11 August 2010
in the weeds
i think it was karen who wanted to see a picture of my vinyl cutting machine... above it is. it doesn't have a name... maybe it should. suggestions?
i'm using it for 2 purposes at the moment. i'm making an edition which i'll talk more about soon... and i'm making a series of doilies for the show i'm having in november at angels gate . the one all about deforrestation.
in one way this machine is saving me a ton of time/energy. it takes me so long to paint doilies on the wall and with decals i just get to stick them wherever i want. but there's been a learning curve with the machine.
trying to figure out the thickness that the doilies need to be so that they still look delicate but aren't a complete pain to weed has been a challenge. WEEDING - that's a whole thing too. weeding is the technical term for removing all the parts of the sticker so that the image is how you want it to be. it basically means sitting w/ an exacto knife and lifting all these areas off. in the end as far as for an installation - i'll save time in the space not having to paint all the doilies one by one. instead of having to be in the space for a week, i'm spending weeks prepping the stickers. it's a trade off. [the other good thing is that someone else can potentially do a doily installation for me now! woo hoo!]
it's also been a challenge figuring out how to set up the machine to cut at the right depth. too shallow and weeding is torture. too deep and it cuts through the design, not to mention the backing of the vinyl - which is no good.
i sit at night w/ my exacto on the floor [on a pillow] at the coffee table making doilies emerge. in a way it's a good metaphor for a lot of what is happening in my mind and in the studio. i've been thinking a lot lately about what i edit or remove and what i leave behind. in a sense it's basic composition, right? and everyone has their compositional tendencies. there's sort of a subtle difference for me in the trajectories of these actions. i can leave behind something that i'm not completely sure of - maybe in the end i'll remove it, but often if i let it sit it might make the cut. the process of editing for me, though, is much more cut throat. if i feel like something needs to be removed i often have this very strong impulse - like it MUST be gone now. fundamentally, though, i like this vinyl cutting process because it is about REMOVAL - what you take away ends up giving you an image. so often art making is about ADDITION - what you put down or add in order to make a final piece. it's nice to think about things from an opposite point of view.
when i sit there doing this mindless busy work my mind wanders. what do i "weed" out of my thoughts... which memories make the cut, which do i try to weed out, or allow to fade because they are hurtful or not as interesting? these days i feel like my brain is a jumble of plans, lists, obligations - i need someone to come in with the exacto knife and leave behind a pretty organized picture.
i am, though, really pleased at how i can make these look like they are hand generated. i did DRAW and scan them into the computer, but it's gratifying to see that the feeling translates. at least i think it does.
what else is going on in the studio?
i've been playing some more with the discards/leftovers of print runs. above is a piece for an upcoming auction that benefits the Rock Paper Scissors collective .
it's really freeing to "rescue" these. for whatever reason [not straight, off center, bad print, or simply an extra] they didn't make it into the edition, and i simply didn't have the heart to throw them away. i like just adding imagery on a whim. the kite... just because.... and little glowing clouds [thanks to interference paint, they do really have a sheen].
the countdown to the end of summer starts over here.... 2 weeks? yikes. shhhhh