Friday, July 30, 2010

embracing chaos part two

I believe I am improving the less than perfect job of cleaning the sprue off of the ring shown above. (The sprue is a sizable hunk of metal attached to cast jewelry where the metal was poured into the mold.) In the case of traditional jewelry, the intent is to have a seamless match to the shape and texture of the surface adjoining the sprue area. The item is usually designed in a way that the sprue is in a smooth, easy to clean area. With representational organic designs, the area surround the sprue is often made with a texture that can be easily duplicated after the item has been cast into metal. However, with three dimensional, non-symbolic organic surfaces, rarely is the sprue location so conveniently located and textured. With non-jewelry sculptures, this problem can often be solved by placing the sprue on the flat, bottom surface.

I feel that having a bottom on 3-d organic jewelry items ruins the concept. What I am going for is not a representation, or symbolic version of nature, but something that would seamlessly fit in nature, whether the actual item really exists or not. (No one would mistake a bright red square box sitting in a patch of woods to be an organic, natural part of the scenery.)

Recently, I think I have made a step forward in this regard - at least in concept. In the case of the tree bark ring, instead of trying to exactly imitate the surface of the bark, it is more appropriate to find a carve-able texture that complements or belongs to the natural item - perhaps a small remnant of a mostly-peeled-off outer bark. Nature itself does not imitate, it interprets desire. Approaching the problem from this perspective, the sprue areas that I am now finishing are slowing beginning to disappear into the whole.

I am attempting to incorporate this concept in future pieces that are in the design phase. A new level of asymmetry that makes nature, nature, and makes symbolic representation, 'not nature'. An obvious example of this type of symbolism is a grade-school-level pie face. We all know what it is supposed to represent, but it is unlikely that anyone would mistake the drawing for a photo of an actual person.

This takes me one step closer to no longer making test pieces, and starting on complete pieces that I hope to get done before I am done.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

this years garden

This year's plants, so far:
snow peas
pole beans
green cabbage
purple cabbage
Swiss chard
yellow squash
bell peppers
green onions
acorn squash
spaghetti squash
butternut squash
delicata squash

Sunday, July 11, 2010

roads to koktebel

This movie crushed my expectations at every single turn. When I expected to cry, I laughed. When I expected to laugh, I cried. Life is not even this real. Absolutely unpredictable and perfect movie by Russian writer/director team, Boris Khlebnikov and Alexei Popogrebsky.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The ancient turnip sat on the windowsill, confident that it was too old and too ugly to be considered food by the spastic, foul-smelling herbivores mulling about in the kitchen.

jimmy, third part

It was a long walk from Jimmy's house to the public library, just under two miles of hot, thick, unbearable Georgian summer. The walk was worth the effort. As Jimmy opens the large glass door, a blanket of cold air quick-freezes his sweat-soaked clothing. As his eyes adjust to the homogeneous light of the library, the interior clarifies and brightens. The library possesses a special kind of light, a self-perpetuating light. Each space is a self-illuminated shadow. This static, omnipresent light reveals the true nature of the library. Jimmy finds the library quiet and nearly abandoned - the library does not reveal it's true light to everyone.

The only inhabitants were the keepers.

Nearly hidden behind tall desks, sitting on high-pitched squeaking chairs, stern overlords keep watch over the library.

Young female workers move silently through the corridors of books. These roving under-librarians, smelling of shampoo and old books, are driven by a numbered and ordered will of the library. Their beauty - their thin, angular physiques, pale, cool-to-the-touch skin, and straight, dark hair - defies any ordinary standards of beauty beyond the glass doors. Pushing carts of spent books through the aisles, they use their graceful, thin fingers to restore each book to it's previous strength. Restoring order. Reassigning proper light-space.

Tended lovingly by these roving workers, stacked neatly on metallic shelves, stand the adventures that make Jimmy's life bearable - stories that crush the fragmented falsehoods substituting for reality. These stories are too profound to be contained in their physical structures. Held loosely in the book's damp-smelling pages, they slowly leak into the atmosphere of the library. Jimmy watches them move through the air like rippling vortexes. Eventually these swirling ghosts light upon, and are absorbed into solid objects. Jimmy listens to the trapped whispers of stories emanating from the walls and furniture as he walks past them.

Jimmy heads to a forgotten back corner of the library. In these smaller, less accessible aisles, the escaping stories have their most profound effect. The books become more dense, the stories more active; vegetation from the leaking stories becomes more prolific. In the back corners, against the library's exterior walls, mutated vines - gnarled and angry - sprout and grow from the metallic shelving. Murmuring rumors of spring, their strong, dark trunks bore through the gray, thickly-painted cement block walls. Growing and expanding beyond the confines of the library, they spread into the greasy mass of humanity, rebuking and tormenting a society gone mad.

Underfoot, beneath the marble flooring, secret rabbit societies burrow tunnels and engage in epic battles. Within these tunnel spaces, small but valiant rabbits, in the calculated fury of war, clench oppressor's hairy throats between their teeth, biting into their airways, compressing their throats until their life-force drains.

Above the tall shelves, cosmonauts float weightlessly. Futuristic travelers streak through space faster than light - faster than normal light - only the omnipresent light of the library can trace their paths through the void of space and time.

jimmy, second part

Jimmy never considered intimacy a precious commodity. Intimacy was a service to be rendered upon request. Flesh surpassed the thin veil of piety. Somewhere in it's unending, warm, salty folds lay the keys to acceptance. It invaded dreams in fragmented segments with larger-than-life faces belonging to respectable people - people uttering unnatural gasps that seemed to emanate from his own mind. Flesh became part of Jimmy, adding it's cadence to his life. Confusing and awkward, it lurked, ready to be served.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I reject your reality,
and replace it
with the tasty goodness of Cheese Nips
and ice cold Kool-Aid.

we're going to be friends

here we are, no one else
we walked to school all by ourselves
there's dirt on our uniforms
from chasing all the ants and worms
we clean up and now it's time to learn

from we're going to be friends
by the white stripes

Monday, July 5, 2010

river song

what song did the river sing
when you were folded in it's waves?