Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Under The Hood

I feel like I learned a bunch during the workshop at Under the Hood this weekend. The weekend started with loading the studio into my car on Friday, then reloading it into my truck when the clutch went out on the car. Under the Hood is a place that I normally go to destress but I was anxious about the workshop as I tried to sleep Friday night. 

I had set up the studio some two hours before finish pulping some fibers I had prepared earlier in the week.  I was unsure exactly how long to wait for people to gather before getting started cutting rag. It was around this time that I realized that my sheets were not draining so I was worrying about this. At this point I really wished I had a partner at this workshop. I talked briefly on the history of paper making and Combat Paper for a moment before cutting began. I will have handouts in the future. I regret not being entirely present during this time. A partner wouod be great. I was trying to troubleshoot the issues I was having with draining. I hadn't had problems earlier in the week with other fibers. I think I focused to much on the problems I was having and not enough on the participants.  

Once I abandoned posting sheets on pelon and pressing them things got better. Two large sheets were poured onto wool army blankets and smaller sheets were poured onto burlap that I had used previously for interface. I was very drained but it seemed that the workshop came back together as the sheets were formed. The group hung out on the porch of Under the Hood after closing. 

The next day I went to the Belton Flea market with some of the Under the Hood crew. I got a few tins to turn into guitars an old Kodak Brownie an old book to restore and an awesome art bag. 

I think it is going to be very difficult to run these workshops alone but I am confident that with more practice it will become second nature. I am dedicated to doing this and it will get better thanks to Under the Hood for hosting and helping.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First of the year

There wasn't much going on during the holiday break. I have been working on some personal pieces that will be up in the gallery soon and co-ordinating with an art therapist in the Dallas area who is interested in bringing paper-making to some veterans communities in that area.

It is strange being done with school for a while. Though I have less workshops lined up than I expected, there is plenty of work to be done. I underestimated the amount of phone calls and admin work that is needed to make these things happen. We will  be at Under the Hood Cafe in Killeen every 2nd and 4th Saturday from noon to sunset holding space for arts projects, including guitar making workshops. I picked these weekends because they coincide with the Killeen Poetry Slam evening that UTH hosts on Fridays evenings.  It would be great if some of the artist from Poetry night made it out for paper making.

I  am looking forward to holding our first workshop of 2012 at Under the Hood Cafe this Saturday from noon to sunset. This event is open to the public, not just veterans. Hopefully everyone will bring an article of clothing, not just uniforms, that has personal significance to tell their stories. 
(A photo from our last workshop with at Under the Hood with Peace Paper and their beater back in November)

We have had our paper beater for about a week now and pulp some uniforms and natural fibers. Because the weather here in San Marcos took a turn for the worse the last few days. I Haven't formed sheets on the moulds and deckles I made during the break but I am trying them out tomorrow come rain or shine. I had wanted to form the sheets by floating the vats in the river and couching them on the shore but I can couch on my patio on the same table I used to beat. Whether permitting we'll be at the river next weekend hopefully.

I'll post again and hopefully get to updating the site on Sunday after I return to San Marcos at the latest, but if you want up to the clock updates but you can't actually be there check the Facebook group.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Radical Vulnerability

he trip to the opening of  National Veteran's Art Meuseum for the opening of Radical Vulnerability was my first time in Chicago for a period longer than a lay over. I am truly honored to have my art there. My heart dropped when I realized that what once was three stories of veteran art, is now one floor above offices and shops. They rooms full of meaningful art without space to show it.Anyone who can donate to the museum really should.  Much of the art that opened at the show was produced by veterans that have art programs for veterans. I could go on and on about the artists and projects that were represented but the Radical Vulnerability link does a great job. There are even video clips and interviews of the evening. 

Under the Hood

It is hard for me to image ever wanting to go back to the Ft. Hood area except for the opportunity to get interact with active duty soldiers on a creative level.  Having been out of the military for a few years not, I wonder how out of touch I have become with the issues that are affecting service members.  

When I lived in the Ft. Hood area, Under the Hood seemed a sort of escape from the military. Now it is a lifeline to it, but in a good way. With poetry twice a month, veteran art shows, writing workshops, advocacy programs and a long list of other happenings this place really lights up downtown Killeen.

Portable Pulper at Under the Hood Cafe

The workshop was a joint effort between Button Field and Peace Paper. Check out Peace Paper's Blog about the day.
It was a windy weekend so we had to take the paper down to San Marcos and hang it in a garage to dry. I've bound some books from some of it for the Warrior Writers' Workshops that are coming up the first weekend of Dec.  There is still plenty of paper. Button Field Press will be doing a book binding workshop on Sat. and a printmaking workshop on Sun. Veterans and Civilian allies in the Cen-Tex should definitely be registering for this. (I can provide rides for 2 more from San Macros, but you'll have to make arrangements to stay all weekend or find another ride back.) 

Paper making at Texas State