of silk seeds. Expectant.

Warnings ring in my ears of busy days to come. For now, waiting for a change in hue from drabgreen to bluegray.

Day five of egg watching.

studio siblings

My brother and I are studiomates. We work in an old, dusty, leaky warehouse we affectionately call Orange Blossom Studios. The building was once upon a time a Coke-a-Cola bottling factory, and then a dry cleaners and perhaps even a machine shop, but has held artists now for over two-and-half decades, if not longer. In fact, until recently, it housed the work of my sculpture professor from my bachelor program, still houses one of my other sculpture teachers, and now houses Cindy, my recent showmate, along with a couple other sculptors and ceramicists. 

For years I worked out of a tiny -and the only- bedroom in our apartment. When the opportunity to move in with another artist in January of 2011, I felt I could finally breathe. Suddenly I had multiple workstations and could move nearly seamlessly between them to accommodate different series and stages of work. A space to hang up work and live with it a little while could happen and significantly I was away from the seductive glow of my computer. It gave me a sense of freedom and renewed purpose. Much of my productivity over the last year is thanks to it.  
Part of the benefit was having the company of a few other artists, even if our only interaction during the week was the call across the echoing space to say hello, or seeing the ever shifting landscapes of each other's desks. This sustained me somehow. Knowing others were Here.At.Work.Producing.Art meant I was pushed, or more accurately inspired, to stretch my hours even when the work wasn't coming easily or involved mind-numbingly boring sanding. Even the dusty materials and sculptural skeletons of my prior teachers held in storage seemed like they were were there as reminders of where I was headed. 

Later, there was a brief time where I was the only other working artist there and my pace seemed to slow, the space felt not only dusty, but somehow stale.

When Colin expressed interest in sharing my studio (and splitting rent), I jumped. He moved in shortly after and it's been a natural transition for both of us. His work seemed to almost immediately take on a particular focus and I find myself energized by the company of his work. Sharing a studio with him is lovely in a way my childhood-self wouldn't have appreciated, but it warms me to have my brother working there so much even when our studio schedules don't often synchronize.
one of the rare occasions we've ended up working at the same time
He's been working two series of work I'm rather excited about, Unmind and a long term series of Portraits of his friend Nic Bravo which he introduces here.
Colin Curry. Nic #3. oil on canvas. 16"x20". 2011
In a rather sweet turn of events, we were both accepted into a show this month, Below the Belt, presented by a new arts organization here in Gainesville. It's Colin's first serious exhibition and the work he made for it is ambitious. I couldn't be more pleased.
Colin Curry. Suspension. oil on panel. 72"x80". 2011


silk seeds

Projects abound in my studio and life right now, but an extra special one I've been thinking about since last fall has begun to manifest.

200 silk seeds arrived in the mail yesterday.

Don't they look a bit like something you'd sprinkle on bread? They are silkworm eggs and will probably hatch in the next week or so as long as they are kept between 78-88°F. At the moment the pilot light of the range in my kitchen proves to be the source for an effective, if untraditional incubator.

I picked up a book to help illustrate the tiny scale of these dots glued to a petri dish and, unexpectedly, the page I opened to says this:
That's also to say that usually -but not always- the piece you produce tomorrow will be shaped, purely and simply, by the tools you hold in your hand today. In that sense the history of art is also the history of technology. The frescos of pre-Renaissance Italy, the tempera paints of Flanders, the plein aire oils of Southern France, the acrylics of New York City -each successive technology imparted a characteristic color and saturation, brushstroke and texture, sensuality or formality to the art piece. Simply put, certain tools make certain results possible.
Your tools do more than just influence the appearance of the resulting art -they basically set limits upon what you can say with an art piece.
-Bayles & Orland, Art & Fear, pg. 58, 1993

This concept is central to my fascination with materials and one of the reasons I decided to raise silkworms from egg to silk in the first place. It feels very much a natural evolution from my other spun work where I spin thread by hand to hand-raising a creature that spins its own thread. Beyond simply reeling the silk at the end, I hope the process of raising them will prove a few of my hypotheses true while revealing unexpected possibilities. I'm hoping as well for luck at being a good cat(erpillar) shepherdess.

My local friends, please keep an eye out for mulberry trees and let me know where you see them. I'm beginning a map and they'll be hungry when they wake and hungrier still by the end of a month.


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