Saturday, November 26, 2011

Infringing Forest

Recently I had the opportunity to do an art installation in an empty store front in downtown Tacoma. If you're not from this area, you might not know that Tacoma and Seattle have a little rivalry going. Seattlites think we have the market cornered on all things urbane and cultural, while Tacoma is a simple industrial city. To put it bluntly, Seattlites can be big snobs sometimes. Some of that elitism must have worn off on me a little because I have to say I was surprised (pleasantly) by the amount of support the arts receive in Tacoma. Every time I turned a corner downtown, there was more public art to see. It was great to spend some time down there and wander around downtown and rediscover a great city.

As for the installation itself, the experience was a good one, but also stressful. Stressful because I had to squeeze it in on the weekend after working all week at my new and somewhat overwhelming job. I have to say the experience made me want to work even harder for the days when I will be able to support myself solely through my art, until then there will be a lot of squeezing things in on the weekend. When I arrived at the space, I was temporarily taken aback by how raw it was. I'm not totally sure what the space was in its past life because pretty much everything was stripped away. It was dark and dusty and I had no idea how I was going to hang my trees from ceilings that were at least 20 feet high. Even the wallboard was ripped off the walls, exposing solid concrete, which made drilling into them impossible. At that moment I was so grateful that I had a parent with me who morally supports this craziness. My mom and I were able to find a solution, but building that solution took an entire day itself. After that first day I was beset by a streak of annoying inconveniences that taken by themselves wouldn't be too bad, but altogether they set me back quite a bit. Ran out of this, couldn't find the right that, that sort of stuff. But, as you can see from the pictures, I managed to finish it and I learned so much from the experience.

The piece is entitled "Infringing Forest" and is about 11 feet high and 15 feet wide. The trees are acetone image transfers on rice paper. The figures on the ground are a person, a raven, a bear, and a chipmunk, made from clay. The sun is made from fallen leaves. If you happen to be around Tacoma and want to see my installation or are interested in seeing the other great work that is a part of Spaceworks Tacoma, comment or send me an email and I'll give the address.

Friday, November 25, 2011


An ordered environment sits in the middle of a wilderness. 
Our streets are straight and systematic, our buildings sturdy and strong, 
but even while we walk down those streets and work and live in those strong
buildings, a wilderness surrounds us and waits for us.
I hope you pause while you’re walking down the street, in between the buildings, 
and think about that wilderness just out of sight.

From a project I recently finished. More tomorrow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Handmade Challenge: Day 130ish

cowl: made by me
earrings: by Moorea
jacket: Miss Sixty

These photos have been sitting on my computer since it was still a little to warm to be wearing this cowl and I'm just now getting around to posting. As you may have noticed form the general lack of posting, the handmade challenge hit a little hiccup lately. With a new job, I've been so exhausted most days, that sewing became an unfortunately low priority (higher priorities being eating, sleeping, and frustrated crying). And I'll also admit that a couple new shirts, a coat, a dress, and a new bag (which was actually kind of needed) found their way into my closet. Frustration and questions about what direction your life is taking has a way of breaking your will just the tiniest bit. But, I'm glad that I have a job at all so I'll stop complaining and move on to lighter subjects like clothes.

I saw a lot of big bulky knit cowls last year and every time I saw one I thought about how easy it would be to make one, but like a lot of the things I say I'm going to make, I never actually got around to doing it.

This yarn was an impulse buy that has been hanging around for a while mocking me. I didn't buy enough at the time to make a sweater, or even a shrug, but it is so soft and a gorgeous deep turquoise that every once in a while I would take it out and just stroke it, like a Bond villain, and whisper "one day" to it. Finally I decided on designing a simple cowl in an offset rib knit that kind of ends of looking like waves and might even pass for a lazy cable if you don't look too closely.

The earrings are very exciting because they are made by the wonderful Moorea. They are so unique that I fell in love with them the first time I saw them in her Etsy store, and my love has only grown. I'm usually not a dangly earring person, but these are the perfect combination of earthy and glam.

Woefully Neglected

A head full of stress and a body exhausted. A new job brought with it questions of where my life is going and where I want it to be going. Mundane crises and existential questions. All is still open ended, but it is clear that creating and creativity must remain in my life.