This past week we have finally started to sink into a flow of making. Most of us have jumped right in, mostly experimenting with new ideas and materials. I started this residency thinking I would be spending most of my time editing a documentary about artists and the lifestyles they lead. As well as photographing the other residents. So far there have been a lot of field trips and most of my time has been spent taking pictures for you all to see on this blog. I have also been playing with some wood ideas, a spoon, a bowl and now I’m excited about making books with wood veneer covers. I made my first test (a sketch book) last week and plan to make a photo book as well, I was very excited to learn I am able to use the imaging labs at UArts to make prints! A lot of the images I have taken show process and what we have been up to but there are also a few really beautiful images that I feel transcend the documentation aspect and will make an interesting yet beautiful photo essay in art book form.
For the next few weeks I plan to continue documentation but also to get more into my documentary. So far I have only interviewed Jordan and Graeme ( a former ITE resident we met at Echo Lake). I have been waiting to interview everyone until they feel more relaxed around me. I feel we have all gotten to know each other pretty well after all our long road trips. I plan to finish up these interviews this week and get the editing process underway. Also, incase you were wondering we have decided to do one post a week of each of us writing about our experience. So look forward to those coming out on Mondays! If you are curios to see examples of my work feel free to check out my websites.
It has been three weeks that we have been working, traveling, looking, and collaborating as a group. We have met many artists and collectors of all types and styles. There are ideas and objects forming on the benches in the studio, but I know I can speak for us all when I say we are waiting for the next five weeks of serious studio time.
I am enjoying being back in the humidity of my home state of Pennsylvania and in the city of brotherly love. We just got back from three crazy days at Echo Lake. If you are not familiar with this event, you should be… It is a three day collaborative make-fest with about 50 wood workers and artists from all over. It ends with an auction of all the objects produced during the collaboration, the funds raised support other woodworking and education programs. Beyond that, it is a time and space dedicated to shared learning and creative freedom, So it’s got that going for it too…. I arrived at Echo unsure of what to expect, I met new people and had laughs with old friends, I made some strange objects and worked on a few nice ones too.. I left feeling over stimulated and exhausted, I’m not tottaly sure what happened during that time, but i know i liked it.
In the studio — I have been dipping my toes into several projects but have yet to align the pieces in my head with the pieces on my bench… I am working out an urge to design a product, I have rested on the idea of making a series of wooden carrierers for iPhones. The smart phone has taken very strong hold on our sense of self, if I forget my phone at home or in the car I panic for a moment and feel lost until I am reunited with my technology. I am interested in making objects that become a part of that emotional connection. Like most objects in our culture the iphone cases are plastic uniform shapes…. and that is just sad.
I also scavenged a wooden folding chair and a 10′ wooden ladder out of the dumpster next to the building where we are staying. I am looking forward to continuing my “street furniture” series out of the objects. The future of these objects are still in the R&D phase of production, but I am considering a rocking horse of adult size proportions.. So we will see where that goes.
Today I will go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to research a small portion of their PA German (more commonly referred to as the PA Dutch) Funtiture collection. Specifically I am interested in the surface design, painting techniques, and patterning used on their chairs, blanket chests, and small decorative objects. I am hoping this research will begin to formalize into a series of objects during the ITE. On a positive note, the studio will be open 24/7 starting today, which is good, time just gets in the way of the making.