Week three was such a good one! It felt like all of us finally started to figure out how to work in the space, we started talking and sharing more with each other (it is a group of introverts!).
On Monday we got an unexpected and lovely visit from Gord Peteran and Navva who happened to be coming through town. We talked about old tools, what it means to be a maker of your time, how to value work and furniture, and a million other good weird things.
On Wednesday we finally got our final maker resident – Kailee Bosch! Kailee (pronounced k-eye-lee – rhymes with “highly” – I was totally mispronouncing it) and I are sharing the AirBnB, so it was great to have a housemate after a few lonely weeks. I picked her up from the airport Wednesday night, and she was in town for less than 12 hours before she had her NextFab pass and her space set up; bopping back and forth between filing cast bronze parts, designing new works, running her 3D printer, and working on the lathe. She’s a multitasking genius, and it has been so great to see a process that moves between so many different kinds of making to create beautifully designed, cohesive objects. Give her a follow on Instagram to see what she’s doing day to day!
Chris Storb is checking off a list of things he’s wanted to make but not found the time for – a wooden fore plane, a large wooden router plane, some small wooden squares, and, oh yeah, no big deal, a single pickup electric guitar. If you aren’t following his progress on Instagram I recommend it! And don’t forget to check out his blog too – find him at In Proportion To the Trouble.
Meanwhile, James Maurelle is working on carving/shaping a large found wooden log, slowly developing the form using a subtractive process before he adds components back on to it. James is laser focused on his work, and is very soft spoken, but finds time at the end of each working day to come over and ask one of us about what we’re working on. You can tell through his questions that he’s a natural teacher, and I always leave a conversation with him having new insight into what I’m trying to do in my own work. I asked him a few days ago how he makes his way in the world of found objects – how much does he change them and how much does he let them be? We share an interest in discarded things and the energy they can bring to artwork, so I was curious about his thoughts, and of course he had something brilliant to say. He compared working with found objects to his former life as a DJ and said something like, “You can work your magic as a DJ and do all kinds of complex things to the sound, but sometimes it’s just right to let the record rock – sometimes you’ve just got to let [the object] rock.” He’s my sculpture hero.
Janice Smith has been working on a couple of loose ideas that allow her to go back and forth and stay busy as she’s waiting for paint or glue to dry. Speaking of glue, she has been doing these quick tapered stave studies, and after a consultation on hide glue with Chris, she decided to hide glue them together to negate the need for a complex clamping situation. It was great to watch them talk through the process, and I loved hearing more about a glue that I have never used but heard a bunch about, and then getting to watch it in action. Janice got her parts glued up and immediately started playing with milk paint and dye samples. She took a class from Kim Winkle a few years ago on milk paints and has been playing with layering techniques ever since, but is really getting to explore it here. So cool!
As for me, I spent week three carving, drawing, and slowly figuring out what I wanted the cabinet for this residency to look like. Something that talks about Philadelphia (what a good weird city!) and something that gives space for each resident to put an object that they feel represents something from their time here.