Day three working on the installation was spent getting the 4th section of the composition installed and laying out the last section. It was a shorter working day because I was invited to a potluck by local artists and supporters of the Price Sculpture Forest. It was so lovely to meet everyone and get a chance to take in the gorgeous views the island has to offer. The community here has been so welcoming and supportive of my contribution to the forest. I will definitely be back here again but for playtime instead of work next time.
Day four was filled with finishing up the last section of the circle and then pouring concrete underneath the last three sections. It was tricky to get the concrete to run everywhere but we made it work and eventually everything was covered, with some drainage areas designed in too. There is so much that goes into creating a site specific installation like this; so many hours, so much labor and materials that are beyond the main medium of ceramics. The ceramic pieces are obviously the focus, but all the support systems that are built to showcase the ceramic pieces are often more work, cost and effort and yet go sort of unseen. Tomorrow will be the final work day on site and we’ll backfill over the concrete so the forest floor can return to its natural state and the piece will become a part of the landscape.
I’m really grateful for all the help I received to make this piece possible, from my husband Nate with design and fabrication ideas, to my artist neighbors sourcing materials for me and offering advice and to Scott Price for his vision on this sculpture forest, and who has been getting his hands dirty everyday helping me make this installation a reality. It takes a village to raise and artist and I’m so grateful to my village.
Final photos will be coming next week… stay tuned!
After a two day drive north, I arrived at the Price Sculpture Forest on beautiful Whidbey Island last weekend to start the process of installing my site specific piece entitled Lichen Series | Spore Patterns. I arrived in the middle of a random summer rain storm which seems perfectly appropriate for the Pacific Northwest, everything was lush and green. I was given a personal tour of the forest by founder Scott Price and got details on the artists and works in the collection. Then we got to work scheming and scheduling all the components of this installation. Scott’s dad also got involved designing a custom contraption that would safely and cleanly distribute the concrete to the base of the work in the days to come.
All of the ceramic parts and steel rods were unloaded from the van and carted box by box down the trail to my site including over a ton of concrete that will be used to hold the pieces in place. I got to work on laying out five separate sections of the radial composition and laying out all of the pieces.
Then started installing the over 300 ceramic pieces onto steel rods that had been predesigned to hold them. I even had friends who took a day out of their vacation in the area to help me get started installing and who kept me laughing all day. By the end of the first day, 2 sections had been installed and were ready for concrete. By the end of the second day we successfully used the concrete contraption and poured two sections with concrete and had another section installed.
It’s been long and laborious days, but the installation is really looking great, so it’s all worth it. It’s also great to hear the interest from visitors who are walking by on the trail, everyone is very excited to see what the piece will look like and to learn all about it. The next few days will reveal the final installation and it’s my goal that by the time I pack up all the tools and boxes, replace the underbrush of the forest floor, and let the birds return peacefully, it will seem like the installation has grown in the forest all on it’s own.
It’s been a few years since we’ve had a furry companion in the studio but we’re so happy to welcome Bowie into our pack. He’s a rescued 8 month old mix of shepherd, husky and cattle dog (we think!). He’s super sweet, smart and full of puppy love.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know JB. We grew up together, skiing in the winters in Vermont and scheming adventures in the summers in New Jersey. We go years without seeing each other in person and when we are reunited it’s like no time has passed. I know I can count on him to say yes to any adventure and he is always the first person to make snow angels with me, even if there’s no snow. He’s a lifelong, long lost friend and a crazy talented landscape painter too.
On first glance, you’d swear he was a photographer not a painter. His attention to detail and patience throughout the process of bringing his paintings to life continually astound me. When you scan his horizon format paintings, some of which are only 3 inches high but nearly 6 feet long, you feel there, immersed in the space, seeing it through his eyes. Diving into his seascapes seems like a perfectly reasonable option, it’s as if you’re looking through a window out to the glistening ocean. JB’s work is represented by Robert Lange Studio if you want to add a new piece to your collection, I know it’s a life goal for me! Check out the video below to see his process and learn more…
About JB Boyd’s work: Focusing on the Lowcountry as a subject, Boyd’s paintings start with photographs, or more accurately, the journey to reach the photograph site. Boyd uses boats, ladders, trees and whatever else he can find and/or trespass on to create a unique perspectives. Perched twenty feet above the flat expanse of the marsh, or lying belly down in the mud, Boyd photographs in series to create a 360º view. Then, back in his studio, he arranges, crops, and edits these photographs to make a singular image. Using the image as a reference, his oil paintings are built up layer by layer, with each subsequent layer tightening the detail presented.
Very excited to announce that I’ve just installed a new (to me) larger kiln in the studio! I was able to buy it used from another artist who was downsizing their studio. My husband named the new kiln Hugo because well… it’s huge! Can’t wait to start loading it and firing it up!
This means that I’m now selling my older big kiln, details are below if anyone is interested in it!
For Sale Used Skutt Automatic KM-1027
208 V 31.7 Amps 3 Phase 2350 F/ Cone 10 Max 7 cu ft 23 x 23 x 27d (opening)
Includes: 2 Full Shelves, 5 Half Shelves, Large Selection of Posts, ~10’ of Wire, Receptacle, 40 Amp Breaker for Square D Box.
Condition: New elements, Thermocouple, Relay Switches, Plug and Receptacle. Some damage to bricks, missing/broken peep hole plugs, has envirovent but doesn’t work- could possibly be fixed.
Now that the ceramic parts for this site specific installation are completed, it’s time to start working on the infrastructure. Each of the ceramic pieces will be epoxied to a steel rod that will be anchored into the ground supporting the pieces and also allowing them to float off the ground about a foot. This will give an ethereal vibe to the piece while also allowing the forest floor room to regrow beneath the work.
There are over 300 parts but about half of them are large enough that they require two rods to support them, so that totals to approximately 450 rods that need to be fabricated, plus some extras of course. I ordered 1300′ of steel rod that needs to be cut into 30″ lengths, the ends are ground so they are not sharp and then I’m welding on a washer to the end of each rod where the ceramic piece will rest and be epoxied to the rod. It’s simple, but it is A LOT of parts to make.
I’ve also started to pack up all the parts and make lists of everything I’ll need to bring with me for the installation. And trying to prepare and plan for all the ‘what ifs’ that might happen. Luckily, I can already tell that I’ve got a great team meeting me on site and that even if all doesn’t go as planned, we’re going to make it work and make it beautiful!
Installation is now officially scheduled for early August, and I’ll be posting the progress on my Instagram feed if you want to follow along.