Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Iterative Self Photoshoot 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

More shots that I'm using in my Iterative Self project. The loose concept behind it from when I was shooting dealt with performing the non-performative self- co-opting make-up to create bruises and black eyes, being aggressively unpretty, baring my teeth at the camera. It's coming from a place of reaction to all the time I've spent in front of a camera doing the opposite, more or less in the same vein as that "Fuck yer audience" piece I did last year.

It helps that I'm feeling massively overwhelmed and under a lot of stress right now. These are not exactly difficult emotions to get a hold of and perform here.

Shooting this solo, without anyone mitigating between me and the camera was really liberating. As was smearing fuck-loads of make-up on my face and emptying a bottle of water over my head.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iterative Self Photo Shoot

Sorry for the radio silence all- my current class schedule has me chained to the printmaking dungeon and I've only been coming up for air to sleep. My professors seem determined to break me with my credit load this quarter, and truth be told, they're starting to succeed.

These are a few images I took of myself for the iterative self project I'm currently immersed in. I was tethered by the remote shutter control, which is why they're all so damn close. The idea is to work one image through a series of processes, changing it subtly every time, until you go completely fucking insane and burn everything in your studio in a purging fire.

This term is really starting to get to me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Punching yourself in the face with Photoshop!

Back and bloodied! Well, not really, unless you're counting the scrape I gave myself in the print studio yesterday. I'm back in classes, taking a masochistic 20 credits for my last quarter, and making Stuff again. My last (last!) program at Evergreen is a digital media and printmaking intensive, so I'm finally doing Serious Shit in Photoshop. I'm slowly feeling my way around PS4, and today our assignment was to mess around with a self portrait.

Here's the original mugshot. I punched myself in the eye with the clone stamp tool for awhile and mucked around with the levels- nothing major, but I'm still beginning.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Final enameled pieces

These are my two final, and probably most ambitious, thin-metal enameling samples. Not to be content with the only relatively unstable pieces I had made so far, I decided to do a ridiculously flimsy one out of painfully thin metal, and fire it about ten times.

This first one is all of my sketchbook scribbled fantasies come to life, namely, me on my future lyra. My class notes are messy with sketches on me on a hoop, it made a lot of sense to turn it into an enamel piece.

This was the last one I did, yesterday. Again, born of idle sketching and figures that tend to crop up in my drawing. I'm not thrilled with it, but it felt good to get one final piece out before I had to say goodbye to enameling forever.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eye Teeth- Final

Eye Teeth, in its final, completed iteration. I put the last coats of enamel on the mask on Friday, and created the barbed wire choker/title today. I vacillated a lot on how to display it, but I think having two white styrofoam heads on either side of the full mannequin is going to balance my final show well.

I wound up doing the nose bridge and the head attachment with braided wire (Claire's idea to braid it, mad props to her). I tried to keep it wild and organic, leaving some loose ends to curl around the sides and back.

I mimicked the wild feel of the mask with the choker, braiding it loosely and wrapping bits of wire around the connections like barbed wire. I hammered out the title piece with thin copper, so the letters are really deeply recessed. If I had had the time I would've enameled it the same colors as the mask, but I just hit it with some liver of sulfur and called it a day.

Side view- there are layers and layers (17, to be exact) of subtle greens, browns and reds in the mask, but they're mostly lost in the picture. I enameled the spikes of the eyes and ends with opaque black, which is again, too subtle to be really picked up by the camera.

Close up to give some idea of the colors that went into the mask. I built up more enamel in this piece than I ever have before, mostly because it took that long for me to be satisfied with it.

I'm really happy with this one as my final major piece of metal working. Tomorrow's the last critique of the term, I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else's been up to.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Enameling! You're probably sick of it by now, but I'm sure as hell not

Following my tentative experiments with enameling thin metal onto pieces yesterday, I threw myself into it with absolutely no thoughts of how cut up I was about to get today. Octopods! Sparrows! Other iconic images that are easily sheared out of metal! The list goes on.

I initially approached it like cutting out stencils, but I quickly realized that because metal /= paper, there was no need to avoid going into negative space by cutting through connections. Which is good, because piercing and shearing out metal that thin would have been a hassle.

Doing the colors on the octopus was entirely too fun. I almost made it purple, but I restrained myself.

This one I made with my aerial teacher, who goes by Sparrow, in mind. The wing tips got a bit banged up because of the fragility, but it's holding together surprisingly well for being so delicate.

The Medusa is the first piece I did with two layers. I wanted to distinguish between the snakes and the profile, so I built up the snakes with a few layers of wetpacked enamel. I even left my transparent enamel comfort zone and touched it with some opaque to get the depth.

Tomorrow- this madness, in its finished enameled form. And meditations on the end of my relationship with the fine metals studio.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Enameling samples

New enameling pieces! I've been working non-stop in the studio because this is the last week we have open hours before it shuts down until fall. I was too sick to put these up yesterday, so today I'm posting the first and second layers of these two little sets.

I made the freaking cool discovery that I could enamel pieces of thin metal to a base when I was messing around, so all of these are experiments along those lines. I cut the tree out of 22 gauge, and fluxxed it to the base.

Same for this one- every subsequent layer of enamel adheres it more strongly.

And this was mostly an excuse to use up my leftover scraps of thin metal.

Day two! I've done about 5-10 layers on each of these pieces at this point.

The tree turned into an experiment with painting on klyrfire in patterns and tapping off the excess enamel.

I wetpacked the fishy to give it some dimension, and messed around with creating a blue gradation.

And with this one I just kept fluxxing it to build up dimension.

Apologies for the brevity, my sinuses are interfering with my writing-brain. Possibly I will cast myself a new nose in studio today.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Eye Teeth Mask- Work in Progress

This is my final mask for class, in all its eye-eating glory. I've been wacking at it (read: smithing) to try to get the shape right all today, and I'm fucking wiped. Also, thanks to all my work doing masks this term, I really hate noses. Useless, pointless facial mistakes. I tried to avoid the Nose Problem with a little piece of chain mail, but that still didn't totally solve it. Ideas, world?

It's still very much unfinished- I have the rest of the week to pour into it- and the way it sits on my face needs to be tweaked. Right now I've got a single-link chain attaching at the side spike and in the back, but that's not doing what I need it to.

The one element I really like and am running with is the bowl-shape goggle look. The eyes are very recessed behind the teeth/spikes, and it makes for a nice deep shadow.

One last profile shot because my eyes look creeeepy underneath this piece. All my work thus far in the term has involved on putting dangerous things by my eyes (sharp pointy metal, broken glass), but I think this is the only one where I've deliberately made spikes that came IN towards my ocular cavity.

I'm planning to enamel these, probably with a dirty, fluxxed white-to-red color gradation. I like the idea of red coming down the points, because my work clearly isn't disturbing enough without those implications.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fuck yeah studio!


I spent all day today (for a value of today that includes being up till six, sleeping for two hours in the morning, training for three on the trapeze, and collapsing for a little bit after that) cleaning the garage so I could work in my screenprinting studio again. And it is beeeeeutiful. All sexy and organized and full of shelving!

I even coated a screen for one of my jobs to see if my emulsion from a month ago is still good. Here's hoping- I'd love to put some of tomorrow towards printing some real work again.

Here, look at it again! Love it with your eyes! Be full of delicious anticipation for the art that is going to come out of this space! (I have been doing a lot of that part).

Art space!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Naked people Friday!

Not my best depictions of naked people this Friday, but I still dragged my ass out of bed this morning and made it to the studio with a few hours to spend on drawing. The first pose was frustrating as hell, and it didn't really mesh well for the rest of the session but I just focussed in on shading and worked it the best I could.

The little hand drawing says "can't draw today. bad hand!" I thought chastising it might help.

When I get blocked doing figure studies, I generally just zero in on one part, but the hands were coming pretty well so I sketched out some of the figure too. She's holding a mannequin head, so I decided to leave her real head out to balance it.

Last half hour pose, and I didn't trust myself to make it a single good piece, so I split it up into three. The yellow one is the most life-like, but the blue was the most fun.

Better stuff next week, hopefully!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Oh, I heart it so.

I've been making leetle enamel samples for the past week, all with drilled holes for potential jump-ring necklace attachment. One of my classmates has been making these gorgeous luminescent pieces with layers of transparent enamel, which encouraged me to try firing with less enamel.

The PROBLEM with enamel samples is they're so deceptively easy. I get lured away from my projects by the kiln to slap a couple of layers on a scrap of copper in the morning, and the next thing I know the studio's closing and all I have to show for it is these little glass bits and pieces looking up at me all innocently from my desk, next to the work I was supposed to be doing all day.

The back of the above, rocking two layers of transparent turquoise and starting to develop firescale because I really should have used more counter.

I was a little annoyed by my lack of foresight with the other skull (absence of jump ring for awesome jewelry purposes), so I decided to do a cloisonne one using my silver wire. Unfortunately, I put it in the wrong kiln without thinking and melted silver all over the damn piece. I cleaned it up a little yesterday, but it still looks wonky and matte.

Cloisonne-thulhu. The old ones made me do it.

This was the most obnoxious, finicky piece to finish, which is appropriate I suppose. All those little tentacles are hell to wetpack, but I did like leaving it textured a bit instead of all glossy.

This is one I did for my friend Wes, who runs the circus barn where I train. The text is from a tattoo he has that I've always loved.

And the back, with his name on it so I wouldn't be tempted to keep it for myself. I want to make a few more pieces to give away to my friends, particularly the circus folks I train with who I can really easily imagine translating into enamel art, personality wise.

One last one, a tiny ouroboros that I made with Shira in mind. I'm really pleased with how I got the cloisonne to spill over the edge of the metal and still be able to hold enamel.

More sexy glass metal to come! I've got another month in the studio if anyone wants to commission an enameled piece. Text (like the fuck love make art piece) is particularly easy to make happen, cloisonne is much more complicated and labor intensive. Let me make your ideas into artstuffs!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Artificial Tears- Final

Done! Enameled seven times, affixed with broken glass, stuck on a styrofoam head, critiqued and worn by half my classmates, and DONE. I used acrylic paint (thanks to Erin having some to lend me) on the chain to get the color to match, but everything else is enamel. Or broken glass. Or something in-between.

I'm really happy with how it hangs on the face- I made the teardrops out of 10 gauge metal with loads of enamel to get them heavy enough to draw the chain down and keep the cheek pieces anchored.

Side view with the tear drops. I had to sacrifice the articulation on the original hanging tears on the cheek pieces, so I liked the fact that the tear drops by the ears swung.

I'm exhausted from trying to knock out my research paper (on facial jewelry), hence the brevity. With luck I'll have some time to shoot myself wearing the piece and articulate more thoughts on the piece then.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Figure drawing Fridays would be more alliterative, but most of you reading this probably know by now that I'll take any excuse to talk about naaaaaked people. That I get to draw. Naaaaaaked!

I managed to roll my ass out of bed by 10AM today, so I caught two hours of figure studies this morning. The model was good, and inexplicably wearing make-up, which struck me as a bit funny. I grabbed my 24 pack of prisma nupastels before leaving the house meaning I had allll the colors ever to work with; so, of course, I started with grey. (Can you tell I threw that chair in at the last minute? It is physically improbable to the point of collapse, unlike its real life counterpart.)

Shading! Where the hell did THAT come from? Apparently my ability to produce tone developed when I wasn't looking, because this was a 15 minute pose and I managed to squeeze a lot of color gradation into it. She had great proportions to play with, too, which I couldn't resist exaggerating with her face and hand.

This was the hour long pose, which I split into 2 sketches. The top one is dedicated to my friend Jason, who was on the other side of the room doing these great exaggerated comic-style drawings that I snuck a look at during the break. I want to challenge myself to break style more during figure sessions and play around some with other techniques.

This one's my favorite- something about the model said "pink", so I ran with it. 20 minutes, and huge pile of pastel dust when I was done getting those dark tones.