Showing posts with label make believe collection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label make believe collection. Show all posts

02 May 2013

my make believe collection 24 :: mitsuru koga

sea stone "creatures"

note: this was the column that i wrote for poppytalk for 2 years... when she moved URL's she decided to get back to her roots and do most of the posting again [go jan + earl!]. i thought maybe that would be the end of "collecting" for me... but instead when i recently ran across mitsuru koga's  work at tortoise - i had that pang of WANT. 

so here i am again. i'll keep collecting on my own little blog - no schedule - just when the mood strikes me... and with this work OH did the mood strike me. 

small hangers made from one continuous wire
mitsuru koga embodies what i love about japanese aesthetics.
the simplicity
the line
the attention to detail
the precision

cloud cut piece
the complete reverence for materials
the ever so slight sense of humor
the MINIATURE [oh swoon]

cut leaf pieces
ok. so all the above work is charming and lovely 
but... the stone vases. oh the stone vases. these tiny perfect little hollowed out stones. [sandblasted]. with their little spouts. and the HANDMADE flowers/twigs [out of wire] that sit in them. 

yes. my heart pounded. and if had the funds that it would have taken to secure one [really not so much when you think about it, but a lot to just spend in a flash] i would have. some day in the future if i have a small windfall of money i will get one of these. because once you pick them up and hold them... because once you see the box that was made for each one [perfect. wooded. carved foam to gently encase the stone. and the twig comes in a little glass corked bottle. protected too]... you must have one.

oh. and if you read what he says about them. well :
Any person has an aesthetic feeling inside and picking up stones is the way to find a route to such sentiment in mind. Whenever I come across stones, I ask them what processes they went through. Natural object is continually changing under the influence of external world through the years. I follow the long time process adding minimal changes to stones to finish the work. As in the way waves abrade stones I scrape stones with careful attention. I add special care to natural objects with the hope that the artificial process counterpoints naturalness more.   
ok. so it's a bit engrish, but i think perfect actually. i want one of the simple, more gray ones. although eventually a little family of them would be... amazing.

08 February 2013

what i have been doing instead of blogging

in no particular order

1. working on interwoven [what a great group of international makers we have]

2. working on my professional practice course at sfsu and getting a feel for this group [and wondering A LOT if i should try and do a more post-undergrad, real life working artist seminar online- and/or project based portfolio/body of work development Ecourse] 

2a. looking at the san francisco skyline on my drive in and wondering when it shifted. so many new glassy tall tall buildings these days. all of a sudden feels less quaint and charmy and more CITY. 

3. trying out amazingly decadent donughnuts with a new online turned real life friend

 4. getting handmade necklaces from the little

 5. spending a lot of time looking up at the ceiling in my bedroom because i have been sick as a dog sickie sick sick. this kind of weird i have a different symptom to deal with daily type sick.

6. working on my newsletter. ok. truth is knowing that i should do this, but having a hard time getting motivated. HEY PEOPLE - especially EAST COAST. i am coming your way. march 10 - workshop and book signing at PURL SOHO [insert jumping up and down here]. will you please come? spread the word? and come? i haven't been on the east coast in years [since the little]. and i'm going solo. [amazing. how will this feel?]

7. meetings. lots and lots and lots of meetings... about all kinds of things. there could be some very exciting things happening for MODify/d  [not jinxing so not saying]. i have measurements of walls for my solo show... and in the procuring of those measurements i visited my tank installation at Fouladi Projects  - and took "real" photos of it... [these will be in the newsletter. aside: i can get it done. i can. i can. oh - do you want to see it when it's finally finished? if so - sign up for it on my homepage ]

8. dreaming about the studio. trying not to be discouraged or feel guilty when life takes over and i can do what i want or need to get done.

at least now i can say i blogged, right? and i did write another make believe collection post - about agnes martin

24 September 2012

knot thread stitch - the peeps : amy karol {and tidbits}

hi. sorry for radio silence. school + lots of other stuff keeping me busy - i'm sure you guessed that. and more on one particular project soon, but for now... four tidbits::

ONE: i have work in a group show at Walter Maciel Gallery called threading the needle . it's up thru oct. 27 - so awhile still.

TWO: i'm doing a demo/ knot thread stitch book signing with the lovely Mati McDonough  [and her daring adventures in paint] at  ::

Marion & Rose's Workshop on
Saturday October 6 from 2-4:30
461 9th Street - 94607

we'll make some stuff, we'll sign books if you want... it will be a good time in Old Oakland. Come on down [even if you already have a book, feel free to come by and say hello !]

THREE: i'll be helping the lovely jen/sprout studio out with her awesome necklace teahouse studio class this Sunday - the 30th from 1-4. there are still a few slots left if you want to make some pretty beaded lovely things with us !

FOUR: i was featured on insideout's [home magazine] blog the other day [woo hoo and thanks!] and there's a make believe collection post on poppytalk : 21 - laylah ali

so - now onto amy karol - another fabulous contributor to my book. you might know her for her amazing books - bend-the-rules sewing and bend the rules with fabric. amy was one of the first mega-craft star people i met online. and she was nice. always nice and inclusive. and funny [quietly and cynically funny. my kind of funny]. and just talented - on so many levels. she and i traded some art and to this day i wake up and look at a mini quilt of hers every morning. and i love it as much as i did the day it arrive. oh and i also love the facial oils she concocted. i use them every night.

1. quick – without thinking what is your favorite color RIGHT NOW? 

greyish purple (is that puce?)

2. what is your favorite comfort food?

right now, biscuits with honey

3. why did you agree to be in knot thread stitch ? ;)

because I wanted to work with you and think you are awesome.
amy i think you are awesome too. thank you.

one of amy's mini quilts [image from her website]

4. can you give us any insight or behind the scenes info on the project you contributed?

copying a drawing delia did was so fun, it was like being in her brain for a bit. the piece that is in the book hangs over her bed. she is very proud of it. 
as she should be. 

5. what book/tv show/song/blog/insert whatever it is here/ is just making you SO happy RIGHT NOW?

I am really loving my food blogs, as I usually do, and making any dessert with fruit makes me really happy. and make-up blogs with tacky/cute nail art.

one of amy's paintings [image from her website]

6. do you have a craft/art/studio routine that makes everything go smoother? Would you share it with us?

keeping it clean. It has to be clean or I get very grumpy. nothing more of a routine than that, the kids are always around, so working alone is sort of impossible right now, which is still hard for me to get used to. but they will grow up and move out someday, so I've been told.

thanks amy. 2012 - the year we meet in person. 3+ months to make it happen !

10 August 2012

excuse me while i wax poetic on the internets

i'm gonna pull a granny moment on you, OK?  i remember when there was no internet. when email was a novelty that you checked once a week - not once every 10 minutes. oh the world pre-facebook, instagram and so many other social media/need to be on sites [flickr anyone?]. i'm constantly inundated with young-ins who know nothing else but this - and it makes me realize how fast the world is actually changing. need to fact check? google it immediately. i'm so so guilty of this. i whip out my phone to check when a store is open, where the closest UPS drop off box is, when the next BART train to san francisco is. in class when i can't remember an artist's name exactly and i have to tell and show the student about said artist - BANG - there it is.


i also remember when the online crafty blog world was tiny. we all read AND COMMENTED on one another's blogs - it feels like the good old days [yes we walked 10 miles in the snow to school]. we drank our morning coffee and said "hello" to each other. we showed and shared meaningful snippets of what we were making and thinking and got inspired by one another - we cheered each other on. in a way this is all still true, but i'd be lying if i said things were the same. as things grew we made friends with our friends friends, and slowly but surely it turns out that everyone now NEEDS a blog. that it has become part of the whole trending and marketing scheme that creatives participate in. it is impossible now to read everyone and everything - let alone comment. sometimes looking online becomes an overwhelming feast for the eyes and instead of inspiring me, it freezes me up - making me think oh i don't know if i can make anything as pretty or meaningful as what i just saw... plus so many of us are so busy now [a good yay we are doing what we love, but life is crazy full busy kind of busy] that we don't have the time to troll around online like we used to. 

but the last week/weekend i got to hang out with people. REAL LIVE people - some from far away and some who live mere blocks from me. and i would not have met these people if it were not for the internet. seriously - every. single. one. of. them. and i constantly marvel at how the internet has allowed me to meet like-minded makers. it still acts as a filter - i just know i will get along with certain people because of the photos they post, the prose they write, the things they make.


i don't think i have ever had a bad first meet up with someone that i've met online. and even more important, many many of these people are my go to people now. they have kids - i ask them mom advice, i've watched their kids grow up before my very eyes. i have drawings, and prints, and photos, and poems, and memories with them. we have collaborated on projects, had wonderful phone chats, ate amazing meals, laughed until we cried. we have shared business advice, material advice, planting advice, they speak to my classes and allow my students into their studios, and there is jam [ok i've never made any jam, but other people have given me jam they've made and for that i am grateful].

what's more if i go to a city - most likely i'll know someone there. or i have more reason to GO places [there are so many places on this list]. so internet, as much as i grumble about you and how you've changed and how yes there are many annoying aspects about things and people online, ultimately i still owe you a big thank you.

most of the photos above were taken with my new 50mm lens who someone [who i wouldn't know except for the internet] convinced me to get. i was at the ferry building and the alameda flea market hanging out with all kinds of people that i only know because of the online world. 

here's my little and hula's big playing together. i get teary when i think about the first time i met andrea i was actually pregnant [but didn't know it yet] and we had breakfast with ava and ezra who were SO WELL BEHAVED and cute. and i have an amazing drawing that ava sent to me when she was about 7? and ezra's cooler than cool monster drawing is on the cover of my book. makes me happy. 

and speaking of online pals. i got to meet up with artist sonya philip the other day - and her studio tour is on poppytalk

29 June 2012

knot thread stitch is real.

hello there. i've been yelling it off the mountain top so pardon me if you are sick of this news... but i'm attempting to practice the idea that it's OK to talk about things you are excited and proud of.

my BOOK. the one i authored. the one that took me over a year to put it together. the one where i invited 19 friends, colleagues and people i admired to either make a project or be in the inspirational gallery [full list here]. is out. it's here. it's real. it has pages. that you can turn. as someone pointed out - it has a spine. with my NAME on it....

photo credit: andrew paynter

i thought i'd share just a little bit of the behind the scenes here. because if there is one thing that i've learned in this experience... there is a lot behind the scenes in book making [and funny rules. like don't include too much ENGLISH in your projects]. sure there are the characters you'd expect - an editor [and mine was beyond fantastic], a photographer [oh yes he was also a phenom - and responsible for these images], a copy and a tech editor, a slew of designers...

photo credit: andrew paynter

but really - i wrote it. every. single. word. i had to think about what was really important to include. what wasn't needed - and what occasionally just had to go. i project managed all my contributors. i was the photo stylist.  [see me above? - below is what we really shot]. i made and re-made all the projects. i embroidered the title. i took my own in-progress photos. i agonized over it. stressed about it. and the whole time couldn't believe it was happening. i mean really. a book? who thought i could do this?

photo credit: andrew paynter
but it's here. it's available. it's out in the world. for sale. [gulp]. and there is going to be a party. a launch party. and hopefully down the road some other workshops and maybe even signings [but who would want to come and have me sign their book? really ?!?!].

so come if you can.
the Curiosity Shoppe
845 Valencia Street between 19th/20th

photo credit: andrew paynter - he even got a couple photos of me i don't hate.
now and again i'll post little interviews here on the blog with the folks that contributed and made this all possible. and i'll keep this page updated with any events/news etc.

must remember to keep breathing. i am ALMOST done with summer school - i can practically touch that light at the end of the tunnel. and by the way - i added mark bradford to my make believe collection

17 May 2012


normally after an exhibition i take some time off and just decompress, but this time around there was no rest for the wicked. i wanted to make some new work for artMRKT to be placed in fouladi project's booth.

i noticed that my japanese crochet books had hexagon patterns in them. i also remembered that when i was doing research into toxins many of them were diagrammed with hexagon shapes. so i picked one... coronene to make a couple pieces of work.

the skinny on coronene - it's a superebenzene - yellow in color [ah it's nice when my palette is dictated to me] generated in hydrocracking [yes like fracking - but used in jet and diesel fuel production] and can cause DNA damage in mammals. fun.

of course i like that it also looks like a quilt - i've always liked hex shaped quilt pieces - especially when put together in this exact way. ah a double visual reference. twice as nice for me. it's also kind of nice that it's like a bee hive. [i think the yellow makes me think this more, but still]. 

i'm officially obsessed with making these pieces that are just doilies - tacked to the wall - with the thread hanging from them.

will this be the THING that i do until i can't stop making art anymore? i don't know. but i know that i'm still totally in love with it and can't really see being tired of it anytime soon.

there is just something so simple, and in the end so right about it.

like all doilies on the wall - it's now ART - it's in the wrong place. you are forced to notice the intricacy, the detail, it's intimate. and the shadows. the 2D/3D play is still something that gets me. everytime.

i thought it'd be nice to pair the doily piece with a drawing. and then they allowed me to also draw on the wall. so the drawing gets to escape from it's frame. there's such a funny process to that. stand at a wall. i make paper maquettes so that i see what spots might work. and then i move them around. a couple of friends came to say hello while i was working and they said - oh we should leave you alone. i said no - it's better if you distract me because then i can just look out of the corner of my eye and i'll get a better sense of if it's working or not.

if i stare too long i don't know. it works best when it's my gut calling the shots. the brain should just follow. it's about spacing. 2 inches can make or break it.

detail of drawing.

 oh let's get a little closer shall we?

if you want to gander at these in person they are up over the weekend. and then it all comes down. art fairs. overwhelming. fast. i'm going on sunday i think. and on friday to artpad - where some domestic scenes are on view in walter maciel's room - poolside. room 17.

a new post in my make believe collection on poppytalk too. have a great weekend internet.

18 March 2012

finding inspiration

crochet :: square doilies

so these are the colors for an installational component i'm making for my show. they relate directly to a series of drawings. i'm making square doilies. they are going to be "key" - to inform you of the meanings of the colors in the drawings....

i wish i could own a whole wall of crochet thread - like what they have in lacis. i'd want to just keep it like an art object...

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| shift gears..... |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

been thinking a lot lately about how i feel like the larger conversations going on - at least the ones i've been a part of, and i'm talking political, art, life - feel like they are so retro. like we are back in 1980-something. and i keep finding myself muttering [mostly to myself] really? really? we have to discuss this again in this way? really ?!?! isn't there a better, newer, more interesting way to talk about this now???  maybe part of it is that i'm feeling tapped out. making a body of work for a show is really draining.  i'm looking for a "fill -up" in terms of inspiration and instead i'm feeling like i'm being bombarded with things that aren't helping. and feeling like just re-hashing isn't the best use of brain-powers.

i rambled in my sketchbook the other day:

the constant seeking... it stems from where? and what - REALLY- am i hoping to find?
the doubt and the fear creep in and sit alongside a very small kernel of hope. 
what should be most nurtured is also so easily pushed aside.

for what?
what fills that empty space? 
i keep thinking about ruts. the significance of them. the comfort. the routine.
but then the eventual rebellion.
how many days can you eat yogurt with cashews and apricot jam before you just want something else?

flavor of the month

it seems rarer and rarer that i encounter something that just seems pure intentioned. 
that sings.
and then sings to me.
and then through me.
that makes me want to do more.
try more.
is this just growing older?
or am i allowing cynicism to overtake.
or is it something all together different?
and so.
i still seek.

and for that i'm grateful.


and so here are some things that i find inspiring and "true". a quote from jim jarmusch. a quote from kurt vonnecut. a snippet from ira glass of this american life [from a series on storytelling that i make my students watch a part of semester after semester]. and elizabeth gilbert's ted talk on nuturing creativity. i haven't read [nor do i think i will] eat, pray, love - but her talk. her talk is good. in many ways. 

happy spring.
there's a post on poppytalk - latest make believe collection
still time to get $5 worth of jet pens goodies if you are so inclined....

10 September 2011

only semi impossible

silvershade :: me

my color theory class started last week. starts at 8am. ends at 11am - i then drive myself to SF state for class no. 2 which starts at 1 and ends at 4. then i spend anywhere from 1-2 hours in the car getting myself home [picking up the little first]. i am SO OUT of teaching/driving shape [driving in traffic is really just the pits. i feel sorry for people who have to deal with it on a daily basis]. it's funny how after a long summer where don't get me wrong i was working hard - but it was in the studio - where i didn't have to talk for hours on end. or think on the fly for hours on end.... it's quieter work. sometimes stressful in it's own way, but the pace is mine. i simply forget how much energy it takes to do the above. i hope this doesn't come across as complaining. it's more observational. it's like each task in your life puts a different drain on your mind body. parenting is one thing, teaching is another, making art is another, design work for clients another, administrating [email, phone calls, etc] yet another....

silvershade :: echinecia

anyways - i tell you the above, because i was thinking i had NO IDEA what to post about so i thought i'd show some images that i took using silvershade film from the impossible project.

silvershade :: lulu 

i'd be lying if i said it was easy to use first time around. at first i was getting mostly sepia shots. and really having trouble with the you must cover the picture as it ejects from the camera. but then i talked to my adorable and wonderful friend anne  who works there and she set me straight.
you gotta shoot and keep these on the cool side. if it's hot they turn brown. and i got used to the push button, put hand out, cover shot, flip it upside down and let it sit somewhere out of light for a few minutes routine.

silvershade :: poppypods

so i shot these on a cooler foggy morning and voila.... i kind of like the insane imperfections from the film... and the black border. tricky impossible project you....
silvershade :: sunflowers

here's a few newsy tidbits.... if you aren't on my mailing list but would like to peek at my latest newsletter - it's online here for viewing.

i posted again on poppytalk - lucky 13 of my make believe collection. andrea higgins.

i just got back from a great brunch with jen judd-mcgee, mati mcdonough, and lisa congdon [and the little came too. sometimes i'm just amazed at the creatively and force of my inspiring friends !

happy week to you !