Monday, July 26, 2010

Back in the saddle...I think?

I finally made it home after a month of Summer Arts at Fresno State.  A kagillion things have happened and I have barely had time to think about other things much less to blog about it all.  My brain is still buzzing with new information.  What to do with it all?!

The last two weeks in Fresno were spent in a class called Building Reactive Sculpture.  We had the amazing guest artist, Trimpin, teaching us all about activating sculptures using musical instruments and found and recycled objects.  We took a field trip to the local junk yard and thrift stores. We also used solenoids and motors and everything was hooked up to the "brain," a mess of midi cables and circuitry all leading to a master keyboard.  At our conclusion, Trimpin, directed our improvisational performance.  We all had a great time and were sad to see him leave.

I learned a lot of great things in this class, including soldering, welding and working with arduino.  I am looking forward to putting all of this to more good use in my sculpture class in the fall.  Wait, that is only a few short weeks from now!

Now I am busy teaching a group of kids at summer art academy for a week.  Today was the first day.  So far, so great.  I think the students are really interested in my photo litho class.  I gave them a short intro today and tomorrow we dive in.  I'm planning to post a bunch of photos to my flickr page as time permits, maybe after this week is over.  Phew, lots of fun!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Too Busy to Blog

It has definitely been a whirlwind of activity lately.  We finished our ceramics workshopes last Friday with a culminating show in the Conley Gallery at Fresno State.  We did our installation with guest artist, Holly Hanessian.  These organic pieces are the ones we created with Jason Briggs.

Here is a view of my sculpture made while laying on the floor of the gallery and looking up towards were it was hanging from the ceiling.

We deinstalled the show and cleaned up the studios on Friday afternoon and that marked the end of the workshop.  I was exhausted but because I am a glutton for punishement, I decided to run up to Yosemite for a day.  Run isn't accurate.  My friend, Rehka, and I drove to Merced and then took the YARTS bus up to the valley.  It took about three hours.  Then we hiked the Mist Falls Trail up to Vernal Falls.  It was a gorgeous day but this out of shape body took a beating.  We took the bus back down to the youth hostel for the night and then back to Fresno on Sunday just in time to be at the orientation for Reactive Sculpture.  I am still trying to catch up on much needed rest.  Maybe when I get home.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Sculpting a Bust with Tip Toland

Who knew sculpting the human head would be so interesting!  We just finished up our three day intensive with Tip Toland.   She is an excellant and very patient instructor.  Thank you, Tip! It was a mad dash and late nights to get our busts finished.  I didn't get to sleep until 2am this morning.  This is the first time I have done any type of figure sculpting and I am very happy with how this piece turned out.  Since we got done today a little early I am thinking a little nap is in order.  We don't have to be back in the studio "officially" until Monday morning for our next guest artist, Jason Briggs and the next big whirl wind of activity.  That doesn't mean I'm not SUPPOSED to be in the studio working but I am going to take some time off for the holiday weekend.  Some new friends and I might even make a drive up to Yosemite for the day.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Heather Mae Erickson and Tip Toland

Yesterdy was sad because we had to say goodbye to guest artist Heather Mae Erickson.  Boo hoo!  This is the plaster mold I learned how to make during her stay at Fresno Summer Arts Program.  We learned so much, I hope I took good enough notes and can remember it all. 

This is a one part plaster drop-out mold.  I started this one by making a simple free form cottle out of clay to hold in the plaster.  As soon as the plaster set up and the mold was still soft I removed the clay and proceeded to file and sand the sides using surforms, drywall screen and wet and dry sand paper until the surface was nice and smooth.  Next, I soaped it with Murphy's Oil soap and built another cottle around this positive and poured in some more plaster.  I was worried that I wouldn't get out the positive but just like that, it slipped out like it was supposed to.  Yeah! 

I did completely mess up this negative mold, however, when I tried to cast a mother mold.  It had been drying for slip casting when I decided I would make a mother mold and even though I soaped it up, the plaster stuck to it and I couldn't get it out.  I think I was supposed to do this step either when it was still wet or with shellac on it since it was dry.  Oh, well.  Now I know!  I'm going to try to make another one if I have time. 

This is the first one part drop-out mold Heather taught us how to make.  The important lesson here was learning how to make nice straigth sides and it was an excellent tutorial that required a lot of attention to detail.  Great for the perfectionist in me!  This mold I have actually been slip casting and I am excited by the multiples concept.  I will make a bunch of these forms which will allow me to play around with arranging them in different groupings. 

Our next guest artist, Tip Toland, arrived last night and we spent today learning how to sculpt the human head. Time to get some shut eye.  I want to get an earlier start tomorrow.  I have been staying up way too late laughing and having a good time with new friends.  But wait, I have to Facebook first!  Lol.