Wednesday, February 27, 2019

No sticks but definitely stones

For a while I was obsessed with turning every last sizeable scrap into cord. Funny how this work is seasonal because there are definitely times in my life that I do NOT want to be cording!
This was the final dye bath, more onion skins. These are orange-y because most of the cords had already been coated with a light wash of persimmon.
The young one is slowly getting learning. One more lesson (learning a rim finish) left before I leave town! Hopefully while I'm gone she can manage or at least experiment with what she knows.
The final set. Hard to tell, but it's over 100 cords in nine shades. Of course there are extras. Always extras in weird colors or not dyed.
Because teaching season is going to slam me very soon, I realized I was long overdue for drawing a handout of a particular structure that I teach a lot. I always tell students to pay attention and take good notes but they often don't (and I know they aren't because they're not right behind me; this is one you can't watch from afar). This kind of work is excruciating to me in certain ways and yet I always learn SO much. I had to draw it three times and certain sections waaaay more than that. But it's done!
I also put in an order to a master carpenter/toolmaker to make more bark beating implements for me. I only have two rocks (and rocks can get heavy to travel with) so the ones in progress now are going to be made out of dense wood.
I had written this earlier this year and uncovered it while cleaning up my worktable. It's a reminder (but then I forget...and then I remember...and so on).
Yesterday I finally figured out a temporary solution for masking this piece. I had a grand time turning the cords into knot drawings. Because I didn't want any dye residue to get onto my wall, nor did I want to drive nails into my plaster walls, I found an old big pad of newsprint that I tore into smaller pieces. I pinned each cord (sometimes two, sometimes four—bound together, of course) into a gesture on the newsprint and carried stacks upstairs to this one room that has a free wall. The room wasn't really big enough to spread out all of the options on the floor so I worked as best as I could while listening to a physicist talk about the nature of time online.
The final installation at the gallery will have the knots directly on the wall, no extra paper besides the paper that constitutes the cords! It's going to be a monster install but at least I can finally start to see it come together before I leave. In the process, I used up my roll of white artist tape that I've had for over a decade. I got into my green tape, too, and was sad that when it's gone, I won't have any more tape from Pearl Paint, the art supply store in NYC's Chinatown that has since disappeared. But now I know that time passes differently for people and I will still remember a time when that store existed.

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