Geryll had a new play, and this one had a small speaking role for grad painter Suzanne, one of two employees in a shop, who were there mostly to react to the action involving the main character.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I was walking on the Strip with fellow art grad Suzanne and we passed an odd looking guy- unshaven, an eyepatch, barely shuffling along moving toward us. After we passed each other, he turned and made a comment about Suzanne's appearance. While what he said was technically accurate, it was still very rude. She was more amused than insulted.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Jed Jackson asked me to cover his GEC lecture sections that day. This was the same class I had taught the previous summer, in the same room, but a few things were different. First, I had to work with his planned lecture, not mine. Second, I had maybe 40 students total in my summer class, but now almost all the 300 seats were filled. I learned a little something myself. A student asked me at the beginning of the first section a question about the return of the recent exam and I gave him the information that Jed asked me to pass on... and about half the students immediately got up and left. When a student asked me the same question at the beginning of the second section, I told them that I'd have the information for them at the end of the class period. Whether it was that or something else I don't know, but they all pretty much stayed through the entire class.
Friday, March 28, 2008
One of the legacies of having a studio in a building previously used as a factory is that there is occasionally evidence of the previous occupants. In the case of my assigned studio space, that meant a 3 inch diameter hole in my floor, through to the studios below. Probably made to allow a pipe to pass through in its previous life. It sat by the edge of the wall, where it was generally of no consequence. On this night, however, a problem. The first floor was assigned to 3D students, figuring they would be less able to move all their materials upstairs. Someone down there was making an ungodly racket, cutting and/or grinding metal. Probably Steve Peters working on one of his fabricated steel constructions. I'm not saying it would have been silent if my floor had no holes, but I think the noise would have been at least a little more muffled.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Drawing the frames of my animated film. Other than the titles and credits, the film consisted of brief versions of the individual prints in this Fourth of July series in chronological order. Based on the number of total expected images in the final series, and timed to go along with the planned music (an instrumental from the Flat Duo Jets) that would accompany the full length version of the film, I determined that each print would be given 8 frames of film, or about a third of a second. Each print was reduced to a simple core image, which I first drew as a tiny sketch, then traced it on to 8 frames of the film. Due to the deadline of the assignment (and the fact that the film would be due well before the end of the print series), I didn't do the whole year series, but just several months worth. Still, it would eventually involve drawing well over 1000 individual frames of film.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Testing ink. It was time to begin drawing my film, but I needed to settle on a medium. I tried a variety of black ink and paint on little test pieces of film. I ended up using a brush and ink to make large sections of all black, but a refillable technical pen for the individually drawn credits and images.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Hot times in the hot shop. I couldn't quite shake the cold/flu that had been bothering me off and on for at least a week. Maybe it was for that reason that I was particularly affected by the heat in there as I took advantage of another open Sunday glass blowing slot. A room with at least 3 machines that are usually operating at temperatures above 1500 F is always going to be a bit warm, but this day it felt like the whole shop was burning.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
St Joseph's Day. St Joseph is the patron saint of Italy, and his feast day falls on March 19. In this country, that means he is way overshadowed by the feast day of St Patrick, two days earlier. St Joseph is the patron of many other groups and causes, including bakers of pastries. As a result, the tradition among Italians on this day is to eat special pastries- typically a zeppole filled with cream or custard. No way I could find any of these out in Carbondale, and I wasn't an expert enough baker to make these myself. So I decided to try another classic Italian dessert (another recipe from the book I got at Christmas), an Italian cheesecake. The big difference is that it's made with ricotta instead of cream cheese, and my recipe called for raisins and pine nuts. I actually made it the day before, and brought it to the Glove factory on the 19th, giving a hunk to anyway who came through the 2nd floor. I think I also distributed some around my apartment complex. A tasty item that I would make again.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The opening of the NCAA basketball tournament. I had two teams to root for that year- my old hometown (well, home county anyway) Seton Hall Pirates, and my current home team Southern Illinois Salukis. I think that both were actually playing that night. Don't remember how the Pirates did that time, but the Salukis lost their first round games all 3 years I was a student there. Meanwhile, I was making a cake in preparation for tomorrow's St Joseph's Day holiday.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Playing pool at the Cellar. There were a number of pool halls and bars with multiple tables in town (on the Strip and out on the highway), but my crowd didn't go to them that often. We didn't go to the Cellar just to shoot pool, but if the table was free, we might play a few games.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Came home for lunch and saw an unusual sight. A section of stairs (including a landing) connecting the first and second floor decks had been completely removed. The landlord felt that some repairs were needed, and maybe he felt that fewer people would be affected if done over spring break. It wasn't a huge problem for those still there- a second set of stairs at the other end of the deck remained available. It was all replaced by the end of the day.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Another activity for my week off- I read the novel of The Godfather. I had seen both movies (the 3rd doesn't count) many times before, but it was interesting to read the original book, which contains several major plots and storylines not covered in the films, as well as explaining a few references that the film characters made. A quick read- got through the whole thing in a couple of days.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Applying watercolor to an ink monotype. This was something I had played around with in the past. This occasion was that I did a monotype version of a charcoal drawing I had done in the figure class. After the oil based ink was dry, I added fairly naturalistic color with watercolors. Not a major piece- more of a process experiment.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Every once in a while, I get the stiff neck thing happening. Sometimes it's when I first wake up, sometimes I just turn the wrong way and suddenly it's there. And I know that for the rest of the day that I won't be able to properly turn my head. Such was the case on this day.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
As part of the experimental film class I was taking, we had to do a project and were given an option- write a long research paper or make a short film using an experimental process or approach as seen during the semester. Pretty much everyone chose to do a film. Not having access to cameras, lights, editing equipment (or the know-how to use them), I chose to do a hand drawn animated film. And when I say hand drawn, I mean drawing images directly on the film stock. Another art student taking the class sold me a reel of 16 mm clear film leader, which had a coating on one side that ink would stick to.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
We had a demonstration of another glass technique- making a sand mold. There was a large box of sand, which we would sift to created a loose packed consistency. The object that would be the original shape for the sculpture was then pressed down into the loose sand to make a tightly packed impression. The next step is what was shown here- applying a blowtorch all over the molded area, leaving a layer of carbon on the surface. The last step would be to pour in some molten glass. Once the piece had stabilized, it could be removed and cooled like any other piece.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Rickert Ziebold day in Allyn. The building is opened to the public in the morning, and all the student work is on display all day. In the afternoon we all gathered in the main hallway on the 1st floor to hear the announcement of the winners. This year there were four winners, including Laura, so my help with her project was not in vain. Since she was planning to go to grad school, the money would come in handy.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
In addition to the one official class meeting per week, there was one blow slot each week reserved in the hot shop for those of us in the beginners class. It was Sunday afternoons, and I often took advantage of it, on my way home after doing my radio show. I figured I could use all the practice I could get, and the above image is proof of that. My plan was to make a small vase. I gathered some glass from the furnace, shaped it and made a bubble, picked up some scrap color (green and yellow), and continued to blow it out. I transferred it to a punty to open it up and shape it. I think it was in the gloryhole just a little to long at one point- it spread too far open and collapsed, looking like what you see above. My vase became a small candy dish.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Helping Laura get ready for her Rickert Ziebold show. Laura's big figure project was part of her entry into the annual Rickert Ziebold art competition. It's the result of a large donation to the School of Art, a trust that provides a very large prize (usually about $20,000) to the winner(s) of the annual art show, open to senior majors in the department. From the eligible students, finalists are selected (a dozen or two), who set up a big show in the main art building, which was then sealed up for the rest of the weekend. On Monday, the faculty would go through and vote on the student work. Scores were tallied, and a group that separated itself out as the top (in my years there usually between 4 and 6 students) shared the prize money. Laura was one of the finalists in 1994, and I helped her move some of the heavy stuff, like the bronze torso above, from her studio in the Glove Factory, to her assigned space in the painting studio in Allyn.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Closing down the Cellar. A few of us art grads were at the Cellar, a basement bar that had lots of sports on tv, but relatively few students. More of a local crowd usually. On this night we stayed until 2:00 am, closing time. The lights came up, and it was time to go.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Besides the hot shop in Pulliam Hall, the glass department also included a small off-campus building, the Glass House. A regular residential style house, the upstairs rooms were the individual grad student studio spaces. The basement was full of the cold working equipment used for grinding and polishing. Here I'm using a grinding wheel to remove the punty mark and flatten the bottom of a small vase.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
With the plaster body mold of me completely cured, Laura put it to use. She painted the entire inside with melted beeswax, eventually building up a layer about a half inch thick. After it cooled, she carefully lifted it out of the mold. Not carefully enough, because one part remained stuck in the mold- the whole groin area. (I guess the contours were too difficult) The result was a life size figure of me missing this one section- a very disconcerting sight. She later peeled the missing pieces out a section at a time and reattached them to each other and the rest of the mold with more melted wax. Not a perfect match, but since the whole figure would eventually be covered with pieces of cloth (swatches of colored/patterned cloth about 8" square, dipped in the same melted wax, so they bonded directly to the figure), it didn't really matter. After the cloth, eventually she coated it both sides with an acrylic polymer to provide a protective shell, a glossy exterior, and some stiffness, since the figures in this series would be standing.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Hanging out in the apartment of my next door neighbor Jane. She moved in at the beginning of my 2nd year, replacing Andreas, a very energetic student from Cyprus. Jane was a grad student in the English department, and much quieter. Her first year especially, she was always studying, but she didn't mind taking a break once in a while for a chat.