2017 Windgate ITE Residency Inaugural Blog Post!

Hello, lovers of art in wood everywhere, and welcome to the 2017 Windgate ITE Residency blog!  Please return here often over the next two months for updates, information, and amusing anecdotes about the residents and what they are up to!

For those who are not yet familiar, the Windgate ITE Residency is an annual program sponsored by the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, bringing together six artists from around the world who utilize wood in their practice in ways both conventional and inventive.  They will create, individually and collaboratively, an as-yet-to-be-determined number of pieces, on the lathe and off of it, for display in our group exhibition, which opens on August 4th at the Center.  We’ll be joined for a week by a scholar, who will produce an academic essay inspired by the ongoing work.

My name is Samuel, and as photojournalist-in-residence I’ll be taking lots of pictures of the creative process here and also collecting lots of juicy gossip–and I’ll be posting it all!  (Just kidding, residents.  Nothing to worry about!)

Our 2017 Windgate ITE cohort comprises:

Max Brosi, a woodturner and sculptor from Manor Hamilton, Ireland

Felicia Francine Dean, a furniture designer/sculptor/materials & process driven design researcher from Boca Raton, Fl, by way of Greensboro NC, USA

Daniel Fishkin, an instrument builder and composer from Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA

Anastasia Leto, a sculptor and furniture maker, also, from Detroit MI, USA, and this year’s Student Artist

Megan McGlynn, a sculptor and draughtsman from Lehigh Valley, PA, USA

Jason Schneider, a cardboard turner and furniture designer who spent his wonder years in Clifton, NJ, USA

Samuel Lang Budin, an itinerant social documentarian from Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, USA

Elizabeth Kozlowski, an independent curator from Florida, USA

I look forward to speaking with you all soon!  Till then, you’ll find me at the Philadelphia Recycling Center’s Wood Dump, hidden amongst the logs.

 

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2017 Windgate ITE Residency Conclusive Blog Post!

I returned home to New York City this past August with four rolls of film I didn’t have the chance to develop before I left.  The darkroom I like to use here was closed for renovations until late September, so they languished in my fridge until I was finally able to do something with them.  The pictures are from our trip to Wharton Esherick’s studio, museum, and home, and also from the preview and opening night of our show at the Center, which closes in a week and a half on October 15th. If you haven’t made it there yet, what has been keeping you?

I’m truly, terribly grateful to have been able to document this year’s Windgate ITE Residency, which, as we now know, is the last one which Albert LeCoff, founder of the Center for Art in Wood, will have overseen. I’d like to congratulate him on his retirement. I know that he will continue to make outstanding contributions to the field and the wood art community.

Here, without further comment or wiseacre captions, are the pictures:

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Big Show Tonight

It’s First Friday in Old City and Anastasia, Daniel, Felicia, Jason, Max, Megan and I are having a show at the Center for Art In Wood!  Come by between 5:30 and 8:00 PM tonight for the opening, and come by tomorrow (Sat., August 5th) between 2:00 and 4:00 PM for artist talks and a concert by Daniel Alexander Fishkin and daxophiles.

Further event details can be found by following this link.  I truly hope to see you there.

Albert, Tina, Karen, Lori, Katie, Morgan and Rebecca of the Center have been tremendously supportive throughout the residency period and during this past week as we’ve put the show together, especially.

The gallery looks fantastic, but I’m not going to put any pictures of it here right now.  This is a ploy.  I’m trying to get you to come to the opening.  Instead, I’m posting some pictures Katie collected from us residents of what we had on our workbenches in the week before work was due at the Center, with her permission. After that, I’m gonna go get my tux from the rental place.

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Max has been looking for ways to encourage people to get more tactile with his pieces.  The jury is out on this particular one.  The Center has soap and water on standby.

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Megan’s lightboxes are fully dimmable!

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These frames of Anastasia’s have something in them now, but you’re not gonna find out about it from me.  Come out tonight!

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As for me, I…I……

 

Open Studios at NextFab

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Dawn comes early on Open Studios day.  The group prepares itself.  As Max mixes his bowl of yogurt, granola and fresh fruit, Daniel smiles wolfishly at the camera.  He has a hunch about what’s coming.

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Bam!  Daniel’s hunch is correct.  I nail this shot of Max taking a bite.  Residents, don’t say I didn’t tell you on day one that I’d get you eating.  (Max, please let me know if you’d like this shot removed.)

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Anastasia prepares her work-in-progress for public consumption.

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Jason prepares his workspace for public consumption.

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Megan’s work is prepared for public consumption.

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Open Studios guests sign in upstairs at NextFab.

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Each ITE 2017 resident gives a presentation about his or her work.

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Jason presenting.

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Felicia presenting.

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Max presenting.

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Anastasia presenting.

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During his presentation, Daniel gives a performance on the daxophone.

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Fleur Bresler examines a daxophone tongue.

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Luncheon is served!

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Megan talks about her work.

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Max’s table attracts a lot of attention.

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Daniel’s parents stop by Felicia’s table to hear about what’s going on.

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All the excitement has done Anastasia in!  She naps on the couch.

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A celebratory dinner at City Diner with Tina and Albert.

Elizabeth’s visit

Elizabeth Kozlowski, or 2017 ITE Resident Scholar, joined us last week in order to talk to us about our work, conduct research at the Center for Art in Wood, and take classes on woodworking technique.

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Anastasia, Max, and I make a road trip to the airport to collect Elizabeth.

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The airport.

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Elizabeth entering the ITE van.

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We have an introductory meeting with Elizabeth upstairs at NextFab.

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Anastasia and Elizabeth meet one-on-one.

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Elizabeth and Max meet one-on-one.

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Max gesticulates during his one-on-one meeting with Elizabeth.

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Felicia and Elizabeth meet one-on-one.

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Elizabeth and Megan meet one-on-one.

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A celebratory group lunch at Cafe Ynez!

Pictures from NextFab (and one from home)

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Anastasia and Albert talking about Anastasia’s work.

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A reverse angle shot of Anastasia and Albert talking about Anastasia’s work.

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Megan looking sly as she shines her iPhone flashlight through her lightbox.

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Megan and Albert meeting.

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Megan and Albert continue to meet.

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Group lunch at Cafe Ynez!

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Max stares down a honking big chunk of wood he’s just loaded onto the lathe.

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And then, he attacks!  Shavings fly everywhere.

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Anastasia’s mortises, or mortices, or mortae?

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Daniel loads a file on the CNC control station.

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Daniel puts a bit into the CNC.

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After affixing the piece of wood he’ll mill to the CNC bed with double sided tape and screws, Daniel gives it a final check.

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The CNC CNCing.

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Freshly milled daxophone tongues!

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Jason calls these things “segmented pieces” but I prefer to think of them as multigrain cardboard loaves.

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Jason slaps some plaster onto turned cardboard.

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At the end of every working day, Jason deliquesces, becoming a viscous, milky fluid.  We pour him carefully into this container and close the lid tightly.  In the morning, he assumes his human form once again.

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He has a collection of these, but only one of them is labeled.  Imagine how much trouble we’d all be in if we put him into the wrong container!  Sometimes I feel like he’s daring us to make a mistake.

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A hollow cardboard vessel by Jason.

Studio visits with David Ellsworth and Michael Kehs

In this post, we revisit the group’s field trip to the homes and studios of Michael Kehs and David and Wendy Ellsworth.

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The grand staircase at David and Wendy Ellsworth’s.

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Above the grand staircase, a stained glass window.

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A reverse angle shot, looking up the grand staircase, with the top of David’s head in the foreground (oops!).

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Megan and Anastasia on the couch at David’s.  Glass objects in the foreground and turned wood objects behind.

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The desk in Wendy’s studio, where she produces her beadworks.

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David’s studio.  The sunlight filtering through the foliage bathes everything in an eldritch green.

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David addressing the group in his studio.  I was amazed at the care with which his many lathes were maintained.  They were clearly well loved and well used, but they were also immaculate!

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Upstairs in the former snooker room, a selection of turned bowls and windows.  This shot and the next are of particular interest to ITE 2017 Fellow Megan McGlynn due to the confluence of natural and artificial light.

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Another green room!

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David calls Michael Kehs to let him know we’re coming.

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Max and Michael load a walnut burl into the ITE van.

 

4th of July outing

Over the 4th of July weekend, the group met and walked to the Parkway near the water to hear (and possibly see, if we could get close enough) Boyz II Men and Mary J. Blige, who were performing.

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On the way, I espied this young man wearing a Batman t-shirt on a bicycle all alone in a parking lot.

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When we got to the Parkway, three things happened in quick succession.  First, I realized that I had neglected to bring more film.  Second, Boyz II Men’s performance concluded.  Third, it began to rain torrentially.

We first sheltered under a tree, but once the canopy became saturated it ceased to provide any form of protection.  With the storm showing no signs of letting up, we booked it back to the dorm.  By the time we got back, the sky was clearing and the streets were drying, but we were sodden to the bone.

Mary J. Blige did play, and there were fireworks.  Some of the residents reconvened and watched online.  Your biddable scribe went directly to bed.

What we’ve been up to

Last week we were visited by this year’s resident scholar, Elizabeth Kozlowski, who interviewed each of us about our work and conducted extensive research in the Center’s library in addition to taking classes at NextFab.  She also accompanied the group on a field trip to George Nakashima’s workshop, where George’s daughter, Mira, was kind enough to give us a tour of their beautiful and impressive facility.

This past Saturday was Open Studios day at NextFab.  Guests toured the workshop and enjoyed presentations by each of the residents.

Pictures of all of these goings on are forthcoming.  I fell behind on processing film and scanning because I’ve begun the second phase of my personal project–

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–PRINTING!

Some more quiet pictures

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Felicia’s CNC control station with my accidental reflection.  (The camera with which this picture was taken was a gift to me from Phil Brown, and I’m extremely grateful to him for it!)

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Showcards for our upcoming show!

Burls

A wood burl and a cardboard burl (or, “cardburl”) on a cart.

Dax_Box

A box for Daniel’s daxophone tongues (with daxophone tongue-shaped inlays).

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The iris of Jason’s left eye–even it is made of cardboard.

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Felicia’s CNC with my feet.

Max Bakes

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Max has got himself a sack of King Arthur brand all-purpose flour, and he’s using it to make patterns on wood.

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They almost look like they could be paintings, like from the wall of an ancient cave in France, don’t you think?

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Here’s how he’s doing it: first he mixes the flour with water to make a paste.

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Then he applies the paste to the surface of the wood.

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Then he blasts the heck out of it with a torch.

The group at work

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Another shot of Felicia stacking.

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Max trims before turning.

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Felicia turns.

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Another shot of Felicia and Marc from NextFab segmenting a log.

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I don’t know about you, but that look of Jason’s stops my heart every time.

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Jason stopping someone’s heart–I forget whose–with his look.

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Jason examines a cardboard wedge.  The wedge’s heart stops.

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Daniel assembles a knob.

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Max and a freshly turned piece.