Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shaping the Summer

A couple hours of video yesterday for the upcoming Networks RI events. I am delighted to discover that there will be a showing November 6 at RISD's Metcalf Auditorium in Providence of all the artists' documentary videos.  Richard Goulis is shooting ALL of them this year. I marvel at his ability to remember things we said earlier, left off at, as we work out the remaining footage for him to edit into the finished piece about me. 

He filmed me whacking away at a larger slab and creating a rubbing on cloth. The hammer was too loud and drowned out my voice. 

I am looking forward to seeing the other artists' videos at least as much as my own! 

I updated all my on line stuff today, starting with my own web site, trying to be a good little internet-savvy art person. I've got all my summer classes lined up; one next weekend, May 21-22, at North Kingstown Rec Center, soapstone carving, pretty much all adults I guess, and a nice, small group. Only my second time with this organization, so very much looking forward to it- and it is nearly sold out already. 

The Blackstone River Theatre relief carving class is next up, June 25-26, with the newly reminted Blackstone River Theatre Summer Solstice Festival slated for the weekend before. (I'll be setting up a little spot there, but mostly will be helping around the stages.) I love working outdoors in The Grove, where I was able to install four figures and a slab sculpture over ten years ago now. There's always lively discussions and enjoyable personalities on hand for this class. Lots more on all their classes and activities at

I'll be trying to get lots of works done in the studio between the BRT class and the following road trip, which is always a real hum-dinger. The Catskills Irish Arts Week, July 10-16 is a huge undertaking involving over 300 students and 50 or so instructors, and I am going to do a relief carving class mornings, AND help out running the stage every night (!) It's a do- not -miss gathering for those devoted to Irish traditional music and dance, and I will greet many long-time friends there and have an intensely enjoyable if exhausting week.

A couple weeks later I am off to Canada to teach relief carving and Brigid Cross making at  the Celtic College and to show at the Celtic Roots Festival, to convene with my multiple friends, colleagues and fellow artifact-obsessed artist pals, hear some great music, enjoy some dedicated students and swim in Lake Huron!  Wanna go? Check it out here:
large work created by students and myself for The Celtic Roots Festival site

gathering limestone pebbles on the beach at the lake

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May Morning Dew

It was a beauty of a day in Middlebridge.  There were too many Saturday errands, and after that, I found myself trying to discuss two new robins nests being assembled in rather inadvisable locations in my yard with their overly industrious denizens. There were some great theatrics involving pretend-broken-wings and so forth, me talking in a soothing tone. Pretty entertaining for the neighbors I expect.

I left my bird pals alone...there is one brilliant blue egg in one of the nests...and headed into my studio.

I started with the regular materials for experimenting with rubbings taken from my original relief carvings- but this time using a very small carving and silk papers, and I liked the effect.

I have been making rubbings of some of my relief carvings on paper, but I had been to the recycling center recently and, having secured some likely grey upholstery fabric, I set to work, trying out the fabric crayons.
"New Moon"

Paper rubbings have been annoying me because of their fragility. Having to roll them carefully and keep them from crumpling is a real challenge, although I really enjoy the way the Caran D'Arches crayons I had been using looked, nice and dry, good color range, easy to manage and not at all greasy. I was hoping to find a similar workability with the fabric crayons I picked out.
Fat chance! the Pentel ones, designed to go right onto the fabric itself, and recommended for natural fibers, were VERY soft like oil pastels, but the colors were quite strong. I did up a sample size on my new fabric, using one of my favorite smaller sculptures, New Moon. Seemed like a good idea to start with that one, since I had just had a delightful view of the waxing sliver of the new moon the previous evening.

I also tried a Crayola fabric crayon, only 8 colors, designed to be colored in reverse on paper to create an iron-on transfer sheet, and recommended for synthetics. I just did the rubbing as usual with this oe. I liked the texture of working with them much more, but the colors were really different going on than when the ironing was done.

So then I ironed the samples, along with another sample I had made on fabric with the Arches crayons, ironing them into the fabric on high heat from the reverse.

Right now they are all in the washer!  the ultimate test. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Big Table

Here's Alan Bradbury delivering my new (old) table he helped me salvage from the trash at Hope High School. I've installed it in my studio and slapped some stone slabs on it, trying out new rubbings on cloth, and just generally kicking it into gear....and high time too...only a few weeks until the summer season rocks into play!