Friday, March 25, 2011


I have this awesome plaster project.

I'm sure my students could offer their own descriptors for the plaster project, but you have to remember that they have no idea all the things they are learning from it. And while they are working like plaster sculpting machines this weekend to meet the deadline I thought I'd share some images of the chaotic plaster pouring day.

All the good photos were taken by Lara Hammond. I took the bad ones.

The pouring day forces everyone to work in close proximity to one another. Ashley "The Wisk" is mixing plaster in the kitty litter bucket.

The Wisk and Keara

The Wisk and Corey the commercial superstar. The Wisk turns up in so many photos because she mixed like a pro.....earning the name "The Wisk".

Andre in his plaster covered socks

Pouring the plaster. I think that's Rion and Adri?

Alexandria and Lara

Anne and her mold. Each student created a sketch for a design and then created a cardboard mold for the plaster.

Kai-lan and Colleen

We mix enough plaster for 3 molds at a time and pour as quickly as possible.

And just like you'd expect....the cardboard and duct tape molds leak a bit. Everyone has to help out....there are parts of 4 different people in the image above.

Abby in stripes with the funnel.

This looks like an insane process and you'd think that everything would fall apart and that none of the designs would work.
But you'd be wrong. OK, the process is a little crazy but all of the forms yield some close relative to the original design. Generally the students end up with something much more interesting and stimulating than they were hoping. That's when they find out this is just the halfway point of the project.

Friday, March 11, 2011

a social moth

If you know know I'm not exactly a social butterfly.
I think I'm getting a little better though. This week I had two social events to attend.

And if you know do not believe I went to two social events in the same week - or the same year. But it's true:

Nena talks with her hands as Aaron contemplates the bucket of kitty litter.

About the kitty litter...I promised free candy to all persons willing to come to the closing reception. Not my kids' leftovers from Halloween or Christmas or even Valentines day. I got the good stuff. As I looked for a container someone suggested I use one of the many Tidy Cats buckets that Dr. Pitts has donated to the sculpture area. It was a great idea.

I spoke to every single one of those people in that photo. Honest.

And there's Dr. Pitts peering through a pony tail.

This is jon. jon is a professional photographer. This is jon's professional photographer face. jon also likes to knit sweaters for his pets.

You can tell jon is a professional photographer because he carries a bipod with him at all times. You never know when the perfect photo moment will develop.

And then there was Mardi Gras. This was a fundraiser event put on by the local hospital and not only did I attend...........I wore a suit. Yes, a suit.
I wore goofy shoes but the suit was a legitimate suit. Back there on the stage is the Dukes of Dixieland band belting out appropriate jazz tunes.

Some sort of conga line broke out with glittery umbrellas. There was a man in a frog suit. It was a very confusing time for me.

Georgie made me go. She would want you to know she did not approve of my shoes.

And of course we had to celebrate with Blue when we got home.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

free candy

6:00 to 8:00 pm this Thursday. The candy will go fast.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

maybe its the horizon

It is certainly not the cultural offerings. The food is good but it can't just be the food. I even spent some time in grad school studying the colors to see if that was it. It wasn't. But I keep wanting to go back to the coast again and again.

A couple of years ago I started to think of the amount of time I spend at the coast just looking out at the horizon. We may say we're watching the waves but how long can you really pay attention to such a trance inducing motion? Maybe it is not the sand or the waves. Maybe I am just orienting myself.

As it happens I've been re-reading Leonard Shlain's book "Art & Physics" and just before we left for the beach last week I read a section dealing with Pythagoras, development of linear text, and light. Shlain mentions the effect of the horizon on humans as our chief orienting device. He goes so far as to suggest that many of the greatest and most successful empires may have excelled simply because they sat on or near a coast with the horizon in sight at all times. I've over simplified this idea of course, but when you consider linear thought, spacial relationships and the development of linear perspective in seafaring cultures you have to realize this is a point worth considering.

How many times each day do you normally see the horizon? For many of us our best chance is on a long stretch of interstate and even then we get only a thin line sandwiched between two clumps of trees. Even if you spend a good bit of time outside there's plenty of architecture and landscaping to block your view of the horizon.

I'm not an airline pilot or a sea captain but maybe as a human I'm wired to stabilize my movements and sense of direction based on the horizon. If in our modern lives with MapQuest or Google we think we no longer need this giant orienting line....perhaps we are fooling ourselves. Maybe our vanishing appreciation of the horizon could account for some of our stress and irrational thinking.

It seems the point of this verbal excursion is: go to the beach. Take a break and consider the horizon. I did and here's what it looked like this time around:

Blue jumping

Blue's special lens attachment for the iPhone (his toy over the lens)

Cold Violet

Warm Violet

Sand turtle with a giant Dali mustache

Sand pirate with Blue