A couple of weeks ago I attended a collage workshop at Light Work in Syracuse, NY with artist Suné Woods. I had seen the event on Facebook and immediately signed up. One of my big goals this year was to re-focus on my own art practice and I saw this workshop as an opportunity to actually MAKE SOMETHING. The first half of the workshop was an artist talk with Suné in her exhibition and then a presentation where she shared with us artists that influenced her. This all lead up to us sitting around a table covered in magazines, glue, and scissors. I was in heaven! Seriously, what better way to spend a day?
As I stood by the edge of the table glancing over the stack of magazines I spotted a space-themed National Geographic and lunged for it! The three collages above are the pieces I made during the workshop. I worked fast. I tried not to “think too much.” I am super pleased with the results.
This exercise was exactly the kick in the butt I needed! I feel refreshed. I feel inspired.
After returning to Rochester after my blissful collage workshop experience I was invited to Visual Studies Workshop for – wait for it – a collage workshop with their Project Space artist Nancy Topolski. It’s like the universe was trying to tell me something. Above is the collage I made at VSW. This was a very different process. We only used black and white photocopies, and we had access to a photocopier so you could enlarge or shrink images as you wished. I made this in about 15mins. Again, like the collages I made in Suné’s workshop, I wanted to focus more on how I was reacting to what I was making and not on the thinking about what I should make.
Get ready folks! You’ll be seeing more collages from me soon.
Last night was my third handbuilding class (I missed week 3 – bummer!) and I got a lot done. I finished my lidded bowl! After decorating the lid by carving little starbursts I then made the final touch – the base. I decided I didn’t want to add an attached foot to the bowl but, make a separate base. I like the idea of there being these three pieces and with the base I shaped it so that the bowl/sphere will sit on the base slightly off-center. I’m really happy with the way it’s come along and I’m finally appreciating the many imperfections. These pieces are still too wet to go to the kiln, so hopefully I’ll be able to send them next week. I’m looking forward to bringing this home and placing it on my bookshelf!
I also got my two pinch-pots and coil-pot back from the kiln! See how they are different colors? Next week we’re learning about glazing and I CANNOT WAIT! I’m so excited to add color to these pieces – my coil-pot needs all the help it can get! Ha!
In the last 30mins of class I started two more projects – more on those next week! I’m actually hoping to go to open studio hours later this week to continue working on them. We shall see.
Read about Week 1 and Week 2
Catching up on posts! Week 2 my two pinch-pots and coil-pot had dried enough since week 1 to go to the kiln for firing (you can’t put wet clay in the kiln!). Before sending the pots to the kiln I covered two in a white slip (liquid clay) which apparently will effect the color of the glazing later on. I left one of my pinch-pots sans-slip so I could compare the glazes.
See that sphere? That’s the sphere I made week 1 and week 2 I cut it in half and carved out the inside. Why? To make a lidded bowl! This project in particular has really made me stop and chill. I so badly want everything to be perfect, but this is handbuilding – HANDMADE – of course it isn’t going to be perfect.
Week 2 I also got a crash-course in making a slab. My instructor can make a slab by hand but, thankfully there is also a machine in the studio that presses a slab for me! I attempted to throw a slab by hand and it didn’t go well. Looks like I need to go in for open studio hours to work on coil-pots and slabs!
Read about Week 1
I’m taking my first ceramics class – and it’s a lot of fun. I’m currently in week 4 (catching up on posts!) and 1/2 way through the class. What’s the class? Handbuilding, at Genesee Center, taught by Ian Park.
It’s kind of hard documenting this class like I did when I took Lovin’ Letterpress at the Center. My hands are 99% of the time covered in clay – obviously. Each class I’ve tried to snap a few pics to share to Instagram but, wow, these photos do not do this class justice.
Week 1 I made two pinch-pots, one coil-pot (not shown), and one sphere (not shown). I really enjoyed making the pinch-pots! I was not a fan of the coil-pot. The sphere was maddening – ha! With my pinch-pots I added a “foot” to my second one after leaving my first pot very basic. Both pots have been through the kiln (bisque) and are ready for glaze. I’m VERY EXCITED to learn about glazing. I’m a sucker for blue glaze! I don’t really have a good photo of my coil-pot to share, but it isn’t that exciting anyways. I actually need to challenge myself to go in during open studio hours and make another coil-pot. Practice makes perfect, right? It was making the coils that was hard – I just couldn’t get the coils even, they would crack… it was a mess. As for the sphere (I’ll share a photo of that in my next post) we made a solid sphere of clay to later make a lidded bowl! Cool, right?
In case you missed my announcement on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – I was the first Woman to Watch of 2016!
I was interviewed by Leah Shaw of the Democrat & Chronicle. We chatted a lot about how I’ve reached this point in my career and how passionate I am about the local art scene here in ROC – I’m glad I was able to share my experience and also some fun facts about me:
Future goals: My long-term goals include pursuing a doctorate and eventually starting a family (maybe not in that order). I also grew up in the Adirondacks and it’s always been a goal to climb all 46 high peaks. Having just turned 30, I’m now committed to becoming a ’46er’ by the time I’m 35. Plenty of time.
SUPER PUMPED to share more about my 46er plans this year! Stay tuned. It’s funny re-reading this goals quote thinking back on my 30th birthday post. Ha! So, I do have some goals.
A few weekends ago I took a Saturday off from work to go to the 2015 Corn Hill Arts Festival. This was my first year attending! I still find it hard to believe I’ve lived in Rochester for nearly a decade and there are parts of this city I have yet to experience. Anyways, the festival was great!
This past September I drove down to NYC for the NY Art Book Fair & Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference (CABC) presented by Printed Matter. This was my third year attending both the fair & conference (2012 | 2011). I honestly didn’t spend as much time at the fair as I have previously: 1. because I am broke and 2. I was only there for a couple of days and I wanted to visit my baby brother who is currently living in Manhattan on a co-op from RIT.
My favorite session this year at the CABC was on Saturday, “The Re-Materialization of the Art Book: Contemporary Livres d’Artistes“. Sheelagh Bevan (Morgan Library), Jenni Quilter (NYU), & Maddy Rosenberg (Central Booking) all spoke about various examples of how the livre d’artiste has evolved into a collaboration opportunity between visual artists & writers. I walked away from this session with a ton of notes – but one word I had written in bold with stars around it in my notebook, and that was the name Iliazd. Bevan’s talk about Poésie de mots inconnus, Iliazd, & the Lettrist debate really piqued my interest! Over the last few months I have been reading up on Iliazd and I’m excited to say I’m currently obsessed. His work is fascinating – I’ll obsess more in a future blog post.
Back to the fair. Yes, that is a picture of an Artist Book Vending Machine! Fun, right?
That selfie with my brother is with one of Dan Graham’s pieces at the Met. I can’t go to NYC without visiting the Met! This was one of Graham’s smaller pieces indoors – we also went up onto the roof to see his Roof Garden commission Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout. Apparently I didn’t take any photos from the roof – or, I just can’t find them right now. I can’t believe I didn’t take a single picture!
I spent Saturday night and most of Sunday hanging out with my brother. Sunday, before I drove back up to ROC, we took a walk on the High Line – my FAVE place in NYC. I really lucked out that weekend, the weather was beautiful.
Now, I’m back in ROC and in the middle of a winter snowstorm. I’m not looking forward to digging out my car tomorrow morning. Maybe I’ll snowshoe to work.