Blog

Focus Pocus

Good things have been happening this Fall. There’s been ample opportunity to collaborate and get new work out through multiple channels. Artwork is up at The Future – an Aquarian Lab in South Minneapolis, I’m making more pieces to go to Gallery 360 for the holidays, an upcoming pop-up show at Acanthus Floral Art on October 13th, and the ACC’s Holiday Craft Hop with Conspiracy of Strange Girls Dec 2nd. Trusting the process each day, I’m building energy and momentum with each move made. Hoping to imbue each subsequent piece with a little life of it’s own, I’d love to see positive feedback loops forming to sustain this practice well into the future.

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Original Sigilcraft

When asked, I’ve been describing sigils as ‘symbols with intent’. Though certainly more complex than that, it’s a reasonable explanation in a nutshell, to those unfamiliar with their history and pervasiveness in visual culture. A logo is a sigil, a state seal is a sigil, a cattle brand, graffiti tag or maker’s mark can be a sigil. It is a crafted icon in which power has been invested toward a given outcome. For our purposes, it is a seal impressed upon an object (a personal talisman or ward) to be used as a protective shield or to manifest a desire into being. Although they can be a battery for spiritual energy, the use of a sigil does not require religious belief, it can be viewed as a psychological science.

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Wildcrafting

This whole seasonal cycle has been a roller-coaster, with sharp emotional (political and otherwise) ups and downs, for a variety of reasons – public and private. This late in the year, after so much turmoil in the news and in our communities, it feels numbing just to keep up with the deluge. Like trying to drink water from a fire hose, I feel like I’m fighting just to remain centered. One thing that I’ve found to be a grounding force, however, is a foray into medicine gardens, herbalism and wildcrafting. The quiet times I’ve spent researching, gathering and cultivating have paid for themselves by opening up a space for calmness to creep up, displacing the inner melee.

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Wards and Talismans

Protective sigils are created through a variety of methods, and result in a unique symbol or character, charged with specific intent by the creator and user. These objects have been created with specific purpose in mind, and have been cleansed and consecrated to be charged with your energy and perform this function. To activate the ward or talisman, you will need to perform the three ‘C’s – cleansing, consecrating and charging your object – in a way that is meaningful to you and your purposes. Below are suggestions for how to do this:

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The Grid

Not so much a grid as a universal lattice of some kind, I’m thinking of these studies as looking more closely at all of the boxes we create for ourselves or involuntarily find ourselves within. An aerial photograph of any human settlement will reveal a pattern of change imposed upon the landscape. The same kinds of patterns are employed inside of our technologies, embedded in social structures and modes of thinking. We compartmentalize information, emotions, nature and reality inside of billions and billions of known quantities, but miss all of the spaces in between. I think there’s more out there, and I’m using these as a way of visually digesting this taxonomy of experience. 

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Esoteric Stencilism

Borrowing from the mystery traditions and folk medicine, this new collection of stencil cuts is for a series of stoneware wall tiles and covered jars that I’ll have for the Powderhorn Art Fair, Aug 5-6th. A smattering of these images will be featured on enameled copper jewelry as well, but decisions are yet to be made as to which designs make the cut (pun intended). The wall tiles and pendants are intended to act as a reminder to keep a wider perspective in mind, to flow around obstacles or attract abundance, to name just a few. We take subliminal cues from our environments all the time, here’s an attempt at deliberately seeding those spaces with intentional symbolism.

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Test Tiles

Have you ever had a thing that you had to do, lodged in the back of your consciousness, just waiting to be acknowledged and given room to breathe? This has been it for me since November. When there aren’t enough fresh moments to go around, months can slip by, when all I can do is get everything configured correctly for the operation, but can’t commit to it’s execution. The stars seem to have to be aligned in just such a way for the start to occur, but then, the rest will flow with greater and greater momentum as the front-end of the process get’s out of the way.

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Path Studies

I had a dream or something about playing around with varying combinations of point, line, direction and color, over a grid, as a way of mapping the story arc of a lifetime. The rules of the drawings are inspired by algorithms used by computers to solve pathfinding problems in spatial exercises. But looking at the simplicity of the image, I’m reminded of things like sigils, hobo signs and constellations, all to do with ways of finding one’s way. These are just quick renderings in colored pencil, but I’ve a mind to try them next in watercolor or guache.

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