work in progress… so, so, so many parts!

Just a quick video to share what’s going on in the studio these days….

There are literally hundreds of porcelain parts in this video piled up on the studio shelves, and I need sooooo many more for upcoming projects. They are all hand cut with an an xacto knife, smoothed with water and some have spiky appendages added on, some of them are drying and some are fully fired, eventually they will be piled up on all the shelves I’ve got. The good thing is that it’s pretty repetitive and meditative to make them, so while I’m working, I can be listening to a book or podcast and be able to pay attention to both things. Stay tuned to see what I end up using all of these for!

The Umbels are Up!

Yesterday, I installed my four largest Umbels at Sierra Azul Sculpture Garden in Watsonville CA as a part of Sculpture IS: 2022 exhibition. I love showing my work in this space, it’s truly one of my favorite annual local shows. Here’s a sneak peek of A Feast of Fennels, but you really need to get to see this show in person – it officially opens June 1st!

About A Feast of Fennels: The inspiration for these sculptures comes from my exploration of the natural world, and my curiosity about identifying plants, especially the edible ones. As an amateur forager, every hike in the woods has become like a trip to the grocery store for me. Fennels are one of the most recognized edibles that grow in California, available for the taking, yet there is a tendency to not trust the wild plants. This disconnect we humans have with nature, the loss of knowledge about native plants and how that relates to the global issue of food insecurity are all concepts explored with these pieces. 

Sierra Azul Nursery & Gardens | 2660 E Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076 | Open Daily 10 – 5

Sculpture IS: 2022 | June 1 – October 31 | pvarts.org

Finished Marine Drifters

Marine Drifters has 237 porcelain parts attached across 3 deep blue panels. Each panel is 26″ x 72″ and now they are off to the framers to get their plexiglass boxes made and then they will be installed. Really loving this one and can’t wait to see it installed in it’s new home.

The forms of the porcelain are based on the intricate skeletal structures of a variety of planktons. Planktons play a huge role in the health of our planet as they release oxygen into the atmosphere while alive and when they die, they trap carbon sinking it into the deep ocean, as well as being a major source of food for ocean animals.

Panel 1/3
Panel 2/3
Panel 3/3

Public Art Work in Progress Update

The studio has been taken over with the process of prepping three 26″x72″ panels for the public art piece that will be placed in a new health care building here in Santa Cruz. I have literally been watching paint dry for days on end, building up the layers to get a beautiful blue surface to place my porcelain pieces on. I’ve finally been able to start on the layout of the pieces and get a nice flow between all the panels that mimics the Santa Cruz County coastline.

Once I’m happy with the layout, every piece will get adhered to the panels. Some of pieces lay flat but some have rods attached to the backs so they will be drilled into the panel and float off the surface creating areas of depth in the piece. Excited to see these finished and send them off to the framers for protective plexi boxes and their mounting hardware.

public art work in progress…

My days in the studio right now have been bouncing between a few upcoming projects but the piece that is occupying most of the space is a wall mounted work for a new health care building in Santa Cruz. I’ve been making all the ceramic parts and playing with size, layout designs and balancing all of that with the clients needs. It’s a really fun puzzle to work on and it’s starting to come together. It’s also amazing just how much work goes into placing artwork into a public space, like, a gazillion emails, testing, testing and then testing materials some more, plus all the design changes, to make it all just right. In the end, it will be so worth it to see the work shine in it’s space.

back panel tests, the space & sample porcelain pieces

Below is the photoshopped version of what is to come, there will be hundreds of porcelain pieces placed on three separate panels mounted above this workstation that spans approximately 20 feet across. The final piece will get encased in a plexiglass frame to protect the pieces. The curve of the line is based on the shape of the Santa Cruz County coastline while the pieces are based on the skeletal forms of a variety planktons that live in all oceans. I’m pretty excited to start in on this endeavor, entitled ‘Marine Drifters’, and I hope that it makes for an enjoyable place who will work here and see the artwork on a daily basis.

Photoshopped mock up of the final approved design

Inspiration at the aquarium

It’s not hard to get inspired about nature, the ocean and all its amazing creatures when you visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I’ve been many times but hadn’t been there in many years and it was such a good reminder of was an incredible resource it is and it’s less than an hour away from my studio.

While the swaying kelp forests and swirling anchovy tanks are reliably hypnotic, they just opened their newest exhibition Into the Deep, which showcases the strangest of creatures from the depths of the ocean floor. The Japanese Spider Crabs were so gigantic, they almost looked fake and the Basket Starfish is otherworldly. But really, I can’t stop watching this video I took of a bloody belly comb jelly, it’s only red when spotlit since the red light spectrum is gone at that depth allowing it to hide in plain site….nature is the best artist.

work in progress…

A few things are going on in the studio these days…

All of these Bone Series parts will be going towards two different exhibits, one is a public art piece for a wall installation at a new health care building in Santa Cruz and the rest (plus many more) will be used on a site specific installation at an exhibition at UCSC’s Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery this fall.

I love how parts sitting around the studio catching the morning light can be just as beautiful as any planned installation I might create. The shadows become just as important at the pieces themselves and it makes you see the pieces in a whole new way.

In additions to all the porcelain Bone Series parts, the big Umbels came back into the studio from their showing in the This is the Anthropocene exhibit and now I’m working on designing stems for them so they can be displayed at Sierra Azul’s sculpture garden as part of Sculpture IS: 2022. It will be fun to see these guys up off the ground and outside.

And on the side, I’m also running some experiments with fusing glass in the kiln. If you’ve seen my resin pieces with the porcelain parts embedded in them, the plan is the same with these pieces but using glass instead of resin. It will be a challenge to get them to be successful but I’m excited about the idea of using a material that isn’t plastic while still getting a similar layered effect with glass… we will see what happens here…fingers crossed!

Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery Visit at UCSC

I went up to Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery this week with curator Tauna Coulson to see the gallery space and toss around ideas for my upcoming exhibition there this fall. It’s a beautiful space nestled into the redwoods that I hadn’t been to a million years. As a bonus, I got to see the current exhibition on display.

Warp & Weft is about how textiles are integral in our lives, yet often overlooked. The exhibit showcases nine artists work with themes of family, community and politics through weaving and the history of cloth. Here are a few images I took of the show…

I know the parking is awful, but they are open Thursday nights until 7 and on Saturdays 12-5, so if you get a chance get up there and check it out!

For more information…