On Running

This morning I woke up with last nights worries still on my mind. What's the point in sleeping if you wake up with that same old feeling. For a change, the sky was clear and the sun was out though the weather forecast called for rain. No one knows. I made some coffee, sat down to look at emails, FB, the news online, anything, something to pull me out of my head and into the new day but yesterday's ghosts are stubborn companions. I kept glancing out the window until a feeling of urgency seized my body. I have to go, get out and run...  But my running clothes are still in the dryer, wet from yesterday... where are my shoes?

My shoes were dry and by the door so in what I was wearing, white corduroys and a red windbreaker, I went out the door, running...

Nothing feels better to me these days. It's the only time my body and brain seem to be working together. It only took a few minutes to realize I'd overdressed but I didn't stop as I slipped off my jacket, tied it around my waist and kept on running...

Over the asphalt until it turns to gravel, past the neat german houses and the farms and fields of corn, across the bridge spanning the autobahn into the forest, where the air still glimmered with mist in the morning light. As the path gently bends, I cannot see around the corner, what the future holds, but it doesn't matter. 

Body-Mind connection my ego isolated, slips of paper at her feet, letters of regret, unmet expectations, to find the will to let it all go, to feel today free of the weight, the wait.... Nothing else really matters. I have nothing else, none of us do, besides today. 

I run for 3 miles before stopping to catch my breath. Looking down I notice my corduroys and can't help but smile. I bend down to pick up a twig, from a fir or a spruce, to admire the lichen laced around it, and the how the colors, saturated with rain, fill my eyes with wonder.  My mind drifts on thoughts about fallen trees, time and space, symbiosis, friendship. I put the branch down and keep on running, across the damp earth, that gives a little, welcoming and returning a little bounce of energy, a burst of dew arches at my heels and it feels like I'm getting closer to something...

It's raining now. I'm glad to be inside. My legs are tired but not sore. The arch of my left foot, the cramp in my right upper calf, old friends now, call to mind my vulnerable, resilient, sensitive, strong, human body. All our bodies with grace carrying us through the days, sunlit and golden, or to the bone cold, wet hair loose with rain running down our backs when inside it's like a miracle, a fire, burns. 

As long as I can I will keep on running.

 

On Anxiety

Someone posted something on FB the other day about how anxiety disorder can give you super powers. It was a nice article but sort of cute. Running today I thought more about the subject:

The thing about anxiety that I find so transformative is the way it makes me feel after the panic has subsided. After the cold hard clasp around my neck has loosened, replaced by the familiar damp comfort of my own sweat I am in awe of it all. I am in awe of the rhythm of my breath, and the continuing beat of my heart muscle encased in blood that circulates through my entire body, from the top of my head to the tip of my toes, blood I can see sometimes when I make an error in judgement. This is the gift of anxiety, something others might experience through the use of hallucinogenic drugs, or near life-near death experiences. I can't say I've been near death in a clinical manner but the way one with anxiety faces the limitless abyss of ones own making is a kind of death that you experience but then are pardoned from and in this after life you have a new awareness, your senses are heightened.  Some people might say you are a very sensitive person... but I say We are alive.

Yea, it's my birthday

...Which can be tricky for us sensitive types. I was trying to ready myself but it was still a bit tough waking up alone and making my first cup of coffee, but there was some kind of energy, a softness against my back, bouying me, keeping me from falling completely, nudging me forward, gently encouraging me to create a kind day. Out on the trail before 8AM I ran into some realizations. I don't need to write them down. I know it in my heart. Running listening to the air, the birds and trees my mind drifting between ideas of forgiveness and healing and ultimately at spirit of confidence and determination. My mom sent a note and I replied in a slightly catty tone (I am a Leo!) sending her a link to the shoes currently occupying the top of my birthday wish list. HOKA LOVE! These shoes brought me back to running, something I am really proud I'm able to do again. Heading out soon in fact, today, for a longer run. Shooting for 7 - 8 miles, then tomorrow can be a recovery day. But last night, dinner, Filet Mignon, Glazed Ginger Carrots, Roasted Cauliflower, Brown Rice and for dessert, banana bread with cherries, chocolate and cream.... some Stone IPAs wow!!!! What a treat. I have the energy I think to run a bit longer today.

Birthday wishes.... Hoka ATR Love!

Birthday wishes.... Hoka ATR Love!

I don't usually think of myself as a flowers type of gal but this morning these couldn't be sweeter! From my hosts at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus. Cupcake did not make the photoshoot.

I don't usually think of myself as a flowers type of gal but this morning these couldn't be sweeter! From my hosts at Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus. Cupcake did not make the photoshoot.

Studio now, Czech writing, German dictionary, SM58 and my laptop that I finally paid off just yesterday!

Studio now, Czech writing, German dictionary, SM58 and my laptop that I finally paid off just yesterday!

Our show has also been getting some write ups, most notably from Helmut Hein, MZ, a philosopher and journalist from Regensburg. The article is very positive. There are some errors, Santa Cruz is not a small town... and my parents are not "primeval." Some things get lost in translation for sure. One has to move around the words, try to understand the spirit and meaning and connections. Translation is not a literal exercise. I've been doing a lot of it lately and it's been very satisfying and challenging.

I like this picture! Though I have a little bedhead going on in the back. Dominic and Susanne... I hope to stay in touch with both.

I like this picture! Though I have a little bedhead going on in the back. Dominic and Susanne... I hope to stay in touch with both.

I think I maybe moving toward a new future line of research. It's inevitable I suppose. But I've been reading about Language via David Abrahms wonderful book Spell of the Sensous. I feel as though I should read it again but I'm on to the next, Green Bloc by Maja Fowkes about Ecological Art during the Socialist/Communist era in Central and Eastern Europe. There is something uniquely effective about this work being made during that period of political oppression. And of course I have a personal connection to it, as part of my identity, my ancestry and my contemporary art practice. It's like this maybe: In the USA there is so much abundance and at the same time such civil discontent.

There are layers and layers of social issues from civil rights, reparations for slavery, first nations, womens' rights to equal pay, to have control over their own bodies, and all the socially sanctioned phobias against immigrants, gays, lesbians, trans people, class, economical, racial oppression and privilege....phew to much to name...  so focusing on the environment might seem to some a sort of soft, elitist, or privileged. I don't know, this is just a slowly evolving idea... making ecological work seems somehow less pointed, on point (?) than making work on social issues, I get the feeling at least sometimes.

Yet it only takes a moment to understand how it is all connected. And even then though it carries this sort of utopian hippie leisure class aura. SO in the context of political oppression, ecological work possesses a certain weight possibly because the environment, the plants, animals, bio-systems abused by power structures can be readily imagined as symbols of under-represented or oppressed social classes.

But it's also very exciting to learn about what was going on behind the iron curtain, how these artists were creating an art form and practice that would resonate for decades and generations to come. I'm into it. All right. It's 9AM. I need to get myself up and into the studio. May be a little break in the storm today at noon and would love to run between the rain drops. Here is a list of somethings I'd love to touch on today:

  1. Run!
  2. Work on new classes 1 hour
  3. Work on Lichen - I need to draw up possible track patterns. Made it longer last night and decided some things. The video projections can be simple, and there is a figure/dancer that passes over the 3 separate channels, once alone, then in 3s. in silhouette? 
  4. Us needs the vocal track. Transplant existing and sing along with it.
  5. Go through video for Us. 
  6. Imagine what the last frames might be like.
  7. Look at FD-RS project dimensions and make a basic sketch.
  8. Important phone call 7PM - 10PM!
  9. Read Green Bloc
  10. Read Post-Commodity
  11. Make visual outline for Deacon essay.

Freaking the Flow Out!

The opening reception was fun and well attended. We sat for an interview with a photographer/philosopher from Regensburg then went to lunch at the new cafe next door to the residency. I really enjoyed chatting with everyone. I've been feeling isolated, in my non-german speaker world... but I learned to say Ich sprechen kein deutch and people really opened up and started speaking to me! Plus some people lamented that they did not know more czech. The borders were closed for so long... they would say. And so the day went well but after everyone departed I felt restless so I worked on Lichen some more and got it further along. Still I have no footage and:

  1. I like the moments when the english and czech meet or stagger but sometimes it's too jumbled. I will have to devise a sort of weaving pattern. Jumbled moments can happen but seldom and for a reason.
  2. Now that it's taken me 2 days to pronounce the czech (I could redo it all now as well, faster, and may have too) I can only imagine the German will take at least twice as long! And I still need the translation from the interns. Nudge that along today. (email is okay)
  3. Pick up stuff to return to Amazon.de
  4. Video for Lichen????? None taken yet. Hoping to go out later today as in 20 minutes! Though it may rain.
  5. Some video taken last night for US. I hope I am not getting ahead of myself. Excited at the moment. But I know sometimes the first sort of revelation is not the final... but sometimes it is....
Incomplete Arrival, 2017

Incomplete Arrival, 2017

Really odd stuff. But something. Maybe a little heavy handed right now. Plan to soften it and overlay, much softer. This is the raw material.

Incomplete Arrival, 2017

Incomplete Arrival, 2017

Incomplete arrival, 2017

Incomplete arrival, 2017

Incomplete Arrival, 2017

Incomplete Arrival, 2017

I also filmed the boombox... that was what started it all. I thought I'd turned it off but it was blinking at me from across the room. It's some sweet and simple footage. Not sure if it's the one but it might squeak into the mix. 

Afterwards I made the mistake of going online and was ambushed by domestic concerns. It sent me into a spiral of anxiety. I began to visualize a abandoned treadmill, running, humming, with a repetitive thrumming where the belt track seam hit the driving pulley, and strewn about the machine were books and boxes and clothes and unfinished furniture parts. Oh my lordy lord goddess help me take another deep breath! Later on my sleep was disrupted by a severe leg cramp. I can still feel it in my upper calf. But by the time I woke up a voice inside was saying, "WTF. Don't be a victim here. Take all the time it needs. But get to work and work smart....," 

Then I read some of David Sedaris's Diaries and I feel considerably better (looking for a few comedic essays for my Professional Practice class because future artists must at least have a well developed sense of humor, or at least know where to find some comic relief!). Heck, if it's all gone to heck in a hand basket at home, there's as I've realized, the rest of the world.

Gotta get serious. Where's my toothbrush. I'm ready.

Studio Daze

And I travel half way around the world to finally get some solid studio daze? Or is my studio now expanded, existing all around me, enveloping me like the very environment from which I take breath. I breathe it in. I am grateful. 

Byrne-Milliron Forest, Santa Cruz County, California USA

Byrne-Milliron Forest, Santa Cruz County, California USA

I have returned to work on the last two episodes of the first season (haha why not!) of Lessons from the Forest. The sequences deal with Lichen and the ever expanding universe, macro and micro as we are nested in both at once. Our personal perspective is an echo of an enveloping reality that echoes out beyond our conscious capacity... or is that it's yet untapped. Can we feel it somehow, in a field, in our hearts, the infinity of being in the present? 

Minerals from the Berlin Natural History Museum July 2017

Minerals from the Berlin Natural History Museum July 2017

Plans today include working on audio, meeting the mayor of Schwandorf, lunch with the director of the Art Center where I am staying and hopefully some socializing with the 3 other artists in the show. This has been a very solitary experience. Not knowing the language, hardly a drop, really limits ones hopes and desires to communicate. I keep trying to push myself out the door and down the street to the neighborhood biergarten but I am ashamed. It is a feeling I must endure. This is how language works sometimes. It keeps us apart. I'll practice a few phrases next. I will make it a goal to go to that biergarten! Perhaps on my birthday... which is Tuesday, July 25! 

Two baskets (3 feet and 6 feet tall) from 2016, San Francisco, CA  USA

Two baskets (3 feet and 6 feet tall) from 2016, San Francisco, CA  USA

Looking back at some work from this past year I see that it wasn't all a loss. These guys above, though problematic (which could be more an issue of studio dimensions and storage space) moved my work in a new directions. Materially there are definite issues. But I believe I could find something more resilient, more forgiving in others like these. I also liked the wall mounted version and hope to make more of those for fun and experimentation.

More little worlds, total height around 12", maybe 10" wide. From my de Young Museum installation October, 2016, San Francisco, CA  USA

More little worlds, total height around 12", maybe 10" wide. From my de Young Museum installation October, 2016, San Francisco, CA  USA

From Abrams: If the past makes up the ground underneath our feet, we may benefit from on occasion, reexamining recent events to better understand where we stand, in the present. As it's my birthday month, July, I am being fiercely critical of myself. But also in awe of the flow of events. Can't list them now. Turning towards the new day in front of me, but my feet feel like they are suddenly standing on firmer, but more forgiving ground. 

Soft Sundays from Byrne-Milliron Forest, Santa Cruz County, CA  USA

Soft Sundays from Byrne-Milliron Forest, Santa Cruz County, CA  USA

Order of operations:

  1. Work on audio 1 hr
  2. Get ready for meetings
  3. Meet and greet
  4. Lunch with Andrea

We're getting a pretty solid rain now. The forest will be pleased. Lichen will be refreshed and ready for filming in the coming days. The tripod I managed to get my hands on weighs more than my bike! Ha! Not really but it's pretty solid. I'll find some rope and make it happen. Audio first, then video. Once I have the footage it's nearly there... or somewhere... must keep things open for magical accidents, those that happen when we pay close and constant attention to the work, when we let go of expectations and just let it unfold. But gotta get all my parts on the table.

Caio for now! Or I should practice... Tchuss!

Keep on rambling...

Finding it hard to write. I've been traveling now for 3 weeks and more. I've seen places, chatted with people, drank a lot of beer, started running again. I feel like I've not stopped moving for some time, even before I boarded that plane. Pretty soon I'll be climbing back on heading back to NY and then California, hopping back onto the freeway and starting another semester. What is this all for? Life is for living, I remind myself as often as possible. Those old expectations are meaningless in light of my new life. I don't know what will happen next. No one does really in the large sense. Certainly some things can be predicted but others remain a mystery until they evolve and emerge before us. 

Back to the forest again...

Back to the forest again...

Back into the forest with me then. If I am lost mentally it's time to get lost physically. See where I come out in the end. Is it all still because of the heart? Is that the chief agent in all this? Do I need to shut it off, subdue its constant questioning to get anything done? Or do I join it, listen to it and say yes, that's true, that did hurt you but here are some great new things to consider and take in. The past I am learning is underground. The past is behind and beyond that horizon that is untouchable. The future withholds yet yields eventually to our will, given we still have some to greet what is still invisible. The past is buried, the future is ready to be unearthed. It's always in front of you. And me.

Yea, okay, so it's been a while since I held decent studio hours. I feel like the past year, year plus I really threw myself into a mess. I stretched myself so thin that all I could do was just barely show up. That is not even touching on the true potential I can may achieve in a present state, with presence. I'm done with that, not taking the work seriously, going through the motions. It's not satisfying. It's not productive. It's not respectful to anything or anyone. Am I going to publish this, likely not... just write.

There are a lot of things I want to write about. The Deacon show for one. And the song Magnificent. I also would like to write a script for the de Young video. I am on it! I have all the time I need. Now for just a little list to get me organized, mentally. 

  1. Run ~
  2. Read
  3. Listen to mom's recording of Lichen
  4. Edit script lichen ~
  5. Record czech lichen
  6. Choose 4 german phrases to learn for tomorrow
  7. 10-11AM tripod and memory card ~ (new card missing, not delivered)
  8. Read through lichen and draw up story board
  9. Look through de Young material and start sketching ideas for a 3 - 4 minute video. (this may be postponed... yes, use this as my Djerassi application.)
  10. Remaster US
  11. Draw up story board for US
  12. Shoot some video
  13. Write, just write, ramble, and make an outline of the Deacon review
  14. Write an outline of the Magnificent (song) review
  15. Write an outline of Hana's story  So go on then. Don't be afraid. Failure is imminent. It's what's on the other side that I'm aiming for. Failure is part of the process. Fear or failure is natural. Move through it. But let's try to focus on being present today, here, now, feeling my own two feet on the earth.
  16. Pedicure! Why of course. If I'm to meet the mayor!
  17. Listen to German tape.     Oh! About the earth, I have begun reading about central eastern european art during the socialist/communist regime and I find it so inspiring. I've decided to make or remake a piece Wednesday and or Thursday it honor of those artists I am just learning about. Add to the list:
  18. Read more about central eastern european ecological art practices during the                   socialist/communist regime
  19. Write a bit or draw about Abrams. This book is really sprawling. Yet amazingly specific to my present mental and creative moment.

..to be continued no doubt. Write it all down. 

Lost in Prague (after finding friends in Berlin)

Almost 10 days has passed since my last post and 2 weeks since my last real post. I've been in Europe, part pleasure, part research, part art business trip. I have loads of photos and experiences to share. I'm realizing too that well known phrase 'where ever I am, I am me...' and I like it. Lately I've been thinking about about life, how things turn and suddenly your on a new and unexpected path and how these new life ways might not meet previous expectations. It takes a while to accept it's not like you think it would be and sometimes this blinds you from new opportunities nested in this alternative present.

Walking around Berlin with Judith and Christoph

Walking around Berlin with Judith and Christoph

Judith, Christoph and friends at a Berlin dance hall and beer garden after visiting gallery KW

Judith, Christoph and friends at a Berlin dance hall and beer garden after visiting gallery KW

Berlin was wonderful although brief but I was eager to get to Prague. But my time there was rich and lovely. Spending time with my new friends, debating art, eating Turkish food and learning to navigate the metro was a great way to acclimate further to the European continent. The flat I stayed in was so cool, a combination of run down ikea antique. Big windows, art everywhere, moments of spot on design and architectural decline. Everyone was so welcoming. I hope to have good reason to return! Maybe a show in Christoph's gallery? Will put that idea in my back pocket. Spending time with them started to warm up my cold art muscles and I found myself starting to think again about making non-utilitarian studio work. 

Poster for the Deacon retrospective in Praha '17

Poster for the Deacon retrospective in Praha '17

...and then I saw this! More on this to come. Time to get my running shoes on and clear my head running through the urban parks in Praha. 2 days left till I head to Schwandorf... much to do, mainly prep some video for the screening and master 'US', play around with AfterEffects and visit Kavarna Novy Svet to enjoy some more coffee and pastries and take pictures. My dear friends with whom I've been staying opened the cafe a few years ago and it's making quite a name for itself. The coffee is superior, the baked goods are delicious and made with love and the atmosphere keeps you coming back. yesterday they were a little short staffed and I put on an apron and worked back and front of house for 9 hours. It was super fun and I felt happy to have a chance to help those who have helped me feel so welcome here in Prague.

Squeezing it in!

Today is the last big work day on the desk. Managed to get some things done yesterday and played one song at the Ivy for kind people. My fingers were all over the place but I think my voice was pretty solid. So glad I made that sudden turn right instead of heading towards the freeway. I drove up to see friends waiting for me to play! I feel blessed.

Brass inlay #2. Pretty pretty. Wait till I stain the Ash to Walnut!

Brass inlay #2. Pretty pretty. Wait till I stain the Ash to Walnut!

Massive amounts of things to do today. But getting near to sanding, staining and sealing. Some drawers left to finish which can actually happen later. And I think the brass might just work... if I can fit the bend in my studio! I should try to test it and actually bend it for real on site.

  1. Rafael - table corners, brass screws (for drawer fronts), Brasso, 80 grit sand paper, shorter bolts, t-nuts and something else I just thought of and promptly forgot!
  2. Finish drop down.
  3. Fix bottoms of curves.
  4. Sand stain fronts and tops!
  5. Finish drawers and drawer fronts.
  6. Sand insides and seal.
  7. I will have to epoxy the top brass onsite. The front vertical brass... prep it.. May need to chisel out the base trim a tiny bit to get brass flush over as well as cut that funny bottom corner on A.
  8. Measure and drill holes in big brass. 
  9. Clean and cut brass.
  10. Label drawers and unload, wrap!

I am sure there is tons more to do. That's all I can think of. Might actually squeeze a run in on Sunday! Deliver-install starts at 3. Yow!!! This might just.... this is happening.

 

 

 

I'll Sleep on the Plane

It's serious. Time is playing tricks, slipping away as I work, and rework. I'm learning so much! Trying to stay calm and present through all this. Much to do, much has been done. I'm taking a moment for myself this morning to run then back to the shop.

Last run 3 days ago.

Last run 3 days ago.

I can sense an all nighter in my future but I can just sleep on the plane! Monday 5:15 PST. Yow!

I've built 8 of these pull out shelves. 2 more to go!

I've built 8 of these pull out shelves. 2 more to go!

To keep things relatively even i love my shop jigs!

To keep things relatively even i love my shop jigs!

Did something new with my planer yesterday. Big plywood is a dumbie board and the birch slips right over the top to safely plane under 1/8 of an inch. Love my little Makita!

Did something new with my planer yesterday. Big plywood is a dumbie board and the birch slips right over the top to safely plane under 1/8 of an inch. Love my little Makita!

I was home at the cabin for less than 2 hours yesterday to close up and pack and look what greeted me! Joy blooms. Hope in a crystal. Things are ripening and ready to burst!

I was home at the cabin for less than 2 hours yesterday to close up and pack and look what greeted me! Joy blooms. Hope in a crystal. Things are ripening and ready to burst!

Now for my list:

  1. Run
  2. Shower (it's an accomplishment sometimes!)
  3. Shop by 9AM prep to bend birch for lower trim.
  4. Bend lower trim 
  5. Line up C+D
  6. bolts
  7. Face frame
  8. Shelf (2)
  9. Drawers
  10. Cut Brass
  11. Haircut 5 PM

I will have to work after my haircut, probably till the sun goes down. Thankful for the long days. Tonight I will pack and prep a bit for my trip plus drill holes!! Sleep on the plane.

Count down to Berlin!

Time to hustle. 9 days to installation. Making progress but still much to do. Work, run, eat, sleep.

Looking good. 

Looking good. 

Picked up brass yesterday. It's too long to fit in my studio! Will have to cut it up just to manage it. Think about that later today. Now a list to keep me focused. Early to bed tonight....!

  1. Run
  2. bolt center cabs together
  3. Glue, nail trip on two center cabs
  4. Finish up edges of tops
  5. Cut 3/4 inch brass for tops (test)
  6. Router top groove (3/4 inch, 1/8 inch shy deep)
  7. Shelves for center cabs
  8. Drawers for center cabs (need screws)
  9. Rip and add plywood supports for lower trim.
  10. Rip 1/8th inch x 2 1/8 inch Ash for 2 corners
  11. Cut plywood corner supports (use existing scraps corners!)
  12. Call hairdresser see if can move around appointment (?)

Breathe. Run. Have some fun. Ice cream!!!!

Details, details

It's detail time at Made by Hand. Trying to stay focused, go with the flow, get to sleep by 11 and stay hydrated. Berlin is 12 days away!

Well that took forever!

Well that took forever!

TO DO:

  1. Make a list.
  2. Focus on finishing one cab completely today to know trim, shelf and drawer layout.
  3. Build base frame.
  4. Details, details....
  5. Order brass for pick up tomorrow.
  6. Run till the sun goes down!

Well that all seems feasible. Good luck! Happy Solstice! 

Starting to Finish...!

I found myself sanding the tops last night which means I must be getting close to starting to finish!!

My mini-shop chock full of cabinets and tools!

My mini-shop chock full of cabinets and tools!

Still a good amount of questions but they are getting fewer. Wrote up a pretty good punch list which leaves even a few days for catching up and time to pack!

Punch list time!

Punch list time!

I was working late last night having had a late start due to a early morning migraine followed by a mid morning nose bleed! So since I was only sanding and it was past 7PM I had a bit of Corralitos Brewing CO. Lupalin IPA. Making sanding fun again!

Only because all I was going was sanding. Otherwise kids, safety first!

Only because all I was going was sanding. Otherwise kids, safety first!

On Monday I did have a pretty magical day. On my run I came upon a little creature in need. What happened next just about made my... life. I'll post a bit later about it but for now it's up on my instagram page. enjoy!

Bending, starting to finish, the countdown!

 It took more than a few days to recover mentally and technically from that last major minor set back. Spent a few days at the cabin, baked some damn good Norwegian FILMJÖLKSLIMPA bread. So, so good. Froze half for later. Yum! Buttermilk, rye, molasses and loads of seeds and things.

Maria's garden beginning to explode back home in Watsonville

Maria's garden beginning to explode back home in Watsonville

One of my favorite, okay my favorite trail running place, Nisene Marks in Aptos.

One of my favorite, okay my favorite trail running place, Nisene Marks in Aptos.

Current favorite running place, Blithedale Ridge!

Current favorite running place, Blithedale Ridge!

Back to the office. Bending and routering done now I'm on to trim, shelves, drawers and base frame. At this point, it's time to make a punch list/calendar. Everyday is crucial. I can't believe I'm leaving for Berlin in 2 weeks. Can't even think about it.

  1. Run
  2. Macbeaths - for plywood and more ash
  3. OSH - packing tape, sanding disks
  4. Art store - Kraft paper
  5. Laminate (again, last time, seriously)
  6. Shelves!
  7. Order brass
  8. Base frame (figure out curve later)
  9. Dry fit!
  10. Yoga (if possible, for measurements, can do Tuesday as well)
Bending ply! Used screws to clamp which will make more finishing but worked!

Bending ply! Used screws to clamp which will make more finishing but worked!

Just a few pics to show I've actually been working.

DIY clamp extensions. Haven't had a chance to use them yet. Hopefully today!

DIY clamp extensions. Haven't had a chance to use them yet. Hopefully today!

Humbled again...

After a joyful day spent routering I discovered Saturday that I'd routered an extra rounded corner into my design! How did I do that with the model just by my side? Can't I stop to think? Can't I do anything right? DEEEEE-pressing... but it is what it is as a lady at Trader Joes tells me as I relay my story to her trying to find some sympathy against the self-bashing going on in my brain. 

Cutting the major-minor mistake off the table top.

Cutting the major-minor mistake off the table top.

Initially I thought I'd have to remake the whole piece but now I only need 8 more board feet of 8/4 ash... and of course there is a shortage, why wouldn't there be! Ahhh. A yard in SF is getting a shipment tomorrow or Wednesday so I'll pick some up on the way back from a few days in the cabin. As I said to the men in the yard as I walked out empty handed, "the saga continues." 

"It never ends," they replied. I say. But now that I look at this I see something interesting, something I might be able to apply to my sculptural practice... when I have the space and time.

My studio is chock full of things, growing.

My studio is chock full of things, growing.

I did manage to get some work done yesterday despite my blue mood. I am still a little behind. But I'm glad to be working, creating and learning. Next challenge, bending the 2" wide by 1/8" thick brass flat bar that will form the edge of the table top. That'll be a trick. Getting conflicting advice as usual so I'll need to discover for myself. Saga continues indeed.

That pesky cabinet that I made twice. Two times as nice!?

That pesky cabinet that I made twice. Two times as nice!?

What I learned: when you get to congratulating yourself before the job is done, check yourself and your plans thoroughly.

Router day!

I'd wanted to use a CNC to complete the edge work and cutouts for the current project; I even took a series of classes at TECH SHOP but when push comes to shove, I'll do it by hand...

New Dewalt 1/4 shank router with dust attachment. In love!

New Dewalt 1/4 shank router with dust attachment. In love!

I'm pretty pleased. Had a few close calls, due to operator error, but once I figured things out (repaired the template!) things went smoothly. But hold on, you gotta hold in. My oh my. Glad that parts done. I also found this one particular blade for my Jig saw that didn't quite bend like the others. Must find more. Like my friend Paul told me once, "the router is for shaping, not cutting." It's for details and templates. It's a beasty sometimes but an old friend. Plus templates are a little fun! CNC one day but for now I'll keep doing what I'm good at. May consider buying a full size router... or just really learn that CNC. Big router means big bits which means $$$$ and more possible trouble. My new 1/4 router is about as big as I want to get, enough power as long as I rough cut to the line.

Some of my handy work and the master template.

Some of my handy work and the master template.

Plus if I did it with CNC I'd miss all this sawdust!

Today I think I'll start milling more ash for trim:

  1. Hike and or Run!
  2. Mill ash for trim, 1 7/8 for back of table tops and 3/4 for cabinet trim. Might need to get more!
  3. Install trim
  4. Yoga and check height for base dims
  5. Banana bread! Adding cherries to this batch!
  6. Finish assessing media applicants for unnamed residency program!

Random list of things I hope to accomplish today. Better get moving! Working through the weekend but plan to take a few days of home in the mountains.... so it's worth it. Happy Saturday!

Making (more) Progress

Back in my mini-shop and making good progress.

Little West Wood Shop, 2017

Little West Wood Shop, 2017

I found a practical use for my color crazy sandbags!

I found a practical use for my color crazy sandbags!

I have decided to go with the 1/8 inch brass for bending around the table top. It's local, more affordable, thicker and more sturdy, but will also entail I quickly re-acquaint myself with metal heating and bending specifically for brass. Some say it can be bent cold but mostly I'm reading that one should heat it to just under red hot then dip it in cold water to anneal it. 

Found image of my installation at de Young.  Okay, I googled myself+baskets. Nice!

Found image of my installation at de Young.  Okay, I googled myself+baskets. Nice!

Making Progress

I like to take my time when I can. That's what I've been doing lately as the rush of the Spring semester recedes into the distance until wow suddenly I realize I'll be packing for Europe in 4 weeks and installing this piece! Time to ramp it up. Starting to move parts to my mini-shop in Berkeley where I'll work on details and attempt to make it all fit in a space smaller than it's ultimate length! It fits in my mind!

View from Blithedale Ridge

View from Blithedale Ridge

I've been staying with friends near Mount Tamalpias. It's been wonderful. Closer to the big shop and afterwards everyday I run this pretty challenging trail that initially seemed to only go uphill. Now it's a new friend. My time is improving and I recognize the familiar bends and climbs. I've also started refinishing their bench. Doing it the hard way as usual.

Managed to laminate the tops on Sunday. Still so many questions. Move forward through the unknown. It will be revealed.

Sometimes love and work come together.

Sometimes love and work come together.

Process

Today was hard... as was yesterday.  Spent 2 hours trying to set up a SS table saw for dado. First wrong cartridge (we have a legacy saw) then all three correct cartridges were bad (?!%#). Add to that the bank....! no, not here...

Ash prepared for lamination

Ash prepared for lamination

IMG_3153.jpg

Reminds me of what I sometimes tell my students: "Nothing is really stable, or level for that matter. The natural state of matter is decay. So when we build, when we create, we are working against the odds, against gravity, the Universe! That's why it's hard. Why are we doing this? That's a whole other question..." to be considered.