Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"From Here to There" Map Collection

A few years ago, I submitted one of the very first imaginary maps I drew to a writer in Pennsylvania who was putting together a book of hand-drawn maps. I just found out that the book was published at the beginning of the month, and my map is on page 82. It's a really interesting collection of real, fictional, useful and speculative maps. It is available from Amazon here. Please check it out!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

South End Open Studios 2010

Today I waded through the slightly clammy weather to visit the South End. I started out at 46 Waltham, which I had missed last year due to some drama among the group I was going with. It's an interesting space, with winding hallways through a generally U-shaped building. I spent a decent amount of time just taking photos from studio windows.

I did learn some interesting things about paper casting from Felice Mendell. It's a technique I hadn't even considered. I've made paper from paper pulp before, but I hadn't thought of casting it in a mold. I briefly thought of doing something similar for my teapot project (more on that later), but it was interesting to see it in action.

I also saw some interesting smoke photography by Stephen Baumbach. It made me think of the smoke and ink projects I saw when I worked for Federico Muelas as an intern. 

After 46 Waltham I walked down Shawmut and ended up at Tremont Street. I really don't know the area very well, despite coming almost every month for First Fridays, and I'm surprised that I even managed to find anything. But I saw a big sign up at what turned out to be the Boston Center for the Arts, so I went in. I really love those old studio buildings. I love the high ceilings and creaky, uneven floors - and of course the views from the windows (in this case, from the bathroom):

I saw some beautiful work by Silvia López Chávez, and especially liked her color themes. There was a portrait of a girl with pigeons that I really enjoyed. There were an unusual number of depictions of pigeons today, actually. There was a photograph of one in 46 Waltham, and several drawings and paintings of pigeons at the BCA. I wonder if each artist actually has a different personal reason for choosing them, or if it's just a general trend. 

There was also some interesting work by Sophie Truong, who had a lot of textile work with teabags; her blurb in the booklet is "musings of a compulsive stitcher", which does sum it up. I loved the obsessive detail and the effect of masses of teabags. My eye was first caught by her soft sculptures hanging in the studio; I also liked some meandering vines of teabags that were in the corner of the room. 

I was getting to the end of the 4th floor and thinking of heading back, but I'm really glad that I decided to stop in to Laura Sapelly's studio before I left. She had some beautiful textile pieces on display, and we had a really long talk about sewing and about aesthetics in general. I've got some new ideas for my next attempt at embroidered maps, as well as a significant reading list! It always makes me realize how little I actually know about what I'm doing. But as I do it, I'll learn.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Photos from M55 Opening

I wasn't able to attend the opening on Thursday night, but some helpful people sent me photos of the event. I'm very happy with the lighting, and it seems like there were a lot of people in attendance!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Popup Installation

I installed the city popups at M55 yesterday, and took some quick photos of the setup. There are 4 along one wall and two by the guestbook table.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Architectural Popups for M55

I've been working really hard making large-scale city popups for an upcoming show at the M55 gallery in Queens. The show's opening reception is on the 23rd of September, from 6-8pm.
Add that to your calendar:

The gallery's site doesn't have information yet for some reason, but I hope it will soon. Here are some photos of the pieces I've been working on for the installation:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fabric Coasters

I recently acquired a few bags of fabric scraps and have been devising things to do with them. One thing that we always need in our house is coasters; making coasters has been a project of mine since we moved in, but I could never really figure out an effective method. We did purchase some cheap plastic and cork ones, but I'm pretty sure the plastic scratches the glass coffee table. I tried sewing together some squares of fabric, and I think they're great as slightly rustic drink coasters. They work well to soak up condensation, and they don't scratch glass or wooden surfaces. I'm thinking of making some backed in felt and selling them in sets of three or so.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wall-Mounted Pop-ups

For the last craft fair I brought out some new horizontal book-style popups. I find them easier to design and cut than the original ones, and I think they evoke a city more convincingly. 

The double ones also have the advantage of being easy to mount on a wall. I mostly market the popups as cards, but since so much work goes into designing and cutting them I would rather just display them as art than write notes on them. 

I will be putting up an installation of popups in this format (but bigger and more detailed!) at M55 gallery in New York in two weeks. The show opens on the 23rd; more details will be posted later, but save the date!

Friday, September 3, 2010

More Watercolor Maps

I've decided to experiment with making maps entirely using watercolor. I use watercolor pencils to allow a little more control, although I'm thinking of using regular watercolor instead -- the effect may actually end up being less blurry. I just completed one in shades of green and am currently working on one in blue and purple.