for awhile.  and then i get over it.  at least i think i do.  and i better get over it soon because i have about 700 things to do in the next month.  so check back in a month.  let’s see if the brattiness gets the best of me.

soda firing with fireworks.

friday.  my day was made complex by the fact that the minivan had a minor melt down on thursday.  conking out on 22nd st. literally in front of a automotive shop which burned down about three months ago was funny, having n- from the clay co behind me at the light was lucky. she was kind enough to lend me her aaa service and found a car shop.  s- came by and helped us move the car out of traffic.  we had some fun mosquito infested converstaion while we waited by the  burned out auto shop for the tow truck to arrive.  i had to commute the next day to sarasota so my parents came and got me and i so i could drive their car to work the next day.  my luck seemed to continue because the problem was minimal, fixed on friday and i was able to get out of work early to go and pick it up.  definitely best case scenario.  with a little help from friends and family what could have been a real mess was made bearable.

friday night loading with j- ended up taking a little longer than originally planned.  when we finished up at 2:30 am we decided NOT to start at 6 am.  first turn up was at 9 am.  s- and r-sensei were firing rudy inside.  they had started at  6.  we had taken good notes during the last firing and this time everything seemed to stay on a similiar schedule.  around 6 pm s- and r- headed out.  it started to get dark.  i knew that we were looking at an estimated soda time of 1 am and though i was looking forward to the fireworks we would see after the sun went down i was starting to feel a little clausterphobic.  i’ve never been a big fan of dusk.  day is great, night is awesome.  dusk is clasuterphobic.  but once the sun fell i started to get my second wind.

once the fireworks started going we climbed out a second story window to the roof where i could see fireworks going off for 360 degrees.  the best show in my line of sight was coming from down town st. petersburg.  seeing fireworks definitely makes me nostalgic for tokyo.  there’s no fourth there of course, fireworks are a summer long thing with different areas hosting shows.  most are free, some you can pay a fee for good seating (ash and debris falling on your head good) and some you have to brave psychotic crowds to see.  in the event listings each event has a number next to it, so and so thousand for example.  knowing that the sumida river event was the biggest of the year i incorrectly thought that the number was the amount of folks in attendence.  i felt very silly when i finally realized the number was the amount of fireworks being fired off.  sumida river, the last time i went boasted 20,000 fireworks.  crazy.  regardless of the numbers thoug there is something about all that sparkly light in the night sky.  it’s breath taking.  j- said she’d considered becoming a pyrotechnician.  that would have been awesome.  just like judy chicago.

around 12:30 am we got everything ready to soda.  shot in some soda/sawdust chalupas, sprayed and then added some wood for good measure, let it burn and then shut her down.  i finally made it home around 2.

just as the exhaustion threatens to settle in, it’s time to soda and just as you think you’re going to drop from the heat, and dehydration you’re done and it’s time to start wondering what’s going to come out.

christmas or halloween??

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can you see the cones?  rough, since it was taken with my cell phone.

can you see the cones? rough, since it was taken with my cell phone.

opportunistic bacteria plates

below is an image of the bacteria plates i was working on for a doctor i work with.  i had scavenged some underglazes that were getting trashed at the studio to use for the color. i covered them with underglaze while leather hard and sgraffito’ed the image.   i once fired them, putting clear glaze on top of the underglaze while everything was still bone dry.  unfortunately when they came out of the kiln chunks of underglaze were flaking off.  i thought it might be because i had once fired them?? so i remade them, but this time bisqued the underglaze on, THEN clear glazed and glaze fired.  same problem.  any idea what the problem could be?  i’m stumped.  i decided to get rid of these underglazes and go with something new.  news to follow.

virus plates

virus plates

lazy lazy but thinking…

this has been a month of gathering.  i’ve continued work on my wall pieces at a snail’s pace, but taken time a few evenings each week to flip through books and websites, researching for my next body of work.  i selected a few books from my shelf: college biology text, microscopic photography, louise bourgios exhibition catalogue as well as the global feminisms catologue and a contemporary art text, also from college.  i learned a few things.  almost every page of the global feminisms catalogue features figuritive art.  robert arneson was a pop artists working directly with clay in the 60’s.  jason briggs’ work is freaking amazing and i wish i could see him demonstrate.  i remembered how very attractive eva hesse’s forms and materials are.  reading the abc’s of louise bourgeios presents art about you familial obsessions as rather favorable, i mean, since i’m obsessed with it anyway.

i guess in a way family is biological.  the way we are tied to people genetically is disturbing and uncomfortable.  the way we are tied to people who do not share dna with us is biological as well.  maybe this is why the figure factors so prominently in feminist work, or, you know, art in general, because people are obsessed with other people, the way they shape up, nurture us (which could be a good thing or a bad thing), mess with us, etc.

it’s like you spend the first half of your life figuring out why things are the way they are and then the second half realizing that it doesn’t matter because you just have to play the hand your dealt regardless of why…

but i’m not sure where this leaves me.  there is a lot going on in my brain but it hasn’t puked itself out yet into images to be assembled.

a problem i had with the garden path was that it was too pretty.  working in such a rapid way allowed the process to become more important than the concept.  i’m not very prolific generally and maybe that’s why.  the process is important, it’s the fun and the flow of the peice but the process is not the point.  the process is a tool which allows the peice to make it’s point.

i could make a sign that says “the world is fucked up” or “i’ll vacuum my uterus if i want to” or “racists are so lame and boring” but that wouldn’t be very much fun would it?