voltairine: (nom)

(link)

This is my cat (cat #1, that is) with a teapot I made, the one with the cracked base.

Pictures of the sample masks under the cut. )

ha

Feb. 9th, 2011 11:50 pm
voltairine: (raeg)
I have a site for my public art installation, and a plan. Proposal is in the works.

I finished some test pieces and decided that I really like the smushed masks, actually. Each one is unique, and I can do some really interesting things with surface treatment.

I've been frustrated lately with my classes - not the content of the classes, but with the lack of critical thinking exhibited by my fellow students. "I was trying to deconstruct the male gaze in my picture of a stereotypical 'hot' woman with straight hair and pale skin having an orgasm! Sure, it's totally sexualized, and serves to normalize a certain body type, and portrays a woman in this way that women are always portrayed, BUT IT'S SUBVERSIVE BECAUSE I SAY SO!" Ugh, just SAYING you are deconstructing something is not the same thing as ACTUALLY working to deconstruct that thing, okay? Okay. Let's move on now.

Last semester I felt stifled creatively by my academic classes, and this semester I feel stifled creatively by my studio classes. There has to be a balance somewhere. Probably it only exists outside of academia, though.
voltairine: (Default)
I recorded a radio ad today at CKUT for the annual memorial march for missing and murdered women. You can listen to it if you want. Yes, that's my voice - no, not the one singing, the one talking. The song I picked is Rae Spoon's "Come On Forest Fire, Burn The Disco Down". Here's an accoustic version of it:



Come on Forest Fire

I'm finally drying the ceramics piece I've been working on for the last few weeks. Timing the construction of the thing so it didn't collapse on itself was a constant battle. But hopefully it will be bisqued soon and no longer such a pain in my ass.

tired.

Jan. 27th, 2011 01:04 am
voltairine: (nom)
Last couple of days have been so so busy. I finished the second etch of my litho plate and got it all prepared for printing. This weekend I need to make my paper kit - I splurged on a roll of mulberry paper, very fine rice paper, although my prof wants me to print on rag paper instead. She's never printed on rice paper (!) and doesn't think it can be done with litho, which I feel is probably false. If I can print lino on rice paper I can print litho on rice paper.

I did a glaze firing this morning with another girl in my ceramics class. She gave me a piece of hers to fire but didn't tell me that it was glazed all over. When you're glaze firing ceramics, you can't let any glazed parts of your piece touch anything, because the glaze - which is glass - will fuse to whatever it touches. If you're firing a piece that has no exposed clay, it's a whole production, and I've never actually done that before because it's such a hassle and I don't feel it's worth it. So I put the piece down on a shelf and started the firing, and then she got there at like one thirty in the afternoon (firings start at around 9 am) and was like, "so what did you do about the fact that my piece was glazed all over?" and I was like, "Um. You didn't tell me it was glazed all over?"

I mean: it was covered in stuff. But I thought the stuff on the bottom was white engobe, which is a clay slip and won't stick to anything not-clay when fired.

So I ruined a kiln shelf. I honestly don't feel that this is my fault; I asked her if there was anything particular about the piece and she said no, I should just put it in and start the firing. And some of the spectrum glazes, the white and black ones in particular, are really hard to tell apart from engobe at a glance when they're dry. But I still felt like an ass.

(At least my piece should be fine. So, hah.)

Tomorrow is the jury for the department ceramics show. I have to get up early. Should go to sleep. Didn't sleep must last night - I missed the last metro home, and ended up crashing at a friend's place. Meetings are ruining my life, I swear.

fffffffff

Jan. 25th, 2011 12:05 am
voltairine: (raeg)
my teapot looks gorgeous, but there's a crack on the bottom so it doesn't hold water. There's also a tiny hair crack on the side, so even if I did re-glaze the bottom I dunno how well it would hold up to another firing.

I guess it can be a display piece. And I can always make another - the colours are AMAZING, which is really what I was going for, and I can work the details out. It will just take time, and I've never been a particularly patient person, which has always been one of my biggest challenges as an artist. When you're making some kind of art, shit just needs to take the time it takes, and if it takes a long time then you need to work harder to make up for that, and that is just how it goes.

Wednesday I have a glaze firing. I made two vases last semester, one large and one small, by coil building a simple vessel and then cutting a delicate lattice pattern into the neck of each vase. It was a good exercise in timing and working with structure and gravity. I raku fired the smaller one, which was a gamble (raku firing is a harsh, fast process that tends to break more delicate pieces) that paid off with a GORGEOUS piece, and the larger piece I glazed with a white crawl over bright blue spectrum (which fires to a deep, dark blue colour, not a bright blue at all, but it's still my favorite spectrum). I may submit them together to the juried ceramics show, if they come out well. I mean, I am definitely planning on submitting the raku piece, but it would be nice to have the larger piece along with it.

I worked on one of my term projects for ceramics today - it's a wall-mounted deer bust, like those taxidermied deer heads that gross people put on their walls, with a human face. I'm doing a companion piece in my litho class - a print of a human with a deer head. I'm not sure what it means, but the ceramic bust is frustrating as hell.

Didn't get a chance to roll up and do the second etch of my litho plate (speaking of litho). Hope I don't get shit for it tomorrow. I didn't have shop rags, couldn't get ahold of someone from that class to help me, lots of excuses but it comes down to I was just too goddamn tired to deal with that studio.

Psychiatrist appointment next week. Memorial march coming up on the 14th of February, which I am co-organizing and will be MCing, I guess. Day of remembrance for missing and murdered women, and also for solidarity with Sisters in Spirit, who are holding vigils in Ottawa on the same day in protest of their organization's funding being cut despite the fact that no one else is doing the research they are doing, and we still don't know exactly how many Native women, girls, and Two-Spirit folks are missing in this land, and without that knowledge there's no way anyone can hope to effectively measure the success of any movement to end this violence.

Rargh. Rage. Futility.

Time for bed.
voltairine: (Default)
Talked to my beau about my project proposal for the public art class last night. The more I think about it the more my initial idea is just a bad one: for starters, it's kind of mean, and students won't want to participate in something that sort of insults them by implying that they're disingenuous (even if many of them are). For second, visual/facial representations of poverty are tricky to do without it becoming generally icky/being open to icky interpretations, and I don't want to go there.

The beau suggested that I continue with the theme of my Art Matters show pieces, which is (to simplify it vastly) the ways that popular culture represents, appropriates and colonizes the experiences and bodies of the "other" through monstrous narratives and tropes that are disconnected from the historical/legal implications of the term "monster" and the realities that reflects. (IT'S COMPLICATED OKAY. I wrote a paper about it last semester.)

I dunno, is the mask thing faily? I'm scared it is faily. I want to do something that engages the public with issues of appropriation and privilege. But if I end up hurting one person who has experienced the appropriation of some aspect(s) of their identity my project will have failed.

As a person with mental illness/health issues, chronic physical illness, a queer person, a person from a poor/working-class background, I feel that I have experienced appropriation and the harmful essentializing of my identity. But as a white person and a cis person, I also have been vested by society with a huge among of privilege, and privilege loves to appropriate, to claim what it doesn't own. I want to speak as an artist from all of these places, to members of my community, about issues of appropriation.

My friend Katie Earle handled this really well in her exhibit Home On The Range, through reinterpretations of maps and borders drawn by colonizers and a series of amazing silkscreens designed to inform and incite. I hope I can complete this project with half her grace and insight.
voltairine: (neurological faultlines)
I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning out the plaster sink, which is actually called a "cink" because it's a special device designed to keep plaster from getting into the actual plumbing of the school. The cink uses water that is constantly recycled (so you can't drink from it!) in a closed circuit. Water is drawn from one bucket, and filtered as it goes back down the sink into another bucket. A tube connects the two buckets so the water can be recycled. It was a system designed for buildings with really fragile plumbing, or no plumbing, so it wasn't designed for plaster specifically, so every week it needs to be taken apart and cleaned out. It's a smelly process.

Plaster is fun but working with it so much has caused the skin on my hands to dry out completely and start to peel, which would be fine if a) it wasn't winter, which makes it so much worse and more painful, and b) I didn't already have a problem with compulsive skin picking. So now I'm starting to see the wisdom in regular use of hand lotion.

In other news, I'm starting a new medication this week. I'm not looking forward to the vivid dreams but I am looking forward to feeling like minor obstacles are merely minor obstacles and not major crises. I've actually been unmedicated for quite some time - never until now had an experience with meds that wasn't coercive and icky-feeling - and frankly I'd prefer to stay that way, but the simple fact of the matter is that my coping skills are crap, and I need some help until I can learn better ones, and if that means exploring med options for a while then I can do that.

Also, my student loan came in! So that's exciting. It's five months late. I FINALLY got my tuition paid up, paid my school back for the emergency loans I had to take out, I'm settled up and have some cash to spare. Miraculous.
voltairine: (Default)
I scrapped my mask mold in favor of making another one. Looking over the first one this morning, I realized that I didn't like it - there were just too many little things wrong with it, and the mask I used left me feeling cold anyway. So instead of using another papier-mache mask, I sculpted a face myself out of stoneware and will be casting that tomorrow. The stoneware relief is so much more to my liking than the papier-mache mask! And, it won't suck up plaster like paper, so I won't have to spend an hour cleaning my mold.

I also got my teapot back out of the kiln. There was a small crack on the bottom, which I think will be fine once the whole thing is glaze fired, but I need to figure out how to avoid that when coil-building. My last three major coil-built vessels had the same problem. I think the pressboard platforms I build them on suck the moisture out of the base faster than the rest of the vessel dries? Guess I should make more use of plastic, ew.

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