Although I was no longer the printmaking grad assistant, I still continued to come by the Tues/Thurs print classes for a while to make sure everything went smoothly until the new print assistant was used to the routine. On this day the students were getting a printing demo.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The kitchen sink in my apartment was right underneath the window, which faced south. It was a stainless steel sink with a white pvc drainpipe. Like many people I keep household cleaners in the cabinet under the sink and on this day I went looking for something and found this. The upper part of the drainpipe was glowing from within, almost like an incandescent bulb. What happened was the sun was coming through the window, shining right into the sink's drain, and lighting up the top of the drainpipe. I would eventually discover that this phenomenon was repeated at certain times of day at certain times of year, but at this moment it was interesting enough to become the print of the day.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Out drinking with some of my fellow art grad students at the On The Island Pub (so named because it was situated on a large traffic island where Route 51 north and south split apart for a block). It was a Chinese restaurant upstairs and bar downstairs, one of those favored by my crowd. At one point our international group were exchanging toasts from our varied countries of origin and I contributed this one. In bocca al lupo is an Italian idiomatic expression that means literally "into the mouth of the wolf", but is commonly translated as "good luck". Not strictly a toast, but it worked here, too.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Went looking for some kind of organizational meeting in Faner Hall and got lost. This was common. Faner is a classic example of early 70's Brutalist architecture (find definition and photo of Faner here), a large geometric poured concrete building with almost all of the classroom/office spaces on the upper floors, accessible from ground level entrances that were no more than stairwells and elevators. Within it was a maze of corrodors at odd angles with occasional dead ends, different sections sealed off from one another. Adding to the problem was that you could not walk from one end of the building to the other inside, but rather had to exit the building, find the stairway that led to the section you were seeking, and re-enter the building there. The rumor was that the building was designed to be riot proof, following some radical activity that had resulted in one campus building burning down. After this, if I ever had a class in the building, I went the day before to scout the location, to guarantee I could be in class on time.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Although I was no longer assigned as print shop assistant, the print professor asked me to help get the shop ready for the beginning of the semester, including mixing the acid for intaglio classes. We had two tanks going in the acid room- one 8:1 (water:nitric acid) for stronger etches, and one 15:1 for aquatints and other more delicate procedures. In each case I'd fill a large beaker with water and dump it into the tank the necessary number of times, then add the proper amount of nitric acid to the water, after taking care to put on respirator and protective gloves.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
A bunch of the art grads went to Cobden for the annual Peach Festival, which was a lot like a town carnival, except with lots of peaches everywhere- baskets of peaches as prizes for games, peach cobbler and ice cream for sale at stands, etc. Some of my friends chose to ride the Tempest, which advised pregnant women and heart patients to stay off the ride. The warning should have included peach eaters, as shortly after the ride ended, one of our party ran off the grounds and behind a trailer to puke up the cobbler and ice cream he had enjoyed not long before.
Monday, August 20, 2007
One of my headaches from the day before. A forced meeting with a summer student and a representative from the ombudsman's office. On a few occasions one of my students was unhappy with their final grade and complained to the ombudsman, who would then try to negotiate a higher grade for the student, or if that failed, force me to change the grade, whether or not the student deserved it, and they never deserved it.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Peeling fresh tomatoes to make arrabbiata sauce. The first step is to cut a small conical section out of the top of the tomato, removing the stem. Then blanch them- drop in boiling water for a minute, then remove and drop in ice water. Shortly after the whole peel slides right off.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
My apartment was an end unit, with a window that looked out the side of the building, down on the rental house next door. One day I saw this- one of the residents built a charcoal fire directly on the small concrete patio in front of the door. Cinder blocks were then put on either side. Eventually a metal grill was put over the top for a little cookout on front step.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The money collection basket used at mass at the Newman Center. The churches around where I grew up all use a long handled basket that the usher extends down the pew, so that people can drop their offering in, then he pulls it back and goes the the next row. Then a large basket with all the donations would be brought up to the altar as part of the offetory, and (in my home parish anyway) be dumped down a chute right into a safe in the basement. But in Carbondale a regular basket was just passed from one person to the next, people putting in whatever they would, an usher supervising and only helping if needed. And the collected money would be brought up with the gifts, but just left at the base of the altar where everyone could see it, looking like what what's shown in the print.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
My apartment building was the type that had apartment doors open directly to the outside, onto wooden deck balconies running along the 2nd and 3rd levels of the sides of the building facing the street. On nice days I might sit out in a folding chair and read a book or the paper or whatever. On this day my new next door neighbor Jane stopped to chat.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Mailing some letters home to New Jersey. Some younger viewers of this blog may not know this, but in the old days before e-mail, people actually wrote out stuff with pen and paper, put a stamp on it, and had the post office transport it to its destination.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saw something kind of odd in my kitchen- a slug oozing its way up the wall. No idea where it came from, with the window closed and that wall being the furthest from the door. Slugs aren't a typical indoor pest in my experience. Growing up, my father once experienced a snail takeover of his house, but that's really a different kind of story.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I had been told that Associated Lumber (the place nearby where I bought my wood) would cut down large plywood panels for customers. They had a vertically mounted circular saw on a rack, like many places that sell lumber. So I decided to do this, having them cut the 8' x 4' board into strips, then small pieces of about 9"x 12". As he finished, the lumber employee mentioned that they usually just do one or two cuts, not this many. So that was the first and last time they cut up the plywood for me, but for once it was easy to carry my wood back to the studio and I had enough panels to last me more than two months.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Straightening up the print studios before fall classes. That included putting away some lithography stones. The little ones aren't so bad, but as they get bigger it can be quite a chore to move these heavy rocks around. For the biggest ones we used a hydraulic lift to get them up and move them around the room.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
I attended the closing reception for David Kirkland's MFA show at the Mitchell. Dave's work changed radically that spring/summer when he injured his shoulder and had it in a sling for weeks. He could no longer do his usual intaglio process which involved mark making by swinging a crowbar. Switched to a dremel tool. Either way, nice prints.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Saturday, August 4, 2007
I had an odd dream. It involved a breed of dog called "Railroad Dogs", so called because they developed in the wild and tended to live by railroad tracks. It was a fairly large breed with a bony ridge along the back and very large pointed ears. Though not a fully domesticated animal, the dogs were fairly friendly and people liked to adopt them as pets.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
I was asked to do a safety inspection around the top floor of Allyn, and noticed that the fire extinguishers were all type A, pressurized water suitable for putting out paper and wood fires. While there were plenty of those items around the art studios, a type A is not recommended to put out solvent fires, and the printing and painting studios were loaded with containers (open and sealed) of kerosene, alcohol, turpentine, mineral spirits, and other fun highly flammable liquids. I arranged for more suitable extinguishers to be installed.