Just over 3 days and counting...

So, it's all come down rather quickly to actually leaving for Pilchuck.  I will be gone for 18 days, so it's a 3 week session and will feel different than the 2 week session I TA'd for earlier this summer, or the 2 weeks of Poleturners before that.  Like any good class, I did receive an email from my teachers asking me to think of themes to explore while I was there.  I was also asked to experiment, and to expect failure.  Which I'm down for, you can't learn unless you stretch yourself and have some failure in the process.  Learning from your mistakes, it's been the best way for me so far in life, it's only natural that it should apply to my art/education.  

Anyway... here's what Aimee & Anjali want us to be thinking about before we get there...

(a). Keywords. Essentially, a rumination of concepts that you understand our world by, or that fascinate you in the universe. These could be borrowed from any “field” of human comprehension of matter.*  Consider how the keyword you have chosen could figure in the creation of an art object. Could it possibly lead you to an object that creates itself when subject to the forces of this keyword? .... Any information or preliminary research you bring with you in this regard will assist you immensely. And do not worry; you will not be bound or beholden to your “keyword” if you lose interest in them midway.  There will be plenty of other phenomena for you to discover.
(b). Key-images. Textures and composition (i.e. surface and structure) that you loath or are swooned by. We are interested in your intense reaction, or long-standing fascination of something, not the indifferent “nice” response. These will provide as a visual, tactile database for your experiments.

So some of the things that I have been thinking about since reading this have been...

Container (contained)
Reliquary/Alters/Shrines/Sacred spaces

As far as images go for influence... I haven't got that far yet.

Out of all of these... the process, light, and time seem to be the ones I'm drawn to the most. I mean all of these are things that interest me, however looking over my slides to take to Pilchuck I noticed that a lot of what I'm bringing are photographs of glass during or after it's been finished.  The objects themselves seem secondary to the situations they're creating.  In that regard, I'm more interested inn capturing those fly by moments that happen during the vessel making process, or the "action of making an artwork" (a la Serra; Pollock; or La Va), or studio upkeep.  For example...

From my thesis show.

These 2 hellish pictures from bailing out the furnace for the summer.

Bailing out the furnace again, but onto ice during winter break.  I would like to do this again this winter but set it up better.

Sometimes, it's all happenstance.  The sun coming through the window just right and I notice this after I hit my head on the lamp above the kitchen sink.

A more personal picture, never mind the gif I'm trying to finish up that deals with this.

So far all of these are residuals of action on glass of some form, wether I directly manipulated it a hot shop or I interacted with it to some extant as a readymade.  Technically the sink is coated in glass since it's a glaze on a ceramic sink.  Ya dig?  Even the opening photo at the top of the post is indicative of this.  I'm more interested in the refraction of light from the tool marks on the table than the actual bottles themselves.

I think using this as a starting point will free up a lot of mental anguish as I screw up my molds, fusings, and slumpings.  Looking for the art in the process and not in the object has been a major point for artists such as Pollock and Serra.  If I keep this in mind as I make mistakes, but take good notes about what worked and what didn't, I can bring this back to CCAD to flood the students with casting knowledge.  Being the interim head of the glass department this upcoming semester, I'm trying to have the kilns all up and running so we can accommodate as many students as possible.  Also taking this class can help me problem solve with them on their projects.  In the process they can make more glass "art" and not so much glass "craft".

PersonalIy, I think where I can go with this is a combination of castings and kiln-manipulated blown work and video.  I love glass blowing.  I will always find a way to do that until I can't hold a pipe anymore.  It's a meditative process for me.  However... it's not my "Art" with a capital A.  That seems to have fallen to more video work, more specifically... mundane actions that have been important to me, or became important, and that I'm trying to loop as seamlessly as possible.  I know everyone has these moments, but I don't want to forget them.  Ever.  So being able to loop them is like re-writing my notes... so I don't forget.

My good friend of 14 years, we had to put him down in February.

It was such a tender moment for both of us.  My dog, Smoke, really couldn't sleep due to an enlarged liver with complications.  Anytime he laid his head down flat on the floor, he had trouble breathing.  At that moment, his head was propped up and he was able to get 20 minutes of sleep.  I was just glad that I was able to get him some rest before his appointment.  I'm tearing as I write this... I still miss him.

I'm in the process of trying to make this as seamless as I can in video.  I'm also realizing that I might have to upgrade my video software, iMovie (I know, I know...), to FinalCut Pro for more control.  I just have a hard time swallowing $300 for a download, but I'm getting closer to getting it.  I think getting more RAM for my computer, and bumping it it 16G, will be the biggest help. 

I have some video of leaving for Pilchuck earlier this summer with some great 6 minute vids of the plane taxiing and taking off out of, and then landing in fog.  I want to combine those vids for an endless loop of taking off and landing.  I suppose I "could" farm the video editing out, but I want to have a direct hand in the final version.  Call it a hold over from being a craftsman, but that whole idea of me making the final piece is important.  I just can't see any other way of doing it to be honest.

So after two paragraphs of rambling, I guess my work is heading to a more ephemeral stance with the beauty in the mundane.  I guess that's a good a start as any for an artist statement.

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