Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Eco Goo

Hilary attended the Surface Design Association meetng last week and brought me back a flyer for this great eco-goo from the Netherlands that has lots of potenial for my three dimensional work.

It is supposed to be non toxic, fume free, environmentlly safe and cleans up with water. It is something that is being used to make outdoor textile scupltures. The product is not supposed to be frozen before worked but it is supposed to survive both heat and cold after it has been tempered and set.

Oh my crumbs!!!!!

My questions about it are related to other applications. Can it be burnt or blended with other materials. Can you print with it? Can it be used with paper and some of the other stuff I make magic with?

I will give the products name after I have tried it. Never give an endorsement without experimenting fully. I am going to feed the local dealer lunch and find out as much as I can.

I just spent $300 on basic supplies last week. Looks like I might have to use the old man's soul as collateral. Maybe I'll put the kids on E-bay? Anyone want a ready made family of 25-34 year old men? Most are working. Most cook. Only one manages to clean! Best yet...they no longer need to live at home!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Monday is workshop day with the Taiwanese group. I am making goody bags for them as we speak.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lunar Festival.

The week has been so full. Cara and Hilary are now working flat out and I am still sorting the studio and figuring out the next steps. Marie is working with me starting on Monday to help pull together some of the more practical work in exchange for skills.

Today has been spent pulling together a show package for "Red" at the Artisan Gallery.
Luckily found almost all the images of the work and am reworking the portfolio. Patching together some older artists statements because they still aply to this work. This can be more fun than I thought.

Cara stitched stitched a huge piece of bark coloured poly into a huge piece of pleats. It took her two solid days of hand stitching. I can hardly bear to burn it. We figured out how to stitch the turkey fan mushrooms. Hilary painted the transfer dye sheets and they work great for background, additional colour and varigation. I sampled the first piece in ivory, smoky grey and rust on both organza and a thick poly satin. It burnt beautifully and is potential birch bark.

Cara helped me figue out a weighted support for the ten foot works. I showed it to Tim and he can build it. She also showed me how to do joins for the skeleton. I have decided on the skeleton spine structures. easy peasy and fun.

Next week the National Taiwanese Craft Institue are coming for a studio visit and skills exchange. Five instructors. Two hours. They are here for the Lunar Festival and want to collaborate with other artists. They make extremely complex and animated lanterns and light sculptures.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happening Fast

This week has felt like a tornado. The work for the new shows is now started, support staff have been hired and people have come in to help me organize the studio.

Hilary and I met to figure out the time frames. We have had deadlines since day one. Maggie Manning came and helped me organize stuff in the studio as a gift. Her daughter Cara, starts working with us on Tuesday.

Hilary breezes through tasks. I give her a task and she figures out how to do it better and more efficiently. She cut out my designs and templates for lichen. First the patterns are cut out of hard paper and then ironed on to freezer paper. She made little templates out of tin. There are six patterns in different sizes that are interchangeable for an almost endless variety of construction possibilities. I am going to sample them on a moss green velvet on a heat altered polyester.

Cara is going to come in an make skeletons for larger sculptural pieces. She has a background in sculpture and jewelry and she wants to learn more about textiles.

I am pleased with the energy created by working with others in the space. I will need to become a little less social. Less talking and more work. Sounds like my old report card from school!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Woodpeckers and Sap Suckers

The most extraordinary natural phenomenon witnessed is the birch trees woodpeckers use for storage and sustenance. They drill holes in the silver bark. This leaves black pits. The black pits are created in a very linear fashion all over the tree. Each black pit is either planted with another seed or is left exposed to release blood red sap from the tree's core. The woodpeckers are coloured in exactly the same way the trees are.

Today Hilary and I are meeting to figure out a work plan for the next two months. I have been invited to take part in a number of shows that will be happening in galleries and lodges through the Sea to Sky Corridor.

The first set of photographs were sent to the curator this morning. They will be used for a series of digital projections by 9 artists to be shown on the walls of Callahan Lodge in a continuous and repeating loop. I had to work out a detailed artists statement relating to this new series of work. A more general one needs to be worked out to describe this series of work.I'd rather be doing the work than writing statements. They always feel extraneous to what I am trying to accomplish. An over explanation. Wouldn't it be nice if the work could just be named one, two or three and left to stand alone? Celine writes the best curatorial statement. Peter writes the best artist statement. I seem to get too juicy, flowery and wordy.

I am now working on a series of shows and workshops for the coming months. A number of these are collaborations. All with people I want to work with. Hilary, Krisztina, Vivian, Chris and Celine. Rushing anxiety hit me last night and Tim bore the brunt of it. Today I will work on plans and calendars and get people to help me. I can do this a little chunk at a time without having to resort to adrenalin rushes.

Now time to make my lunch, have a shower and discharge some moss green velvet.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Scar 2008 Photo Tim Hurley and Patricia Chauncey

I am working full out fast. My deadline for submitting photos and work to two of my new shows has been upped to January 7th and January 20th. That means that I have to get my written materials and photographs mailed three days from now. 15 days early for one and a month early for the next one.

All I can say is all hands on deck@ the William's Street Studio starting tomorrow!

Sea to Sky here I come!

Can you say: "No rest for the wicked!"?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bonne Annee

Bonne Annee tout le monde! Happy New Year to everyone!