Finishing out week two of a month long residency is a little bittersweet. On one hand, you hit your stride, you have a game plan, you are in a rhythm of studio life and communal living with your fellow artists. On the other hand, the reality that you only have two weeks left starts to creep into your brain and the pressure of fitting in everything that you want to do brings on a small tingle of anxiety. I’m trying to balance that out with priorities, working backwards in my schedule and hiking… it’s eased the anxiety, but just a little. It sure will be hard to leave this place for a multitude of reasons!
In the studio, I’ve been working on creating thin porcelain forms inspired by the skeletons of radiolarians (single cell plankton) and I’ve been happy with the forms and how they have evolved from my recent Bone Series pieces, but I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to mount or display them. The good news is that The Fish Factory has a huge room filled with materials that are accessible to the artists and after digging through a few piles, I found a number of colored acrylic circle pieces. These reminded me of the microscopic view I had been looking at in online images of the skeletons of radiolarians and so I thought they would be perfect. Once fired in the kiln, I plan to attach ceramic pieces to both sides of these circles and suspend the circles. I’m also planning an In the Field installation with these pieces here in the fjord, you can take a peek at an experimental video I did dissolving one of these unfired raw forms back into the earth here. This small breakthrough of ideas and working with a new material excites me to continue on with these possibilities when I’m back home.
Simultaneously, I’ve been working on some modified forms combining my recent Bone Series and Umbel Series, which have been inspired by the seed pods, angelica flower blooms and lichen I’ve found on my hikes here. These pieces feel familiar and comfortable to make on a small scale now so I attempted to make one about basketball size which only sort of worked but that’s a story for another post. I’m still not sure exactly what I’ll end up with at the end of this month, but I know that I’ve already learned a ton and I’m constantly reminding myself that the important thing is to keep challenging myself creatively and technically with clay, which is really the whole point of taking the time to do these residencies. Feeling pretty grateful for the opportunity.