Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sculpture Project on YouTube

The Nina Hole Sculpture Project

You can see a slideshow/video of the whole thing here (quicktime movie).

It's a big download, sorry, but sometimes you just can't tell a story in 20 words or less, or show it in a minute or two. Well, at least I can't. I have this problem with brevity, see...

I'm looking to see if posting it to YouTube will result in faster download, I'm not sure if they actually stream or do something to increase the speed. But speed isn't all it's cracked up to be, so click the link, get some coffee, and enjoy the show. And if you're inclined to comment on anything, that'd be appreciated.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Everyone has a Demon Tree, a challenge, a problem, a hurdle to get over that sneers at their efforts, mocks them, tortures them with it's existence. They come in all sizes, shapes, varieties, levels of difficulties, and size of importance.

Mine just happens to be a real tree. I wrote about it at length earlier this year.

That thing has been the bane of my exisitence. Me, a do-er, I just couldn't face it's hugeness and the amount of work handling it would be. 3 days after this picture, I got on the roof of the shed, cut it off, repair the roof and chimney, and left the rest, silent, stoic, mocking me.

I scowled at it a lot during the spring and summer. I loathed that tree, and how it made me feel about myself. I'm sure I walked out and cursed at it more than once.

I finally have been able to drag myself out and work around, with and on it. And a miracle has occurred: I've reached an agreement with the Demon Tree.

Not even an agreement- I find myself suddenly a little fond of it. It took me...7 months to realize the tree falling was not a personal attack or a malicious attempt to complicate my world.

It was just a big old tree that fell.

And now, out there sawing and splitting and stacking, I'm getting to be friends with it. I even said thank you yesterday. And apologized for being not so nice and failing to appreciate what the tree gives.

The Demon Tree will heat my house, this winter and probably most of next. All it takes from me is a little understanding and a little effort. Much better than being cold.

So, not a Demon Tree at all. Sometimes I'm slow to realize things.

Maybe you can make friends with your Demon Tree faster than I did. Life's too short to waste time scowling.

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Why I do clay...

Because it involves fundamental elements: Earth, water, fire.

Because it requires physical effort: sweat, strain, prevention of or recovery from minor burns.

Because you just never know if it will work, until after it does, or doesn't.

Because very few things are as cool (hot!) as a 14 foot tall, 2000 degree, 3 ton piece of claywork.

(We finished firing the sculpture last night. It went perfectly. Stay tuned for details...)

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Opening school today for the fall session. Going to work on the sculpture this afternoon and evening, work tomorrow. My kiln sits quiet and cold in the mist. I need to get back to it soon, and heat things up...

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Returning to the scene...

Day job yesterday, today, tomorrow for a while, then returning to Boone for the final stages of the big sculpture, firing and unveiling. Tomorrow will be all smoke, fire, flame, glowing. I think I'll go back once more next week, late week maybe, to see and document the finished piece. It should be exciting.

Researching something this afternoon, I came upon this quote:

"Art is the soul made visible." - Lesley Riley

I think there is something to that.

Hope everyone is well, stay tuned for some interesting (hopefully) stories of the fiery transformation of clay into stone.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Back to the project

Went in and got day job running, then bolted over the mountain for a workday on the sculpture. It was a beautiful fall day, cool and breezy, lots of color on the trees. Good progress, completed the fiber wrapping and lit burners by 5pm. Tomorrow, burners will be off and out and firing with wood will begin, to last for 3 & 1/2 days. The big finale with smoke and fire will be Saturday evening after dark. I'll post pics and videos as quick as I can after that, probably Monday cause I'll be at work on Sunday till late.

Hope everyone is well. Stay tuned for more sculpture news.

(the slide show in the previous entry has been updated)

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Real Work

Back on the day job, making ends meet. Images of last weeks work here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Why I read Blogs

because of the possibility I can stumble onto something like this.


from the big city and my shift on the sculpture project.

Back home on my mountain, where it's a beautiful fall morning, cool, bright and quiet. Team 2 arrived yesterday at the site finding brilliant sunshine and a ton (literally) of clay waiting for them, and the dove right in. I'll go across the mountain on Sunday to check progress and take some pics, then again on Tues to see a technical detail that will be happening, and finally on Saturday for the end of the firing and unveiling, which I'll post here.

For now it's back to routine and life maintenance, and day job work on Monday. Hope everyone is well.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Building a 3 ton sculpture on a rainy day

Sometimes you have to adapt to circumstance. Heavy rain today leads to a day off. Drinking coffee and resting. Not a bad thing. Work resumes tomorrow.

Project note

More than once the question has been asked if this project I'm participating in is in reference to 9/11. The answer is no. The designing and coordinating artist said it best at dinner the other night when telling us the answer she gives whenever the question is posed. I paraphrase, but you get the gist: "the timing is coincidental...the piece is about CONSTRUCTION, inspired by houses, homes, dwellings...9/11 was about DESTRUCTION..."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Community building, public art

Learning about more than technique and mechanics...

(from Sunday)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cage quote

"Art is not an escape from life, but rather an introduction to it." - John Cage

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Playing with fire

Heading out to help on one of these projects, led by Danish artist Nina Hole. Entries may be lighter than normal depending on access, energy etc. I'll report back on return.

Until then, I hope everyone stays happy and healthy.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A moment of clarity

My level of contentment apparently is dependent on long periods of vegetative contemplation and the chance to live and grow organically amid flowers, weeds, rocks, water, woods and critters of all types.

Inefficient? Probably. Lucrative? No. Enjoyable? Unquestionably.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dog time

Cool, gray, cloudy, slow this morning. Overslept, waking with the option of rushing to work, or not. Chose not.

Dogs get up, stretch lazily, wander down to eat, curl up on their respective dog beds for post breakfast dog naps. There is a certain wisdom to their actions, an environmental compatibility and acceptance of the course of the day.

I don't think dogs watch the clock too much or give much notice to the calendar.

Good dogs.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Time moves on

Waking to velvet black mornings lately. The last couple of days rainy and cool. Leaves are falling here already. Summer has turned the corner in our mountains. Harder to wake up and earlier to bed.

The changing rhythm of the season encourages and cultivates a slowness. Fall is usually my favorite time of year. Softer, slower, smooth worn edges, muted color, and dampened sounds. Fall gives a sense of lingering time, not so urgent and demanding, but not yet over. Just right.

Have a great day.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

End of summer day job rush and crush. Little time or energy to do much else except focus on that. (Re)learning lessons about colliding priorities- shards, fragments and ghosty wisps of creative ideas, things to do and make, shelved for later (if I'm lucky) more often lost forever in the flurry. Not ephemeral by design, but by circumstance. Discouraging.

Making a living vs. living a life: why the need for constant tension between the two?

Balance. How to find it is the million dollar question. Maybe better to stop looking, searching, hoping for it, and enjoy the wild careening about.

Out the door for the day. I'll figure this out (or not) later.

Be well, be happy, have fun, play nice. And please tell me how you do it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Suffering is Optional

"Pay attention to everything.
Believe nothing.
Don't take anything personally."

- Cheri Huber "Suffering is Optional"