Where I've been and what I've been doing...

Goodness. There are tumbleweeds blowing thru this blog. I am embarrassed.

Just a quick note to say I'm alive and kicking, and scattered in a million directions. Projects, maintenances, the dayjob at the school of craftology, the whole summer a disheveled and dysfunctional whirl. Life is a carousel, or so sings Greg.

While I gather myself and try to make sense of where I am and what I'm doing, go visit my friend Beth Schaible's blog. It will soothe you, please your eye and make you happy.

Hopefully some updates and pics tonight. Or whenever. Until then, be well.

Mad Scientist Artisiting (work in progress...)

I love making stuff from junk! If this works (and testing indicates yes maybe it will...) i'll put it in a show in a couple of weeks.

Stay tuned if you're so inclined...

Call me sappy, but this should be required viewing for EVERYONE, daily!

I use Google Reader (you should too but that's another post). In the sidebar thingy there's always Recommendations. Not for me usually, i find more than enough on my own and the interwebs is a sinkhole of time anyways. But for some reason I clicked on the link to Dancing Mermaid, and this to my delight was what was found:

Untitled from mccabe russell on Vimeo.

Makes ME think I could change the world (or at least little parts of it), and I'm not even the target audience (at least I don't think I am...)

Just goes to show you, people are doing big magic all over. I find that inspiring.

(here's an article with some backstory...)

Scoff if you want, make fun of me if you will, but I tell you, this is the feel-good story of the summer and the best hope for the future we have. Much MUCH better than all the institutions and organizations that teach conformity, socially approved and consumer-viable/buyable object based making. Igniting the human spirit? Now that's worth doing!

Thank you Dancing Mermaid!

Now, while you watch the vid (which is well done by the way) I'm going to the Collaboratory to start building a sound sculpture for my next show...

Interlude: Lunch

I felt like cooking lunch for some reason. What to make? Lots of stuff from the garden, let's see... prodigious quantities of carrots.

Solution: DIY ginger/carrot/curry soup. Greenies (mint and parsley for accent).

Tres` yum. Oddly enough, pretty much everything in the photo was handmade by moi...yup, all except the cutting board.

(editors' note 7/14: -from the comments-

Kate Boyd said..."And the bowl, which was made by your better half."

HA! Evidence that I am both insufficiently observant AND forgetful, a glorious combination of flaws... and it should be noted, she grew the carrots that were the basis of the lunch and the post and the followup...it's a family affair here at JMS World Headquarters...)

Make your own...


and away we go....

Standards of Excellence

It occurs to me it might be helpful and illuminating to my readers (both of you) if i set forth the criteria I use to determine if a project is a success (by my terms and definitions) or not. So:

1. I actually move the project from a vague idea to a physical reality (meaning, I actually DO it.)
2. When done, it doesn't suck really bad.
3. There is engagement/participation with and by the viewers.

There you have it in a nutshell: The Just Making Stuff Secret to Project Satisfaction

Feel free to apply these measurements to your exercises/events/projects.

Psychiatric Help

We all need it, whether we know it or not, and whether we want it or not. So we offered it up outside the umbrella of our health plan, and underneath the porch during lunch- Impromptu Mental Health Care:

Thank you Margaret and Beth (is that not the BEST BOOTH EVER???), and most of all Dr. Dan (who dispensed pithy prescriptions resulting in the healing of many troubled souls!) for making it all happen.

(btw, if you're inclined, hie on over to Margaret's blog and wish her a happy birthday!)

Next up: The Missoula Oblongata

People ask: "what is it EXACTLY that you do???"

I have vague ideas then spend a lot of time scratching my beard and wondering how to make sense of them...

Then I spend quality time contemplating the irony of being an artist (of sorts) without any appreciable talent or aesthetic sensibilities...

But I'm lucky to have awesome friends who make beautiful and fun things. You should look at their sites:

Beth & Margaret

Stay tuned for further developments on the latest project. Updates tomorrow evening.

I have been remiss in steady posting...

but i think i might be embarrassed back into it. My excuse of course is overwork and no time. However, the teacher I worked with last session managed to teach a kick-ass class, make some great stuff himself, participate in a number of social interactions, march in the parade AND blog (quite well and in a current manner) his whole experience, or at least the highlights. You can see Dan's work here, and reading the blog gives you an example of what I do day to day (as in supporting all that as well as I can) and the environment I work in (multiply his musings by the 15 other studios running at similar speeds, though I have to say ours was by far the most fun and vibrant) and you can have some idea of the extreme nature of my summer days.

Dan is on the road now, heading for a slower pace and decompression. I suspect his blog will still be kept current, and I'll try to do the same...

We did the 4th on the 1st (which added together equals a fifth...)

first there was this...

then there were these...

then there was this: