‘Village Smithy’ is really a further investigation following ‘Orange Nugget.’ I feel like this direction will show itself again before this project is over.
This is a year long project where I create and complete one art piece every week. Every piece is due by midnight on Sunday. Each piece will be posted by the following Monday. Every piece will be placed and positioned in a single used frame. The body of work will be displayed in its entirety in a year's time. Pretty simple,..we'll see. Thanks for your interest.
When I work in my shop I have a ritualistic cleaning before I start each project. I sweep, put tools in their place, shop-vac and straighten up until I feel like I have achieved a blank canvas. This process, for me, clears my head and readies it for the task. Throughout my project I will take time every now and then to sweep. Sweeping for me is like looking into a reflecting pool. The motion relaxes me and brings me into clear thought. Depending on how my work session is going I will either do this a lot or never, but usually when the floors are saw dust free and time has passed the potential to redirect my strategy is in full effect or heading there soon.
The end to this ritualistic maintenance arrives when I finally wash my hands. Once that is accomplished my studio session has usually ended. Often, my hands are filthy and they take a couple good lathers to clean. What happens when my hands are extra dirt laden is the lather from the soap captures all the dirt and grease. Exactly what it should do; however, when no more water is running to rinse away the extra huge amount of foam, lather it eventually dissipates and leaves the sink completely coated in the same dirt and grease which was on my hands. My wife Julie thinks I never wash my hands and this is what happens. For this I always get the “you need to wash your hands more often.” Followed by the “you get to wash the sinks and while your at it wash the toilets too.”
'MADERA VIEJA': ( 10 ¾ L x 17 ¾ W x 6” D) week of October 5th
As a kid, I was obsessed with dinosaurs. Because I related volcanoes with dinosaurs…. lava rock was the shit. My childhood buddy, Chad, had a good collection of rocks. A bit of pyrite, some fools gold, petrified wood, the average kid’s big rollers of a rounded collection. I remember his uncle sent him a chunk of lava rock. The idea of this rock and to actually hold this rock was to say the least a transcendental experience. I remember gently palming this basaltic lava and being completely floored by the idea that, this, was around when dinosaurs roamed the earth….simple deductions and assumptions, but all the same I was in awe of this rock. Shortly there after we moved to Bend, OR from El Toro, CA where my ideas about lava rocks shortly turned from lava rock stoke to hoe-hum lets break out the legos.
Since then, my appreciation of the high desert has grown and now jewels like 1000+ year old juniper trees that mark the landscape like prehistoric bones have become my lava rocks. Twisted and contorted, old growth juniper is a direct reflection of the environment it inhabits. Isamu Noguchi always talked about nature being the best artist. I couldn’t agree with anything more.
Madera Vieja is set into a frame that was found in Palm Springs. The background is MDF with laminate. The wood is old growth juniper. The brackets securing the wood are 1/8” flat bar steel.
Back when I was in college I collaborated on a few art projects with my friend Hunter Caputo. It was my senior year and we had this class, which dealt with sculpture in a public arena. At the time I was taken with Jean Claude Christo and his monumental installations. One project we collaborated on was a massive cardboard wall where Hunter and I worked to procure the materials, permission and concept which yielded a 6’ high wall built from cardboard boxes measuring 36x24x36”. The location we chose for this installation was the PSU park blocks. A city block in Portland rounds out at 200’, which landed us at about 1000’ of cardboard double stacked. We stayed up for two days straight building the wall, repairing the wall and fielding questions and complaints. We started late on Sunday night and by first light Monday we finished construction. It was beautiful. Straight as an arrow and contoured to fit the slight rolling downhill, the installation glowed with the pail purple light of the early morning; giving it something more than the individual parts but charging the whole with character and presence. This memory is the treasure before our works eventual demise 24 hours later.
I remember people’s reactions being intense but remember one interaction in particular, which really set the impetuous for Sentinel. A professor approached me and asked if I was responsible for this mess. I told her I was and started telling her what the whole project was about. Before I got into my sentence she started laying into me with a ferocious spiel about how irresponsible I was and how I was the cause of global warming. I was pretty exhausted at this point and realized she would never accept any other point of view so I checked out. I watched how furious she looked with her red face and waving finger and BLA! BLA! BLA! which came from her all knowing mouth surrounded by ugly lipstick. What the hell am I talking about?
Sentinel is set inside a funky frame which I have no recollection of procuring. Composed mainly of MDF, laminates and hemlock.