Thursday, September 25, 2008

Retiring the Boots

The "Trashman" boots (oddly the name given to the style from Terra) have been good to me. The steel toe and steel plate bottoms have saved me from possible injury. These are necessary issue for the artists that come to the residency. They are as heavy and clunky as they look but worth every penny for there safety. They will probably last me a life-time of future trips out to the dump to keep up my collecting. For now I will give them a short leave from duty.

The Free Pile

Just a shot of the pickin's for Fridays opening come early to get the good stuff.
Here's one of the loads I'm taking back to my studio. It was really hard to make decisions on what to take and what to leave behind. Rest assured I'll be back in the future to take advantage of my life-time rummaging rights at the dump. Just another perk from being apart of the residency at SF Recycling and Disposal.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Show Comes Together

The residency is quickly coming to a close. Me and Casey Logan have been busy this past week clearing out the studio, finishing up pieces, painting walls and hanging/arranging the art work. You'd never recognise the space these days, the studio has once again been transformed into a gallery. This doesn't happen magically, a lot of work from various people helped to get it all together. Many thanks to a lot of hard work from James Sellier (the problem solver and all around fun guy to have around), Christine Lee (good friend and one of the two artists next to come to the residency), Micah Gibson (past student artist in residence and current employee for the program), Bessie Kunath (past student artist in residence and current employee for the program as well as provider of cool beverages), and of course Deborah Munk (the Director of the program)for all her hard work in organizing everything along the way. Many thanks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fresh Batch of Lattice

After cleaning out the nails and giving the lattice the once over with some steel wool, I started arranging them according to length. This makes the building and stacking go much easier.
I went through a few practice arrangements to see what direction I wanted to take this piece.

The finished piece.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Vintage Spools of Thread

I found these beautiful wood spools of silk thread. I used one in a piece, the rest go to an artist friend who is currently making alternative sewing kits. I look forwarded to seeing what she creates from them and more than happy to share the wealth here at the dump.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ahh... Craftsman

1950's vintage Craftsman bandsaw. What a beauty! You won't find this in the free pile. Sorry, but this little gem stays with me. It needs a little TLC, but I'm willing.

Found the bandsaw one day, but no motor. Walked in the next day and to my surprise I see a Craftsman motor. Sometimes the garbage gods offer up just the thing you need.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tethered Globe

I don't think this video piece needs explanation. I found the inflatable globe a few days ago, then found the tether pole on Sunday. The piece came to me as I contemplated nabbing the pole from the trash heap. I actually had to request the help of Raphael, one of the loader truck drivers, to release it from the pile. It all came together rather quickly. The happenstance of the treasure hunt at the dump allows these types of connections to occur.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Week Eleven

Isn't she pretty in pink?
Not even I can resist a pink tutu.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Week Ten

More paint chip name matching. Ironically these books came through with a load of office furniture. Seems as though a certain venture maybe didn't work out so well. The books did match up well with Fuller Paint color "Rich Burgandy".

And JFK gets three colors.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Week Nine

I've been wondering how to make sense of paint chip names for a long while. I know I'm not the only one in this world that finds them amusing and somewhat confounding. When I scooped up a whole box of Fuller Paint chip sets I decided it was time to have a go.

Ah.... the twins. They are forever fun aren't they? I found the box cover to the Fun Club Kit, but unfortunately didn't get a glimpse of the Kit. What do you suppose was in that mysterious box. I may never know, but I couldn't help but keep the precious piece of cardboard anyhow.

"Affinity Pink"

"Sunset Peach"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Week Eight

There is no end to cool vintage trunks and luggage that come to the dump. I'm hoping to work these into some pieces, but if I don't they will end up in the "free pile" which is up for grabs to the public on opening night of the show (Sept.26th, 5 pm). It's first come first pick, so get there early if you want the best of my discards.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Week Seven

I just finished a couple more pieces made from the reclaimed lattice. Each one is definitely taking on very distinct characteristics. The subtle differences in each batch of disassembled lattice can really change how I decide to work it into a form. I'm intrigued by the geometry and weaving of each and how that shifts the feel or reading of the piece. This last one (below), to me, feels very tribal. When it was on the ground it felt like a marker for a distinct event or site (e.g. burial, sacred).

Later after completing it I hung it on the wall to free up some floor space. I like it with the plain white backdrop, but I think I prefer it sitting on the ground. On the wall it is almost mask-like, the mouth of a large fish comes to mind as well.


A quick test for another piece.

Finished form.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Week Six

Try as I may to slow the collecting down, I can't help going out into the dumping area for at least a little while every day I'm in my studio. A lot of personal histories make their way to the dump for one reason or another. I find it incredibly interesting and disheartening when sorting through family photographs, scrapbooks, and other personal records that get thrown out with a whole household of items. This week I came across a WWII trunk complete with photographs of a very young Chinese Private and his battalion, uniform, tobacco rationing card, v-mail, and other personal items. Though I didn't really have plans for the material for a particular art piece, I found myself caught up in a portion of this persons life history for a couple of hours.

Getting an intimate glimpse of someones history through their personal belongings is fascinating even when it is terribly incomplete. One day while sorting through the rubble I came across a box truck emptying the contents of someones house ( a very common occurrence). I was stunned to discover boxes and boxes and laundry baskets filled with Harlequin Romance novels. There were hundreds of them. I immediately imagined a woman's life (though one should never assume) filled with nothing but romantic fantasy. Those books must have been all this person read. The things we harbor in our homes throughout life certainly do tell a story.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Week Five

Another week and I have enough lattice to make another piece. The part of this process that I really enjoy is working with the material "as is". I've decided not to cut or measure anything, I simply use them as I find them, breaks and fractures included. I usually organize the various sticks by length then assemble everything by eye. The pieces are stacked and stapled together in the same manner it was originally constructed, but in a very different form than its previous lattice pattern.

I decided this one was best on the wall. I'm finding it hard to decide which side of these objects is more interesting. The interior and exterior are so drastically different on this piece. (See below for the interior view of the piece above)

James (one of the AIR programs employees who is often in and out of the studio) suggests a mirror on the wall behind the piece. I just happen to have a couple in my collection. The result is a glimpse of the contrasting calm interior. There is also an optical illusion of viewing beyond the wall to which it is hung. The subtle glow of light coming between the slats is pleasant.

Looking into the eye of the storm.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Taking Shape

The lattice is free of rusty nails and I am able to experiment with different methods of stacking the pieces together. I really like the compound curves that are created from the fanning of straight lines.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Week Four Starts with More Lattice

I found this material in the first week of my residency and have been looking for it ever since. Well, it surfaced again in abundance today. The task of pulling nails and cleaning it up begins.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Week Three

The collection grows. I can't seem to stay away from all the items from the interiors of homes. I keep pulling parts of furniture, cabinet doors and drawers, framed art and images, and other bric-a-brac that reek of a particular decade. I'm slowly amassing a timeline of how a public decorated their homes. Every day the studio space shrinks a little.
A very beautiful part of this residency is that an artist can collect with near abandon. I don't pay a cent for my materials, so if something doesn't work out, nothing lost (except time), it just goes back in the trash. I don't have to worry about the usual concerns of where to store things or if they are too cumbersome to haul away, everything can be managed with the help of the recycling centers employees and the company vehicles and equipment. Everyone is willing to help where it's needed.

This week a couple of colorful cabinet doors get cut up and glued back together in a checker board pattern. Don't know exactly where it's going just yet, but I went with the impulse to do it anyway. Stay tuned to see what form it takes in the future.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Old Lattice Takes New Form

Once all the staples had been pulled out of the old lattice and I cleaned it up a bit, I began playing with what form it would take. Below is the end result. I think I'll keep my eyes out for more of this material.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Public Tours

Tour groups come to SF Recycling and Disposal (a.k.a. "the dump") on a regular basis and they are usually brought through the studio. Meeting and talking to the public about my art work and what I am making in the studio are a part of the Artist-in-Residence program at the dump.
This is a picture of me showing off my find of the week to a local architecture firm. A lot of old vinyl finds its way into the dump. This one got a few laughs from the group when I pulled out the "bonus" G-string still inside the sleeve of the "Music to Strip By" record. Don't know if I could ever give this one up, but it could possibly be the best gag gift of all time. If I don't use it for anything it could also end up in the free pile at the show opening Sept. 26th, so come early and enjoy the pickin's.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Foam Sampler

Started an experiment today knitting with thin sheet foam used in packaging. Not the easiest task and very different than knitting with yarn (doesn't want to slide easily on the needles and sticks to itself in the process). The material continually squeaks while working, which makes for a slightly different knitting experience, but the results are pretty interesting.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Week Two

The outdoor area of the artist studio at SF Recycling and Disposal gets a face lift. They started breaking ground this week to lay a fresh concrete slab. Fresh concrete comes into the dump on a daily basis. When trucks are getting rid of remaining concrete from a job site they bring it here and SF Recycling and Disposal utilizes this concrete as much as possible for a variety of projects. Little by little a new outdoor area will be built completely from leftover material that comes into the dump. What a brilliant way to use up waste. Hmmmm. Maybe making a mold for a concrete pour is in my future.