Thursday, December 22, 2016

More autonomy

The autonomous drying experiments continue. (Previously here and here). Just documented this new set, although I'm still sorting through the photos - there are more works than I'm posting here. Click on the images for a larger view.

In other news - the Rhinoceros Project continues! And check out this interview with yours truly on Art Talks Again. As an avid podcast junky, it's so thrilling!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Autonomous Progression

My autonomous drying experiments continue - here's a few shots of the progression of one piece, not exactly from start to finish, but it gives an idea of the dramatic changes that happen as the piece dries.

Many of the artists at SVP who see me working on these are completely surprised at how they end up, so I wanted to show that yes, they do start out flat. It's the fiber that warps them into their form. The finished pieces really should be viewed in the round; they look like completely different pieces from one side to another.

I'll be sharing this process, and other sculptural paper techniques in my upcoming class in January!

In other news, the Rhinoceros Project continues!

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Rhinoceros Project at Ramon's Tailor

The Ramon's Tailor installation is up! Visit here to see a sneak peek!

Our opening reception is tomorrow, November 19, from 3-6 PM. Join us at 628 Jones Street for sewing circles, rhinoceros cookies, and rhino ephemera!

We will be in residence on Saturdays and Sundays, 12-4, till January 8. Visit us to take a break from the holiday craziness and sit, sew, and share!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Autonomous Drying Experiments

During my residency at the School of Visual Philosophy, I've been experimenting with paper sculpture. For the past year, I've been examining my personal studio practice, and how I plan and plan and plan and then execute said plan, and then feel a certain exhaustion. And again and again I remember the idea, listen to the process. Which is a bit scary for me; unpredictability and always a struggle for time creates an environment that encourages planning and discourages experimentation and risk taking.

This came to a head for me, privately, when I was mentoring a student who was trying to do the same thing: plan out her project in its entirety from the start, because she's juggling work and school and has very little time. And, while I understand this, I was counseling her to remember to take a step back, to observe and question. Then I realized how little I do that myself.

As a installation, print and book artist, some planning and project management is necessary. Yet I realize that I wasn't doing much experimentation, that I wasn't discovering the unexpected. I was checking things off a list.

So when this opportunity was offered to me, I pushed myself to step outside of my comfort zone, and try things in which results were not guaranteed. I started with small tests like these, and, building on the tests I discussed here, I pulled out some reeds I had left over from this project to build some armature tests.

Again, it was scary, I didn't know what to expect. I'm not sure what these mean in the greater vision of typically narrative-driven work, and if the question of having one's vision adapt and grow is even scarier than the original risk.

As for what I've determined so far: all of these armatures started out relatively flat, the shapes they formed is just from the flax warping as it dried. I'm starting to notice patterns of what causes it to warp a certain way, but nothing reliable yet. I'm also still working on how I can integrate this technique into my greater body of work, and how can differentiate myself from the amazing Peter Gentenaar.

However, if you're interested in trying some of this yourself, and learning a few other things, join me for this workshop in 2017 in San Jose!

Click on the images for larger views.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Exhibition news, October 2016

So many tidbits to share!

Chacaltaya and The Last Color are currently on display at the Galveston Arts Center in Galveston, TX.

The Last Color is also part of Local Resource, where it is representing the San Francisco Center for the Book. Some photos of the work and the show can be seen here and here.

Finally, Going Up, Climate Change in Philadelphia, was reviewed here! And then, inspired by my project, eight staff members at the Schuylkill Center are eating vegan for a week to save 280 lbs of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Which almost brought me to happy tears.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Papermaking at the School of Visual Philosophy

Last June I taught a Japanese Style papermaking workshop at the School of Visual Philosophy, and then, as usual, was swept up in everything and didn't blog about it. But this fall I was invited back, this time as two roles, to co-teach a multi-week paper sculpture class with Yori Seeger, and to develop the class curriculum was also being an artist-in-residence in the space.

So, in honor of my upcoming class, I thought I'd post some photos. The upcoming class is their first experiment with this model, focusing both on technique as well as developing content, and I'm very excited.

We held the Japanese-Style papermaking class in the print shop - if you look around the photo above, the vats were on a table between the litho presses. Below, you can see the workspace.

It was a PACKED class, I think we ended up with fourteen.

The printshop at SVP not only has litho, but screenprinting, letterpress and etching.

(Some folks might recognize the white press above as the one that used to be at the San Jose ICA Print Center, which is, alas, no more).

The craziness of my late summer and early fall was the launch of my collaboration with Anne Beck, our Rhinoceros Project. It took off at this weekend's Roadworks event - follow the link to the blog for photos! We will be taking over Ramon's Tailor November 19-January 7. Folks are welcome to stop by and sew with us! Hope I see some of you either during the class or at the gallery!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Papermaking again in Half Moon Bay

A few weekends ago, I returned to Half Moon Bay again for a workshop at Judy's space. (See previous years here and here). This time we did Japanese Style Papermaking. Above, you can see the participants trying out beating the fiber (with my lovely hammer from Andrea!)

Above, John and Robert practice the nagashizuki shake, while Nicky looks on. Nicky took some great photos and video from the day, check them out on Instagram here.

After lunch, I talked about inclusions, and people went wild. Below is Nicky's, and I love how he manages to make something feel calligraphic, even with thread.

Despite being exhausted from the workshop, and installing a show the day before (images to come), I had heard from Judy about the humpback whales that were feeding at Miramar, and didn't want to pass up the chance to see them close up - or, as close as you can get from shore. They were tricky to photograph, but mind-blowing to see. There were also several hundred pelicans.

I'm given to understand that due to the changes caused by global warming, whales are venturing closer and closer to shore to find food sources, so there was a tinge of sadness in seeing this pod. However, at the same time, it was a magical end to the day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Upcoming Papermaking Workshops - San Jose and Half Moon Bay for July!

Japanese Style Papermaking
Kitsune Arts Studio

415 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA
Sunday, July 17, 10 AM - 4 PM
Cost: $80
For more information, or to register for the class, please email me here.

Japanese-Style Papermaking
School of Visual Philosophy

425 Auzerais Ave. San Jose, CA
Saturday, July 23, 10 AM - 4 PM
Cost: $85, plus $15 for materials.
For more information, or to register for this class, please visit here.

In these workshops, students will be introduced to the process of making Japanese paper. Japanese paper, often incorrectly referred to as rice paper, is known for its great strength while appearing delicate and gossamer-thin. Students will learn the basics of preparing their own fiber, hand beating, and forming sheets in the traditional nagashizuki method. Students will take home wet sheets to dry at home with instructions. Please note – this technique involves a lot of water, and students will get wet. Please wear shoes and clothing that can get wet. Participants should also bring a roll of paper towels to carry this wet sheets home on.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Weekend Paper

The title of this post is a nod to Helen Hiebert's Sunday Paper posts, which are of course a nod to printed newspaper traditions. With the closing of my school year and two solo shows and some fall projects coming up (stay tuned!), I've been metaphorically juggling and spinning plates and walking a tightrope all at once, so, as usual, this post is a bit belated.

The first weekend of June was the opening at E.M. Wolfman for Sub Set, a collective of papermakers Rebecca Redman, Hope Amico, Alyssa Casey, and Elizabeth Boyne.

Sub Set has been working collaboratively, getting together as a group and trading materials and unfinished projects, exchanging them between as a collective "what if?" On the night of the opening, I recall asking one of the artists who made one of the pieces, and the answer was that someone made the paper and then another person drew on it and then another person....etc. To be more clear, authorship of the show was a collaborative whole.

Which gave the show an incredible energy. The artists are exploring the concept of workmanship of risk, the only limitations are the materials they had in front of them at the time. As someone who collaborates frequently myself, I can see how these experiments are opening these artists up and building a momentum for future possibilities.

The artists will be running a fundraising campaign later this year to raise money to purchase a Hollander beater - stayed tuned to their website to find out how you can contribute.

The following day was one of the ProArts Open Studios weekends, and I swung by Julia Goodman's to see some of her new large cast paper works in person.

(That's the floor in the bottom right corner of the photo above; these pieces are about five feet tall).

These pieces are rugged and topographical; she allows snippets of the bed sheets and clothing she uses to appear as reminders of her origin material. All her colors are from the clothing she uses, no added pigment or dyes.

Some of them, particularly her smaller pieces like this one, are almost a cross between pulp painting and casting.

I couldn't help thinking how Julia references the origins of her materials. They feel intimately connected to the earth, via the plants that grew her fibers, the soil that nourished the plants. Recently I've been told that the Bay Area has an enormous amount of waste clothing choking our landfills, with the additions of nylon and other petroleum-based fibers into our wearables, they aren't breaking down like they will if they were solely natural materials. Julia's work interrupts this cycle, turning waste fiber into art.

Some of her beet papyrus pieces were also on display:

Reflecting on these two exhibitions, first and foremost, I'm excited by the directions my papermaking community is exploring. Further, I was also struck by how much of what my fellow papermakers do is informed by community and collaboration (Sub Set, Julia's work with Creative Explored), and how coming together with others is such a catalytic force in this medium. The same fibers that make up paper also bring papermakers, new ideas, and new energies together.

Friday, May 20, 2016

More new prints

This series continues. I'm calling the entire series Division, named for Division Street. The series is becoming about the contrast between gentrification and impoverishment.

Monday, April 18, 2016


Some new pieces recently completed. Woodcuts on Sekishu, chine colle'd onto found wallpaper. Click on the images for enlarged view. Inspired in part by my recent pieces for NIAD.

To see some of the making of these prints, check out my Instagram page.