Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ebony, the blues, and glass art

Ebony Blaze, a fabulous blues singer, is giving a concert this Thursday (the 25th) at Studio Channel Islands Art Center.

She asked me to make some new works (in blue[s], of course) for the reception that will be held that night at the art center.

The first piece (first two photos) is Ebony Blue Crescendo, inspired by the power of Ebony's voice and her ability to convey at once strength and vulnerability.

The second piece, Ebony Blue Notes, is an homage (of sorts) to the music staff itself, and the original works Ebony will be performing.

A third piece is in the kiln and I am hoping it will be finished in time for the concert. All works are mounted on Italian marble -- ebony black, of course.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

glass presentation

The exhibit came down yesterday. One of the last visitors was a Navy retiree who had his own fascinating stories to tell. It was really sweet to exchange stories of Navy life from our different perspectives, and he was very interested in the Greenland Diary and the artwork. Lucky me. This show has been full of these kind of stories. The best.

I experimented with different types of presentation in this outing. I wanted the glass to have a little more of its own air, breathing room. So several of the pieces were mounted on beautiful slabs of stone. Those were in turn placed on acrylic risers that I had fabricated by a local plastics company.

The response to this presentation was very positive. Five of the pieces sold, woo hoo! I will definitely use this method in the future.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

the reception, oh my

It has been three weeks since the reception. The response has been beyond any I could have imagined, and has been multilayered.

People have reacted to the diary in many ways -- thoughtfully, inquisitively, self-reflectively, emotionally. And those adjectives also describe some of the reactions to the artworks that were inspired by the diary. I have spent much time in reflection, first, in thanks, and second, in pondering what my goals were and how these responses have exceeded and encompassed any goals I set.

I will share photos over the next few days. As you might imagine, I am a bit (or not a bit) overwhelmed by this experience, in a good way.

The first set of photos shows the textile installation. This is about 25 feet long and has photos from my dad's Greenland voyage through the ice, as well as pages from his diary, both in his hand and transcribed in type.

The shape of the installation -- waves -- of course was intentional. When I bought the white base fabric, the sales lady marveled at its color, which she described as "pure Arctic white." That sent happy chills through my body.

But people's responses were more concrete and insightful than my intent -- "an Arctic wave, frozen in time," "liturgical," "reverent,"  "still."

I had put diary excerpts on the wall behind the wave -- those excerpts provided the titles of the glassworks inspired by the diary. The glasswork in the middle has an image from the Life magazine cover story on the expedition, as well as a page from the diary.

People asked so many questions about the diary entries, good questions. I had not thought that so many would actually take the time to do this. They were intrigued by the Greenland expedition, intrigued by the history this reflected, intrigued by what my dad wrote. This level of involvement was a sweet gift.

I had worried that this exhibit might be seen as too personal -- but one friend wrote me that though it was a personal exhibit, it was not too personal to make her uncomfortable. How lovely she wrote me this; how lovely she took the time to write at all.

The woman in pink had asked that I remove the acrylic riser from underneath that vase, so she could see its interior. I happily complied -- she wanted to be able to see how the glass inside the vase was different from the glass outside. I loved that she asked!

The beauty to my left in the last photo is Katherine Cooksey, from Studio Channel Islands Art Center, where the exhibit is showing. She just left to begin work on an MFA at Pratt Institute in New York. She is as sweet as she is pretty.

More to follow...

Friday, August 1, 2014

installation, check! Opening reception is tomorrow!

                                                                Blackboard Gallery

The long-planned and logistically challenging 35 foot textile installation for the Greenland Diary exhibit is up!

I got to relive my tomboy childhood and scale very tall ladder eight times to loop the fishing line over a bank of lights, thrilling beyond description.

The installation is composed of two layers:

(1) a top layer of 12" wide tulle. I printed images from the Greenland expedition (ships cavorting with icebergs) on silk organza and used Misty Fuse to attach them to the tulle. I also printed pages from my dad's diary-- recounting the voyage -- on silk organza, as well as typed transcripts of those pages. All the art in the exhibit was inspired by these words.

(2) a bottom layer of a white white polyester, upon which I placed the tulle. It is attached at 2 foot intervals with strips of clear double sided archival conservation tape.

The two layers rest on clear square rods of lucite. On top of each rod is a strip of the clear double sided tape to secure the textiles to it.  Fishing line runs through holes on each end and is looped over a long lighting fixture about 100 (well, maybe 20) feet above the floor.

So, the show will go on.

Blackboard Gallery
2222 Ventura Road
Camarillo, California 93010
August 2-30

Thursday, July 24, 2014

more Greenland Diary kilnformed glass...

                                                                                                            "Ice Floes"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Art Glass Association of Southern California opening reception

Fabulous. Period. The opening reception for the current exhibit of the Art Glass Association of Southern California was yesterday in Carlsbad, a great little town about 30 miles north of my hometown, Coronado. The Front Porch Gallery's presentation of the glass was exquisite, giving each piece a lot of breathing room, and allowing the viewers to see the work up-close-and-personal, as they say.

The exhibit runs through early September, so take a look-see if you are in San Diego County.

Here is Susan Hirsch, glass artist extraordinaire. I have been spending quite a bit of time with her in her San Marcos studio, learning oodles about the ins and outs of sandblasting, as well as coldworking with a pneumatic wet angle grinder. She is one inspirational soul.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

opening reception, the postcard!

Opening reception
Saturday, August 2
4 to 6
Blackboard Gallery
2222 Ventura Road
Camarillo, California 93010

sponsored by the Studio Channel Islands Art Center

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Loneliness, Greenland

                                                                             Loneliness, Greenland

This piece has now been polished and is ready for the next step. The bottom photo shows the "back" side of the piece, which was not visible after the first firing. The captured glass curves inside the aqua, and now the curve is much more visible -- which brings me great joy!

I found a fabulous stone sculptor in town, and she is creating bases for four of my pieces -- a tranquil grey-green stone. I can't wait to see how this one looks, mounted.

Friday, July 4, 2014

the beginnings of a new piece

Greenland Diary entry, June 28, 1951, somewhere between Norfolk, Virginia and Thule, Greenland:

This is certainly a lonely life.  I’d like to be in a Navy where you exercised in the day and came home in the evening for some family life.

My dad's diary has several entries that evoke his sadness that our family was so far away and mail delivery was almost nonexistent. In this piece, I am referencing that feeling of being trapped, in or on the sea --  but that trapping was also beautiful, for the Navy was the career my father loved -- as he loved the sea. 

It was a Hobson's choice.

As well, the work reflects icebergs, and the beauty that inspired his descriptions.

Saw first iceberg at about 0600. It was a beautiful thing in the shape of two pyramids on their sides about 100 feet high and 5-600 long very iceberg looking. It passed about 3000 yards to port June 18, 1951

This piece has been fired twice, and is now ready for coldworking -- polishing the edges and the other side. More posts to follow...
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