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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Garment Checkout

The ‘Collective Closet’ is a social experiment in shared possessions. We share houses, hand-me-down furniture, tools with neighbors. Some of us share our cars, jobs, emotional burdens or even sexual partners. Clothing is personal, it’s not the same, is it? Could we set aside a portion of our often overstuffed wardrobes to experiment with the presentation of self among friends? There are occasional clothing swaps, yard sale season, thrift shops, how about adding into circulation textile pieces deliberately engineered to go on a journey and to tell a story, with a message somewhat that of Paddle to the Sea, “Please put me back in the water. I am Paddle-to-the-Sea”.

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Bio-Art

Seemingly another lifetime ago, back in ’07-09, I focused on exploring the potential for using ‘living’ structures and ‘cultured’ environments in small architecture. I was working on an MFA at Vesper College, and for my thesis exhibition, made a series of miniature sculptures from natural specimens from my private collection. These were presented along with a host of simple ‘cultured objects’, employing small fish, trilobites, snails, brine shrimp, yeast, bread mold, algae, duck weed, moss, Epsom salts, bluing solution and copper crystals to add a dynamism. Strategically placed N scale model figures appeared to be overwhelmed with their surrounding ecology.

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Encrusted Gems

I used to deal in salt accretion as a medium to express the passage of time. While not hardy enough to take the abuse of wear, I had it in mind to construct felt ‘gems’ and use them as an armature for cultivated crystal growth. The results were good and will be honed further. I would like to try this on the inside of something next time, like a glass bubble brooch, maybe that would suffer impact better. Too big for casual wear, these could be painstakingly made just to be destroyed in some ritual use over the course of an evening. That’d be worth the expense.

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PoHo Art Sho: Home Game

Because of all the history here, this location is charged with all sorts of good juju. This art fair isn’t really about selling my wares, it’s about participating in this community, seeing all of my people, gathering feedback, yes, but that’s just an added benefit. Events like this help keep us oriented toward the center (in this case, Powderhorn Park) of our people. What binds us together? Shared experience, values, location, identity as being of a place. This little public ritual helps tap all of the roots I’m growing out of. I may travel far away from this place, but it’s always going to be home.

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Red Hot Art: Love-Hate

The conclusion I’ve drawn from this little test run is that the venue was certainly not the right one for what I have to offer, and that the average hipster craft-fair goer may not be the best audience for my work. Don’t get me wrong, there are problems on my end as well, I have a great deal of revision ahead of me to improve upon my line. I find I’m uninterested in selling on Etsy for similar reasons. Too commercial, not enough soul, not enough of a purposeful, crafted experience. I want to create some kind of ritualized transaction, something meaningful to both me and you as the buyer. I want it to be about relationship building. But for the time being, these events are golden opportunities to trouble-shoot my craft, pitch and presentation.

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Waiting in the Wings

Here I sit, in the sandbox, learning a new vocabulary, new ways of seeing connections and new materials to experiment with. Things I’m discovering are the value of weight, drape and movement, how to invoke sentimentality and preciousness through carefully honed suggestions of it. What is too big for the wearer? What is underdeveloped?

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