Monday, March 29, 2010

Home From Art Fest

I am home from Artfest 2010 up in Port Townsend and I am FREEZING. While I was gone, my husband let the heating oil run out. (I am pretty sure I warned him to order heating oil. He says I told him nothing.) We had the tank refilled today, but when it runs itself out, it usually clogs the intake hose because all the grit at the bottom gets sucked in and then it stops working.

So now we are waiting for the furnace guy, Dave, to show up and do a little maintenance. Dave is a funny guy. He's worked on this furnace for years and I think he really hates having to come to our house. He's really large and our furnace is under the house and he has to crawl into our crawl space to work on the beast. It was pouring rain all day but at least now it has mostly stopped and so he won't get super muddy. But my hands are so cold, I really want to crank the heat.

That's my excuse for not posting up all my cool Artfest stuff today. Fingers are cold, don't want to work. And I have some fun photos to show.

When you go to Artfest, you take 3 days of art classes up at Ford Worden in Port Townsend. You sleep in the old navy barracks and they provide meals and extra activities at night as well.

I had never been to Artfest and I was going by myself and didn't know anyone that was going to be there. I picked out my classes based on technical learning--which classes would teach me the most skills to experiment in my work later on? It was a tough decision. In the end, I took a metal charm mold making and casting class, a class learning to deconstruct decorative tin cans and use eyelets and punches to create jewelry and assemblages, and a class using wire sculpture and hog casing.

Yes, you read that right, hog gut, the stuff they stuff sausage into. This is a vat of it that we took strands out of for making our work. It's pasteurized and packed in salt and it didn't exactly smell bad, in fact it made the whole room smell a little like wet dog. One person in the class was pretty disturbed about using it. (We were warned ahead of time that the class was not for the squeamish.)

It comes as a tube (obviously) and you slice it open and spread it out and cover your sculptures. It shrinks and tightens as it dries. It doesn't like to stick to stainless steel, so I had a challenge getting this cyclops bird covered.

I like the idea of using a natural material to cover my sculpture, but this stuff does deteriorate, so I am not sure if I will be using it a lot in the future. It does have a lovely translucent look.
I played a little with ink stains.

Oh, good, the heating guy is here. Now if we can get some heat, my frozen fingers can thaw out and I can get some more posts up!


  1. eeeeuuuuuuuuuuu! fascinating, but eeeeuuuuuuuuuuu!

  2. I saw you eat a hot dog at Red Hot, didn't I?

  3. Excellent!! Your stuff was just great!! Let's meet there next year!!!

  4. what about using paper pulp - banana tree pulp (abaca) gives this effect and doesn't deteriorate... you can press the paper and drape it as thick or thin - even adding texture in between layers, or you can dip your sculptures too...then paint, stain or even sew through it... just another thought for a similar effect! it is a very "skin" like pulp

  5. Sharon, thank you for the tip! The casing was awesome, but you have to buy it in large quantities. Paper pulp sounds much more reasonable!