Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finding my feet

Finding my feet.
Great results from a chat with Tara, I can work my paper-making in the big room and don’t have to move the pulp container out of the way, nightly…. I am only little and lifting 20+kg of water + pulp in an unwieldy trough would not be my idea of fun each day.  I can just imagine the mess I would make as it slips from my arms and the panic as I struggle to clear it up before I make myself late for pick-up.

Today I put into practise the “take the key with you if you are in the studio on your own…. And leave a note for anyone who is looking for the key.” But this came as a bit of a surprise to the security guy… John.  I must double check with Tara that I really understood what she was saying.
Today was a good day for work – I feel so much more at home there now and helped myself to equipment and space (I am taking more equipment in… small dye pan today, but I can take some stuff home again…. dye spoons tomorrow).  The space is great for paper-making.

I was blending the paper to a pulp and found that the blender was getting very hot… so gave it a break…. And then did some more when it had cooled… then it occurred to me that I could have a whole bank of blenders sitting on the work-surface.  There must be half a dozen in the cupboard.  I would do the job in a fraction of the time.  I spoilt myself with just a couple of them.

This piece is the result of a little idea I had as I was going through the process of preparing the dyed paper for pulping.  It is an initial study for tree bark.

I found I had enough time to dye the latest worm a shocking red too. Possibly an image tomorrow. I think I would like it less homogenous in colour, so more on that later.

Darn it though, I did forget the cable for the laptop, so this is being typed up in Starby’s as I kill time during Al’s harp lesson this evening.  But it did mean I missed a skype call from Deborah (sister) in Manchester, before she leaves for her holiday.

Tomorrow I have a day off ACAD as Dan will have the graduation ceremony.  I have promised myself an afternoon of domestic blitz since Michelle is coming to have a look round her house (we rent it) on Saturday.  Calgary is soooooo dusty, a different type of dust to Oman…not sand dust, but fluff dust.  I hope I don’t discover any dead mice under the sofa this time.

On the way home I listened to Rose Tremain (“Trespass”) being interviewed on CBC radio… she was asked why her books have been about such diverse topics.  She said she gets bored easily and that is why she challenges herself with new situations.  That is where I am at the moment. It was an uncomfortable feeling not knowing the building, the people, the procedures, The Ropes… Questions, Questions, Questions… Where do I leave the stuff to rust dye (answer: Labelled up, on a table).  How must I leave the dye pot that I want to continue using tomorrow?  (answer: on the back right cooker ring labelled of course).  Is it ok to leave the soggy towels drip-drying on the dry racks  (answer: yes).  Where is the best place to plug in the kettle (answer: on someone else’s desk).  What does the fire alarm sound like (answer: ring ring, not wow wow). Contrast that ‘out-of-comfort -zone’ feeling with the thrill of couching my first sheet of paper today and I know that little by little I am finding my feet.

Aside: Generosity.
Today Anne Fetterly took me through applying emulsion to a screen, exposing it using the vacuum light table and washing it off, something we didn't do in City and Guilds (we did paper shapes on screen prints).  I offered to show her blogging in return (seems to me she is being short-changed on the exchange of information, but it shows how beneficial this residency is (to me at least!).  And Anne said how pleased “we are” that the facilities are being used.  So it seems that my mere presence it sufficient.

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