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Blog Details
Blog Directory ID: 12237 Get VIP Status?
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Google Pagerank: 3
Blog Description:

In my professional life, I'm a wildlife biologist, but I’m a passionate Raku ceramic artist on the side. My blog is devoted to creative musings about my work in clay and the inspirations for my designs…as well as documentation of the maddening, and invigorating process of creating honest works of art. I’ve written about Raku firing and wheel-thrown pottery techniques, wilderness travel and canoeing, endangered species ecology, mythology, literature, music, and a myriad of other topics.
Blog Added: February 11, 2012 07:32:04 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
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Total Visits: 1,351
Blog Rating: 3.00
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Tats!

I've been considering getting a tattoo render of one of my relief designs for some time, but one of my students beat me to it... [...]

I've been considering getting a tattoo render of one of my relief designs for some time, but one of my students beat me to it...



Print work- the Ling, the Hare and the Otter

It's been an interesting semester for my MFA work, in that I've (temporarily) veered away from sculpture and ceramics. I've always been intrigued by printmaking- particularly relief and intaglio... and I now have had the chance to dive in and test the waters.Here's some recent material- I'll post a few slightly more ambitious works soon.This first piece is an etching (using ferric chloride to burn the living tarnation out of copper plates). It's based on a tribal tradition (Malecite...

It's been an interesting semester for my MFA work, in that I've (temporarily) veered away from sculpture and ceramics. I've always been intrigued by printmaking- particularly relief and intaglio... and I now have had the chance to dive in and test the waters.

Here's some recent material- I'll post a few slightly more ambitious works soon.

This first piece is an etching (using ferric chloride to burn the living tarnation out of copper plates). It's based on a tribal tradition (Malecite nation) of painting a pipe-smoking rabbit on one side of their canoe. They'd paint a lynx on the other side- and the juxtaposition was meant to represent grace and courage in the face of peril.

I've substituted a 'bobcat' for the lynx in this composition.
Here's a different take on the same theme- in this case, a relief carving on linoleum.
The remaining two works are both relief carvings- one is an otter chasing a pavendar, the other is a ling cod.
All of these are sized at 8.5 x 11.

One of the lovely things about print is that it's the most democratic of art forms- a nice balance between individuality and replicability. Which is to say- I'll be producing an edition of 30 of each of these, and selling them at $25.00. Contact me if you're interested in one of these.



Explorations in Stream Bioremediation

I'm very interested in the application of Reconciliation Ecology concepts to Fine Art. Through sculpture and installation, it's possible to restore habitat, enhance ecosystem function, and break down the implied wall between spaces that are 'human' and spaces that are 'wild'.For some background on the whole theory of 'Reconciliation Ecology', see this review. There are many artists who engage in this type of work. One of my personal heroes is Jackie Brookner- an artist who has...

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I'm very interested in the application of Reconciliation Ecology concepts to Fine Art. Through sculpture and installation, it's possible to restore habitat, enhance ecosystem function, and break down the implied wall between spaces that are 'human' and spaces that are 'wild'.

For some background on the whole theory of 'Reconciliation Ecology', see this review.

Picture
There are many artists who engage in this type of work. One of my personal heroes is Jackie Brookner- an artist who has worked extensively in bio-remediation. Her community-based project 'Laughing Brook' is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, and utilized a special concrete blend to filter water within an urban, degraded stream system.

Other sculptures, also constructed from concrete, have filtered water in public swimming facilities (The Gift of Water), and polluted wetlands (Veden Taika).

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Concrete, unfortunately, has practical and ecological downsides (plus it's not a material that I'm familiar or skilled with.

One potential alternative for constructing biosculpture is ‘Coffee-Clay’. In Australia, materials scientist Tony Flynn has constructed water filters from a 1:1 mixture of coffee grounds and clay. When fired to maturity, these filters can provide safe drinking water in impoverished regions.

Coffee-clay sculptures are both porous and heavily textured. As such, they can remediate polluted water both through direct passage and filtration of water, and through matrix colonization by bacteria, algae, and other biota.

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These objects are also beautiful. When carefully surfaced, they resemble granite... but remain strong and porous.

There area lot of interesting questions associated with using these objects in a field setting.

  1. Will they serve as effective physical filters? Will this capacity change across time?
  2. Will they become 'biologically active' (colonized by bacteria, algae, other organisms) and will this facilitate the breakdown of nitrates or other contaminants?
  3. What 'recipes' for making these objects will optimize their functionality?

I'm currently working with an undergraduate student to explore these questions, and we plan installations in several sites, starting with the Arboretum in the heart of Moscow, Idaho.



Collograph

MFA work is awesome, because you get to dabble in total out-of-the-box stuff (for me at least) like printmaking.I'm taking the basic class, where we're currently doing a basic collograph... slapping masking tape onto a flat surface and then printing it in relief or intaglio. Seems rather kindergarten... but the results are actually quite intriguing. [...]...

MFA work is awesome, because you get to dabble in total out-of-the-box stuff (for me at least) like printmaking.

I'm taking the basic class, where we're currently doing a basic collograph... slapping masking tape onto a flat surface and then printing it in relief or intaglio. Seems rather kindergarten... but the results are actually quite intriguing.



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