Made by Hand

Foggy morning

Snapped a photo of the morning light beginning to glow through the trees. The air is soft. Spring is here. I'm taking in each day like a thirsty sailor! Knowing that in less than 4 weeks I'll be housebound. Finding joy is my job. Back to the shop today. Client changes!!!! Need to get this one out of the studio so I can turn back to Migration stories.... meeting this week!

 Wow. 

Wow. 

Finally Farallons

Over two years ago I found myself dreaming of this place, dreaming awake, when I still had a studio at the Marin Headlands. Now I'm here. Lot's since then has changed. The islands don't feel as far away from the city than I imagined but I've only been here 20 hours. I wonder what it's like to be here 20 weeks? 

 April 2015

April 2015

Last night we shared pizza with our neighbors, Point Blue the only other human occupants on the island. Everything tastes better on the island, even Papa Johns Pizza. At the end of a thoroughly enjoyable meal two binders were pulled out of the library and the ritual of recording daily events commenced. First to be recorded were any unusual bird sightings, non breeding birds. Biologists rattled off a few names, I contributed 8 canada geese, 2 gray whales, heads nodded in agreement. No incidents of flushing, when you spook a marine mammal, .... and finally dreams were recorded as they had been for the past 20 years and for that here's a link:

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Farallones-biologists-record-similar-dreams-3179940.php

 Our house is on the left. The house on the right is occupied by Point Blue. They have a Wolf range.... jealous!

Our house is on the left. The house on the right is occupied by Point Blue. They have a Wolf range.... jealous!

Dream last night: small dog-bird dinosaurs running in my dream last night running through the grass near the carpenters shack on the island. They had long muscular legs, the bodies of adolescent ridgebacks. Maybe some feathers on their faces. Big eyes. They seemed docile, not passive, more like curious deer. Did they have hooves? 

Back to the Shop!

 Walls going up in  my new shop in Watsonville, 2018

Walls going up in  my new shop in Watsonville, 2018

Making progress in the new studio finally. It's taken me long enough. The task feels immense. And with my injury it involves some pain. But the joy of working, handling my tools again, dreaming about how to arrange and fill the space.... a little pain is worth it. Yesterday I built a new base for my new Bosch Table Saw, twice of course as the first time it was too tall. I managed to pry open another window so now I have a pretty bright space now, plenty bright to work in and I like to hear the people walking past, the cars honking on Main Street, tamale, garlic, corn and occasional fish smells from the taquerias, which are legion downtown. I want to eat at them all. Witnessed a man through a window of one slurping from a bowl as big as his head. I could imagine the red, smokey broth, dotted with cilantro and cotija. 

I feel so soothed by the process of making. It's been absent from my life for months. I am looking forward to getting the last furniture piece done for my Berkeley friends and then make some pieces for myself, or my friends, but also I'll need to practice and prepare for my Summer Wood Working for WOMEN class at Cabrillo!!!! Good thing I still have the step stool and haven't ever glued it up! And I found the plans for the dove-tail jig. Just need to make plans for the caddy.... There's also the basketry class at Cabrillo I'll be teaching in June. Now what did I say we'd do?

Lately

I've been writing little prose pieces.

I'm just like you always running always hoping over the next hill the next sun rise the next wave the next round, I'll be saved and you'll be found.

or images in words...

Soldiers guarding the space where the walls once stood so old men won't try to pile rocks again...

Thinking a lot about migration, teaching, and my nomadic tendencies... among other things. I've moved 17x in my life. That's once every 2.64 years.... also discovered that this old song might be the start of the new project....

It's just a sketch but I am beginning to think of this project differently.. as a soundscape and as sculpture, tents, backpacks, photographs.... trying to not think of video yet. But rather maps, drawings, dance scores, prose.... soundscapes. Video may be the ultimate object, or not. Not going to just assume that's the deliverable in this case. This is more complicated. This is going to take a while.

Meanwhile there's the Farallons trip coming up in gosh... 10 days! That'll be wild and immersive. On an island 30 miles from shore in the Pacific Ocean. Can't wait but also just a bit on edge. No way out!

Next up, another public presentation at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art in May... but this time it's going to be different... HA! yes this time I hope to not be alone on the spot. And to just use the time to workshop new pieces, songs, movement scores, and more.

Finally tomorrow renting a truck to haul a bunch of drywall to the studio. Gotta spend some money on my space. Need to re-establish the habit of being in studio every day as I did a couple years ago when I first moved back to Berkeley.  It was a very fruitful period. A special time filled with deepening relationships, expanding opportunities, and then I went to Santa Cruz for a  month and let it all go... just let go, for real reasons. Financial, personal, professional. But I wonder, just for a minute and then I look around and I know I followed my heart back to a place that gave me joy and freedom and a sense of possibility long ago and again. I'm here now. I can't say what the future holds but in the immediate outlook, it'll be a spring and summer to remember.

The water is deep....

I've been recovering from the flu. Feeling a bit better. But last night, my goddess, the back of my head felt as if it would crack or how do glaciers do it... calve, the back of my head would calve off. Damn. Somehow I managed to wake up, clean my computer, make food, coffee, download footage for my presentation, drive to San Francisco, conduct a welding demonstration, finish my presentation, and facilitate a collective exchange at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art on Migrations and now I'm home and wow.

I am really amazed by the openness of the guests. Several teachers, some retired ladies and then the museum staff. I gave an average presentation, did a silly dance, then joined the guests at their table to talk more intimately about migration. 

Everyone had a story. A story about finding home. One woman claimed to have no story until asked again and then she did have a story. I can remember it now. She has lived here her entire life. But her father was a navy man. He took her mother and the children to San Francisco and then when he was about to go out to sea again, mother said "you're not leaving me in San Francisco," so they moved to Santa Cruz. She's Finnish. Her mother did not teach her the language except for "wash the dishes with me." I see white butterflies against lavender when I think of her.

The dancer and his English professor wife that live in Watsonville and teach at Cabrillo. He doesn't feel attached to place, but through dance he finds himself in space. She went back to Ireland where her people are from and had a life altering experience that convinced her we can have memory beyond ourselves... Oh yes, let us talk more of this!

The German man that has migrated more in the states then before in his homeland who found a poem by TS Elliot and read it to us off his phone. 

She who has been cultivating community in multiple states and drawing back further in her migration stories, talking without words with her relatives in Mexico.

The boy whose family for five generations in England yet he finds himself here now. He knows they lost relatives in the camps but they never knew them. His family was safe. His mothers surname will disappear with her. It was a figment of immigration. 

She is Portuguese, Cuban and Irish. Her grandmother thought she was going to Brazil but ended up in Boston. How different the lives become.

And the woman who can finally call this place her home, after 38 years. She is embracing her gratitude and feeling roots grow as her family surrounds her here.

He came from the Philippines 10 years ago and respects and honors his mother, her labor, her careful, calculated, determined effort to bring her young son to a place he can be safe and more free.

And the birder, who dances across the room to show past migration patterns, though lately, given the choice, he stays now, here, as we do, to share and to build a deeper sense of belonging.

I really loved our conversation. I don't know if people were satisfied or what they expected. I found that we had so much more to talk about. Language and place and loss and subnational states. Where to next?

I feel as though something has started. I know I will need to keep swimming in it for a while as I usually do. But now as I turn to dive sideways into the pool I feel like I have fellow swimmers. Which is good to know as the water is deep.

On Migration at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art 2/28

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Super excited about this new project though it is daunting too. The subject of migration is so so big and present. How does one begin? The only way I know how, with a personal story. I'm swimming in it now and will enjoy having others join me in this pool of inquiry. I catch glimpses of what I want to do, make, communicate but it's to soon now. Right now I am still researching and reading and feeling the concept wrap around me like a big thick quilt of humanity, or all beings, human and extra human. We move to live. We move to love. We move to feel the freedom of our bodies and our minds. I feel so grateful to have an opportunity to share this process, the learn from others their own experiences....so maybe we can make sense of what to do now. 

New classes at Cabrillo + Farallon Research Trip

It appears I'll be teaching a basketry class or to at Cabrillo College in Aptos CA! Yay. I'm so looking forward to getting my hands wet again and sharing this art with folks. It's one of my favorite processes as it seems to evoke in people a certain soft chattiness I do enjoy.

 my 2014 totally impractical and impossible to store basket and experimental video.

my 2014 totally impractical and impossible to store basket and experimental video.

 love this!!!! Want to make some...

love this!!!! Want to make some...

 Elizabeth Kronfield... wow. Wicker once, now cast iron! Sonoma State here I come!

Elizabeth Kronfield... wow. Wicker once, now cast iron! Sonoma State here I come!

 Doug Johnston, the coiling King!

Doug Johnston, the coiling King!

Inspiring. I was just telling a friend how I might not be interested in t-track sculpture but if I could integrate basketry, performance, live-cinema, story-telling, singing, dance and video...Yes! One other note, I finally got invited to go to the Farallons Islands for habitat restoration and art research. Pretty much super excited and grateful for this rare opportunity and it falls just as I begin to think about next projects on migration....

 Farallons, closed to the public except for invited researchers, scientists and me!

Farallons, closed to the public except for invited researchers, scientists and me!

In exchange for being there we will be working on removing invasive grasses by spraying 3% roundup. I'm not into pesticides at all but the solution is deemed safe for flora and fauna and we will be provided with protective gear and such. I'm also excited because part of the trip involves cooking a meal for the 7 member team! We'll be provided with ingredients. What to make!!!! GOtta run. I mean, still can't but that reminds me, call doctor to get 2nd opinion on foot surgery. 

First week of school and Performance 1/27!

How is it that all this goodness gets bundled up into one week! Classes at Cal State Monterey Bay and San Francisco State! And I'll be performing in San Francisco this weekend at SPACE 151. More on that later but in the meantime I managed to complete Lessons from the Forest Part 3. I am pretty satisfied. This is the last 'episode' of the 4 part series. It's basically done! Next I'll add credits and put the separate pieces together for a possible future screening. I have to get back to school prep!!!! 

Studio day green screen bonanza

I've been losing sleep, as I do, when a gopher family is moving in behind my cabin, new school and classes ahead and a video project coming to a close. Yesterday something got to me. I almost had a panic attack in the middle of Yoga. I know sort of an oxymoron but there I was, heart racing, body tingling, until finally I had to leave the room. And when I did, a few more yogis followed. I was not alone. We smiled at one another through our mutual yoga haze, sat next to each other until we could hold a conversation and stand long enough to shower. It was tough. But we got through it together. Maybe it was the weather or some holiday flashback but today I and those around me... I think we felt stronger. After class I finally went and bought that $30 dollar dress I'd been stalking for 2 months and used it in part of the video I'm working on. Finally got the green screen thing going. It's pretty fun! 

 Stills from a coming of middle-age story, Lessons from the Forest Part 3, 2018

Stills from a coming of middle-age story, Lessons from the Forest Part 3, 2018

Green screen is all about lighting. I got a decent, horrible, but decent set up and am just lucky to have a good camera and computer. It's still tricky but I kind like some of the sparkle and noise. Might work for some bits. It's also nice just in black.....

 Lessons from the Forest Part 3, 2018

Lessons from the Forest Part 3, 2018

Tomorrow I have to make sense of all of this new footage! It's good to have some new clips to play with. Next up, how to visualize photosynthesis without putting people to sleep....!

Soundtrack LFF3 rough cut!

After hours upon hours I finally have what I feel is a damn good rough cut of LFF3 audio. Still need to work on levels and of course adding sound as it relates to video (water, fire, etc) but it's mapped out and just awkward enough that it grows on you... or at least on me. 

New statement for LFF:

Lessons from the Forest is a four part poly-lingual video series exploring forest ecology and human relationships. Responding to the growing global immigration crisis, Lessons began as an exploration of borders in nature and between people. It was a hot summer in 2015 when Sasha Petrenko was traveling through Northern Europe en route to a Bavarian artists residency. Sensing the growling tension, between local inhabitants and the people fleeing for their lives, the project originated from an impulse to reconcile the dual concerns expressed by people, family members, artists and the public alike. As moral beings, we may know we should welcome those in distress, yet as individuals and as members of a distinct culture, we may fear that we will feel a burden or be threatened by opening our borders? Where can we find answers free of the dogma of human constructs of class, politics and race?

Looking to nature to find solutions for human problems is a familiar strategy for scientists and designers but what if we could draw knowledge from ecosystems and how they are structured to solve social and political crisis? Is the relative porousness of borders in nature a more effective means than nationhood for organizing sympathetic groups? What is the role of diversity in a forest and how does it contribute to a community’s resilience? What is the role of self in a society that depends on networks and relationships to survive? How does the forest’s ecosystem handle waste?

Lessons from the Forest Part 3 explores Lichen, a plant made up of three organisms, fungi, algae and cyanobacteria*, as a model for symbiosis among community members as well as our relationship with plants through photosynthesis. The reoccurring question voiced by the characters “what does it mean I am not myself,” puts the self into question as science reveals our undeniable dependence on extra human entities and organic systems for food, water, material resources and the air we breath.

The multiple languages used throughout Lessons from the Forest, namely German, English and Czech are meant to reflect the diversity inherent in a healthy ecosystem and were chosen for reasons of familiarity and convenience. Czech is artist’s mother tongue and as the work began in Germany, german speakers were willing and close at hand. Additionally, the German people and their culturally significant relationship to the forest provided additional source material and context for the ecologically grounded project. The layered quality of the soundtrack, where words are spoken repeatedly, with different languages comprising a single sentence, pushes the words towards becoming more sound and emotion, than symbol and idea. What is left is relationships, between voices, between species. And as the relationships become more essential, the self dissolves into the network and becomes part of the ecological community.

*Most recently biologists have discovered that yeast is a member of some Lichen plants but the role and whether the relationship is parasitic or beneficial is not yet determined.

Epilogue

CAUTION: What follows is potentially an overly personal statement made by the artist but WTF: 

Lessons from the Forest is also a breakup album. In the summer of 2015 I found myself single for the first time in 20 plus years. And as a childless middle aged woman, this project is as much about ecology as it about existential dread, and grappling with human social constructs that no longer mesh with my reality. 

Arriving in Germany, a country with an unfamiliar tongue, I felt even more lost than before. With no real plans for my artist residency, I resolved to visit the forest everyday, for in the forest I’d always found belonging. Maybe it’s the extra oxygen, or how I can suddenly feel small, or maybe I knew I could just lay down and become useful mulch, or maybe it’s the beauty that soothes me. 

In a daily practice I went to forest on a borrowed girl’s bike with a front basket (perfect for AV equipment and tripod) and wide, soft, lumpy seat. A strange thing happened on several occasions in that I lost myself on the trail in the same spot. Questioning the existence of the self, pondering ‘world’ as merely a word, another human construct, I’d arrive at a fork in the trail and inevitably turn some way other than the way I wanted, eventually ending up in a bavarian suburb with no GPS or german words at my disposal. Someway or another I got myself back to the forest and finally I decided to forgo that trail entirely as it ended up… not where I wanted to be. Lesson #1. 

“I need to set some boundaries…If there are no edges, how do I know where I am?” 

“Everyday I go into the forest…. I try to stay on familiar trails, but when I think of you I get turned around and I don’t know where I am anymore…..I forget”. Lessons from the Forest Part 1.

Gradually I found my bearings, camaraderie among the other artists in residence and kind folks in the forest and in town. Generally, people would speak english for my benefit but somedays I would sit and listen and glean meaning from vocal tone, eye contact and body language. Some of my best conversations took place beyond language: a nod, a smile, a crinkling of the outside edge of the eyes or a soft tilt of the head, we came to a mutual understanding.

"Words come out of my eyes, you tilt your head and understand," Lessons from the Forest Part 3.

One early afternoon the script for all four parts of Lessons from the Forest poured out of me. I’d almost given up. I was on my way to the beer garden when something made me turn around, return to the studio, to my computer Alex, and write. It all came out in one sitting, over two years ago and now as I write this it is almost finished. At the time I didn’t know the full meaning of the work and it’s been unfolding ever since. So I’ve been taking my time. Savoring the connections and the realization that despite my marital status, or my procreative choices, in looking to nature for lessons on survival and resilience I’ve learned that I am part of an ever expanding, poly-lingual, multi-species community, and I am not alone. 

Art for Sale

New year, new opportunities to support artists in your community! I'm going to start selling my work right here at Made by Hand. Check out these fresh new goodies!

 Blind Arbiter, 2014. Reed, rock, paint, waxed linen. 12 x 8 x 7 inches. $750.00

Blind Arbiter, 2014. Reed, rock, paint, waxed linen. 12 x 8 x 7 inches. $750.00

I'm also restarting my drawing series where I make drawings of animals I meet in my day to day and or on special days. Here are just a few. Drawings are on 9x12 inch acid free paper and in pencil. Unframed $120, framed $175. Raccoon is in process and bobcat is in hiding. Puma is next! Inquire for more information.

 Western Grey Squirrel, 2014. Detail. 9x12 inches. Pencil on acid free Strathmore 400 series paper.

Western Grey Squirrel, 2014. Detail. 9x12 inches. Pencil on acid free Strathmore 400 series paper.

The squirrel has been my ally animal for the past few years. I feel a shift coming on am not sure what will be next. But this pic is one drawn while at Djerassi, so it's dear to my heart.

 California Long Tailed Weasel, 2015. 9x12 inches. Pencil on acid free Strathmore 400 drawing paper.

California Long Tailed Weasel, 2015. 9x12 inches. Pencil on acid free Strathmore 400 drawing paper.

Now with this one I really started to get my drawing legs back as can been seen in the face. I'm looking forward to picking up the pencil again soon.... soon as I finish the video I'm working on. Please inquire for information! CONTACT

 Wishing everyone a bountiful 2018!

Wishing everyone a bountiful 2018!

It's more like a honing

"....like when someone hones a piece of wood," she said to me in the parking lot, sunlight dancing on silver hair and hazel eyes. She'd approached me as I made my way to the car. She remarked, "Oh that's pretty, I can see the trees through the red in your hair," and she pointed at the 2 crimson leaved trees growing in an island in the middle of the parking lot. I looked at her and paused, a little taken back by her tender observation. Surprised slightly by her own proclamation, she laughed softly as she spoke, "I'm just being myself," she replied to my curious gaze. "Being more myself," she smiled. "I'm still working on that," I said as I turned my head and began walking again toward the car. 

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"It's like a honing," She continued. "Like when someone hones a piece of wood," she smiled and looked around then, "Happy New Year," she said as she carried on across the lot.

Happy New Years to you too I followed. Ah yes, it is more like a honing. I'll feel more myself in time. Each day is a discovery. Sometimes a stranger sees the beauty that you can't yet recognize, but you can see the beauty in them. I think that's maybe how it's supposed to be.

LLF3

Beginning to work on final piece of Lessons form the Forest series. This is part 3, not really the last chapter, second to last. I think it's about realizing that we are not islands, we are not alone. I look into lichen symbiosis and the loss of self that happens when a relationship dies. 

 Composite still from Lessons from the Forest, Part 3, 2018

Composite still from Lessons from the Forest, Part 3, 2018

Starting to put together videos and images. It's going to be mostly found footage, some borrowed and some green screen. Started filming green screen today. Feel like I need to play awhile to get it to work. Then have thoughts of something else, sunset, closeup, hand brushing hair out of face. Shoulder, ocean... time to go to the beach! 

As I mentioned last time I'm so lucky to have found these two very generous Lichen experts who have given me permission to use their images. 

(Pity) Party is over!

And it's back to work folks. Last week I had some deep revelations. Reflecting on the past year plus I realize I have been experiencing a lot of transition. And that is unsettling and destabilizing. Through it though I still managed to teach, curate, design, build, exhibit and feed and clothes myself. Not bad. So I broke my foot. It's made me realize how much I depend on my body to experience life and to make a living! So I am trying to be more gentle, with my body and my mind on myself and in extension, those around me. What's this new phase from... well I got my mountain bike fixed up and I'm back on the trails, back in the forest and it's blissful.

 Back on the bike! Feels better than walking actually.

Back on the bike! Feels better than walking actually.

I've been a biker for much longer than a runner so while I still miss dearly the sense of freedom found in running through the forest, riding is the next best thing and I'm so grateful for it. It's the fun I've been missing. Yoga is wonderful and has saved my mind and body over the last few months but at some point I found myself screaming (internally) "get me out of this room!!!"

 Never been this far in before. Biking is FAST! Almost made it to 5 Fingers. Next time!

Never been this far in before. Biking is FAST! Almost made it to 5 Fingers. Next time!

And so now I finally feel like I can start working again. About time! Up next, the last piece of Lessons from the Forest, which is actually the 3rd sequence, since part 4 is done for the most part. The 3rd sequence deals with Lichen, photosynthesis and further "un-selfing", if I can borrow the word used by David Haskell in his book Song of Trees. I'll be performing a talk with Professor Haskell in late January, part of an exhibition organized by the amazing and inspiring Shirley Watts. Shirley has been so kind and generous to include me in 2 of her Natural Discourse events. It's so important to have creative allies in the art world. 

 Image from  www.nwlichens.org  which is overflowing with amazing Lichen portraits and info.

Image from www.nwlichens.org which is overflowing with amazing Lichen portraits and info.

I'm gathering imagery for LLF4. This video will be composite, made up of found footage and green screen shot at new Watsonville studio. It'll include Czech, German and English voices. I'm also designing a projection screen that will be a bit more tactile than just hanging projection cloth from the ceiling. A break, a slight angle to enhance the split screens and the multiplicity of the communities described in the story.

 More from  www.nwlichens.org . I've reached out to them in hopes we can be friends. 

More from www.nwlichens.org. I've reached out to them in hopes we can be friends. 

I better hit the highway. It's Christmas Eve day. Driving up to the mountains to see family and friends. A few days to soak in some love and mountain air. Then back to work! Be well. Love.

On Not Running.... and other developments

In July I was running 7 miles a day, through the bavarian forest. I was 3 weeks into a Euro trip that still puzzles me. Continuing to process that journey. Running in the past year and a half has become a source of great comfort and joy. The chemicals released in my brain, the beauty I felt a part of, the pride in my growing strength, all felt very healing. Gradually though I now realize I began to rely too much on this one activity to bring me a sense of accomplishment. The need for the chemical release began to change my priorities. It became a singular thing I could do to feel good. Nothing else worked as well. And I started to over train. I know it sounds strange, silly even... but in truth I now realize I was not just running... I was running away from something, everything. Until I couldn't run any more. And that's basically where I am today. I can't run from the things that haunt me. I can't run to Germany or Prague to get away from my missteps. I can't run 6 - 7 - 9 miles a day to feel temporary freedom from my anxieties. Today... I can't run period.

 During my boot wearing phase. I've since decided to take another path toward wellness.

During my boot wearing phase. I've since decided to take another path toward wellness.

I done run my feet out. It was the last weekend of September and I was stressing about an upcoming performance, not working on the video, running away from it until out on a run after dusk I remember thinking "my I am running fast and it's getting so dark....FUCK!" I rolled my ankle hard and heard and felt a distinct 'POP.' Not good. I slowed, I stopped, I tried to keep running, I walked and cried, then forced myself to keep going the 3 miles back to the car. This felt different. This time I thought I think I fucked up. 

 I was so surprised to see old and new friends come out to help me move. Missing you guys.

I was so surprised to see old and new friends come out to help me move. Missing you guys.

Since that day I've only tried to run 3x and while the first time felt okay, the second better, the third was excruciating and sad. I've had X-rays, an MRI, a doctors and podiatrist visit. They want me in a boot. They tell me I have Accessory Navicular Syndrome - ACFAS and most people wear the boot for 4 - 6 weeks and are back to normal mobility. Or they have surgery. I tried the boot but could only bare it for 2 weeks at a time. Like I'm not MOST PEOPLE!!!!!

 View of 2 parts of my studio. Part 3 will be a space for sound and movement research as well as recording.

View of 2 parts of my studio. Part 3 will be a space for sound and movement research as well as recording.

But to be honest, what's made it worse is that in the midst of it all I had to move my wood shop from Berkeley to Watsonville up and down flights of stairs, up and own, up and down. I'm still not done. My injury has slowed my progress. Somedays I move a few things and then I know I have to wait for the swelling to go down... It's not how I expected things to go.

 Finally, with bad foot and and all managed to get my tri-fecta of tools into wood shop studio.

Finally, with bad foot and and all managed to get my tri-fecta of tools into wood shop studio.

But I'm thrilled with my new studio, it's huge and raw and full of potential... But I'm not running on all cylinders. It really feels as though I'm walking around on eggshells. I am so unsure of each step. I've put away the boot as it was unsafe and aggravating and replaced it with my fluffiest pair of HOKA running shoes and some Superfeet insoles and yesterday I bought an arch specific compression sleeve. Feet feel okay this morning....

 Green screen coming soon to Studio part 3, space for sound and movement research!

Green screen coming soon to Studio part 3, space for sound and movement research!

Can I have more metaphors please? I can't run anymore. For real. I hope that someday I can but I need to look around me now and realize what it is I am running from. I live in a beautiful place, I have work that I love, a new studio, time and not much money but as long as I'm clinging to a rock hurtling through space, money funny.....

So it's personal. I know. And I'll not go into it in depth here. But now that I can't run it's time to unpack (another metaphor!) what I've been carrying with me the last few years. But it's also time to take stock of what I have achieved despite my detours and digressions. I mean, I am only human and accidents happen. I placed too much value on one small part of me and it finally gave out. My lovely feet that have carried me so many beautiful places finally said PLEASE, REST! Hmmmm. Define rest.

1reposesleep; specifically a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities

2a freedom from activity or labor

b a state of motionlessness or inactivity

c the repose of death

3a place for resting or lodging

4peace of mind or spirit

5a (1) a rhythmic silence in music 

(2) a character representing such a silence

b a brief pause in reading

6something used for support

Hmmm.

I do live a great deal through my body. Like a dancer, athlete, artist and musician I experience and respond to the world somatically. I am my body. But I am also my mind. That is why I am not strictly and athlete or a dancer (though on second read, those pursuits are highly mental and I'd even venture to claim the difference between a great athlete or dancer and an a good one is mental)... but an artist and a teacher, a scholar and a writer. This time has made me face the truth that I almost abandoned the intellectual part of me to be soothed by the immediate beauty and freedom found in and around the body. Our body connects us to nature in a way that is not complicated by human intellect. It's visceral and complex and mysterious, but it is not guilty or greedy... like the human mind. The human mind is harder to grasp... or maybe not. The body is a universe unto itself. To think I could know it.... I can only try to heal and be a better steward to my little slip of the universe that carries my through my existence. My body, my vehicle, my partner, my machine, my lover, my captain, my friend. Or I should say my friends given all the critters and bacteria that ride along inside and on top of me. Never alone.

2 weeks

In two weeks I'll be moved out of my Berkeley studio. Till then it's nonstop action! And boy has it already been... last week my loyal old gal, my tablesaw had a stroke. Crazy really. Apparently the speed control failed and what ended up happening is it started running 2 even 3x faster. It sounded like it was going to explode! After feeling sad, angry, confused I finally bit the bullet and bought another. Yet to turn it on. Excited. New saw... and soon new studio. 

 looking inside the old Bosch....for clues.

looking inside the old Bosch....for clues.

 Finishing up the last cut with my old jig-saw. Don't give up easy.

Finishing up the last cut with my old jig-saw. Don't give up easy.

On the new studio hunt, started thinking... what if I made something more than just a new studio of my own... what if I did what I've been dreaming to do (but unable to afford to do) in Watsonville!!?? I am doing it: Watsonville Art+Ecology Center will be a workshop, gallery, gathering space for artists and the public to exchange ideas around creativity and creating a new ecology.... something like that. I need to get a elevator pitch and all that. But I feel like this is what I've been looking to do for sometime. A little door opens. But in the present moment I must focus on what is directly in front of me... finishing up projects for FD, moving out and school. Back to it!

Today

 Finishing is not my favorite part but it's finally happening.

Finishing is not my favorite part but it's finally happening.

 I forgot one!!!! Can you spot it!

I forgot one!!!! Can you spot it!

 Home....

Home....

Party last night. Delivery today plus talk with client. I know what she wants.... I really need the next few days off. But for now, finish the task(s) at hand.

  1. email Jeremiah
  2. read Sarah's email
  3. sand all, seal 2 more times
  4. Questions: Sliders.. fit, handle? How will racks attach to benches? How will cubbies attach to benches?
  5. Things to get: metal feet for benches, wax for sliders, stain pen for front desk, small can to transport sealer, stain, brass screws...

Possible answers to my questions: Don't bring the racks. Forget about the racks. They are out of the picture. Focus on cubbies and benches and sliders! Don't have enough brass to cover all four fronts....Hmmmm. But attaching some ash on the front to flatten maybe in order...Let's see what I have....Maybe the handle can be in the middle?

I don't like the racks. Now thinking of some screens. A lot more work but I just don't think the racks will work. Try to make a quick sketch. Can reuse some of the material. I just feel like the design is not optimal. And subject to too much stress. The screens would not have that problem as they'd be open in front completely. Look at the screens in the window. Try to reuse as much as possible. Last night I was a nihilist for Halloween. Made me realize I really do care a lot about people, places, things. What is it about the last few weeks. Feel pretty stretched thin. I bet I just need a few days of rest... soon. Now back to work.

Sleep when I'm....

How I end up here again and again is amazing. Some kind of pattern. Or unfortunate habit. Time to get jiggy with it!

 Squaring up the new homemade tenoning jig.

Squaring up the new homemade tenoning jig.

Loads to get done today and then music night at 7:30. Yay! What to do first? I'm at a point where details come into play and it seems a little overwhelming. But I have to press on. Finishing must begin tomorrow! It's tricky because there are several parts to each bench. a) the bench b) the cubbie w/sliding door and c) a pair of racks. I think I'll start by finishing the benches! One is still missing legs. Here we go:

  • glue up last legs
  • sand bench parts, dry fit legs
  • trim out cubbies
  • fit doors to cubbies
  • arrange upstairs as staining, sealing station for cubbies and racks
  • go get last ash and peruvian walnut at MacBeaths
  • mill parts for racks
  • break edges, sand rack parts
  • tape off and stain rack parts
  • stain benches
  • stain cubbies
 My signature big finger joint design. Ash is so heavy, but pretty.

My signature big finger joint design. Ash is so heavy, but pretty.

Wow. Saturday will be all about sealing. I think I can make it. I know I can. Back at the cabin Monday night. I am dreaming about waking up there, watching the sun rise, making some bread for my classes, yoga and my first run in 2 1/2 weeks. Ankle feels ready for a little run. 

 Ash on the LT and sugar pine on the RT. Going to make some 3-legged benches out of the pine with lathe turned cherry legs. Think I have just enough!

Ash on the LT and sugar pine on the RT. Going to make some 3-legged benches out of the pine with lathe turned cherry legs. Think I have just enough!