I almost burned my apartment down trying to burn holes in these test samples… Note to self, 1. Don’t burn paper inside. 2. Don’t burn said paper when surrounded by a large pile of more paper in the event that it may catch fire in your hand and panic ensue.
*don’t worry everything is fine. 🙂
After a great studio visit with Julia Abijanac last week, I have decided to set a goal of making around 30 test samples for my critique next week. A lofty goal it may be, but if I can get at least to 20 I will be happy. Here are a few paper samples in the process of being made. Each sample is laid out with different additions of color, design, or manipulation and then they are wet down and agitated to form one solid sheet. These sheets are complete and I plan to sensitize them today in order to print some test photographs on them! The goal of these tests is to see how the colors work together and then also how they affect the photography process- to see how certain images look on certain styles of manipulated mulberry paper and things like that!
As Ric Petty would say, my belt is buckled and I’ve just about hit the top of the roller coaster, slowly I am coming around the corner, just about to descend the big drop… Here goes nothing.
I swear I didn’t take the entire summer off.. it’s just been a bit hectic and unfortunately my blog took a bit of a back seat! I completed a guest blog post for a wonderful female artist duo The Honeybees , so take a look on The Hive for a little taste of my summer and experiences of juggling the real world and art making.
Anyway, school is officially back in session and I am extremely glad it is. Despite my schedule continuing to be a bit chaotic (as it always is) I am excited to get back into my studio, continue making, and put together some work for my thesis which is just a short 7-8 months away. Over the summer I spent some time exploring a new paper making technique called Joomchi. I attended the Quilting Surface Design Symposium in early June and learned under Jiyoung Chung. She is an incredible artist, maker, and master of Joomchi techniques. For those that have been following my blog a bit you know I have been interested in making paper since my start at CCAD. My interest in this stems from wanting to print photographs on substrates different than traditional photographic papers, however, with handmade paper it can be quite difficult to send through water and traditional/alternative dark room processes. The water can unbind the fibers causing it to fall apart. With joomchi- the opposite occurs. Water is used within the agitation process to bind the fibers together so sending it through more wet processes essentially just makes it stronger! I am excited to continue to explore this process and see what it holds for my photographs.
In addition I have not forgotten about the crochet! The past few weeks I have been testing my pattern making skills and challenging myself to create multiple small granny squares that serve as “swatches.”
I’ve also been printing cyanotype photographs for a series I am working on and hoping to have completed for a small solo exhibition. Stay tuned for more everyone!
Until then, I am waiting for life to slow down, but hoping it never does.
Phew… well it has been a while since I’ve posted. Each time I have stopped into the studio I have reminded myself to get on here and post my end of semester work with an update and yet somehow it always manages to get tossed aside. So, alas! All those that have been anxiously waiting, (no one), here it is!
I finished the semester with 4 finished pieces. There are some questions remaining, things that could be further pushed and/or explored but overall I am happy with the result and was confident in what I had produced. Just a month or so before the end of the semester I was having a total mental breakdown thinking I would have nothing to produce, so although 4 pieces may not seem like much- they felt like quite an accomplishment to me. Below are images of the works before they were installed in the Beeler Lobby for the 2017 CHROMA exhibit. If you live locally in Columbus I encourage you to stop by and check them out. I won’t say much as I could really write forever about the struggles that I had throughout this semester and the resulting works, but instead I will leave you with my artist statement a brief description of the process and materials along with photos of the works allowing them all to work together and speak for each other.
A series of 4 crocheted photographs printed on silk and cotton fabrics, cut up and created into a yarn like structure, then finger crocheted.
Over the past year I have watched my twin sister transition from college graduate to full time teacher, fiancé, and mom to two pets. She shares a home with her partner and they plan to be married in October of this coming year. Within this home structure she fulfills a very typical housewife role completing all the traditional domestic chores while her future husband tends to the “outside work.” I have observed her frustrations and stresses as she struggles to fulfill the role of “housewife” on top of her daily regime and very much have been frustrated by these expectations that have been set for her.
Using a camera to document this personal history as well as a collective of couples around the Midwest these photographs depict domestic interiors cut up, crocheted, and restructured creating a new image entirely. The crocheting process serves as a means to bring power to women’s craftwork while reconstructing and reconfiguring the domestic space offering redefinition of roles, ideas, and expectations within that setting.
Welp, my final critique with a small group of faculty is a short 10 days away. I am anxious as I have a lot of work to do, but also keen to get the critique finished so that I can then focus on really preparing my work for final install for CHROMA.
I am currently TAing a photography course, Material Studies, and we were just recently introduced to a very interesting alternative photo process called Mordant printing. Essentially a photo sensitive liquid is made from a mixture of Potassium Dichromate and water. The liquid is applied to fabric, dried, and then a large negative is sandwiched between the fabric and a piece of glass and exposed to UV light. This produces the image directly on fabric. The image is then rinsed and the final process involves hand dying fabric using natural dyes- synthetic dyes do not work for this process.
Since I have been using the textiles printer a lot to print images directly on fabric- this method provides an alternative avenue and also incorporates an interesting piece of domestic work that I think could be a very interesting process piece for my work. Let me explain…
Lately I have been using my images from the textile printer and finger crocheting them into large crocheted photographs. The images themselves aren’t totally recognizable, however, I am interested in the idea of breaking down the domestic space through ripping and cutting of the image, and then reconstructing it through the crochet process. This is fairly simple but makes slight reference to a domesticated craft or work process through crochet that I find relevant. With the Mordant printing I can take it even a step further. By printing images on fabric through this alternative process there is hand washing of the fabric involved- similar to when I use the textile printer, but then the last step- hand dyeing- is where I believe my process can really also speak to the content of the work. In order to use a natural dye,
I can buy them online, OR I can take actual existing objects and “cook” them in order to prepare the natural dye. For example, onions skins are great for fabric dyeing, avocado pits, flowers, carrot tops, leaves, insects, roots, etc. In order to create the dye the aforementioned objects need to be heated to a certain temperature and “cooked,” in which then the liquid produced will be used as a dye bath. The idea of having to complete the domestic task of “cooking” in order to produce the work creates a compelling layer in relation to my interests of woman’s work and domesticity.
I have some concrete ideas that I am going to pursue this week and really hit the ground running. I almost feel hesitant to make something that I want to without having run the idea by someone yet- which is odd, because as an artist I have always made things on my own but I think a little part of grad school has embellished some sort of need for approval into my thinking- but not today! (And no one at CCAD has ever said to me that I need their approval to make something, to be clear). I am excited to really grind things out and get the week going!
Working through this creative block has been interesting but I think I am finally getting somewhere.
(In progress work below using finger crocheted wire, found objects, hand sewn curtains
After a stressful day and a brief mental breakdown, I took the afternoon to reclaim some of my fabric image scraps from last semester. I cut them down into about 1/2″ or 1/4″ strips and connected them to create a length of “yarn.” I then hand crocheted the images together.
Recently I have been exploring a lot with materials and process. I’ve hit a pretty hard wall it feels and for a while felt like I lost a large creative drive because I was stressing myself so much about content. I’ve been doing my best to put that all aside and just make for the sake of making- go back to just allowing myself to be a creative thinker and artist the way I know how to.
So here’s some images of my experiment from the evening- not quite finished and it’s definitely something I’d like to continue to develop.