Art is a tool that we use for a mashup of reasons. To play and learn, to watch a thing take shape, to tell stories and express ideas. There is a theme to much of my work that is seemingly ambiguous. These are attempts to express the “absolute”. They are generally unplanned works that are the result of true inspired and passionate flow. These pieces take shape almost on their own.
I make a template (the vessel) and the rest presents itself as I go. The symmetry and patterns are self-guiding. In all my hopes and dreams the effect of viewing them should be a restorative one. Like remembering something very important, but impossible to put into words…
Just jumping back on this thing like I never skipped a beat? Ha! Guess so.
I don’t know if people check email anymore but if you do, you can subscribe to this blog by entering your email over there on the top right. That will get you email notifications of any new posts here. For starters I’ll just be posting links to new work as it becomes available. If you don’t do facebook then this is how you can stay up on what’s new for now.
Click the photo to get to the product page for this set, now available in our big cartel shop Thanks all!
Always beads, they’ll always be a thing for us. It’s the original object. It’s a thing transformed. A rock with a hole in it has more possible futures than one without. A rock with a hole in it is cool, it feels good in the hand. You could throw it, hand it to someone, or string it up to keep and wear. A reminder of places worth returning to.
So if the goal is to put information on these “rocks” in the form of patterns and colors. The information is more effective at communicating the message without words or established symbols. These would be distracting from what’s really going on here. The focus is the process, not the objects that result from it. Although the objects do improve greatly with this somewhat counter-intuitive approach.
I like this thing called “Beauty”, it seems like a good objective to me . It has the desired effect. It warms, connects and motivates. It doesn’t NEED to say a damn thing. It just looks good, and you don’t really care why. It’s not trying to sway opinion or activate your chakras, it’s just nice work. You can tell it really loves you, because it doesn’t try to own you. Beauty shows us what it means to just be open and aware that we belong here, exactly as we are. There’s details, but it’s the feeling beneath it that you want to make note of. So you can realize it exists inside you.
Like a flower.It’s so beautiful you could cry. You can see how much it loves you, and you feel the same way. Fragrance, symmetry AND color? This relationship feels right and true to all who see it. Beauty connects us and it pulls us. The Butterflies and Hummingbirds agree, but they aren’t even aware of “beauty” they just ARE it.
The awareness of love and beauty is a gift and a responsibility. The difference between us and the butterflies is awareness. We can observe ourselves. I think this is uniquely human. This capacity for self-reflection.
Making the objects is a mantra and a self-reflective practice. When we are making an object, there is nothing else. All of the self is looking to make miniscule connections to move the form just a bit closer to what the mind’s eye wishes to see with each attempt. The maker gets many pings back from the material and process. These serve to continue the cycle of questions and answers. It is the answers from this “ONE” that you will use for the next “ONE”.
Practice: to perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.
This is practice you can see, to remind a person on a deeper level that it is the practice you seek and not the bead.
Objects, what we see and feel with eyes and hands are tools for learning about the non-material practices. To practice being present and within yourself is the practice of practices. I practice while making them, your practice while stringing them is no different. It’s always only one, and it’s always right now.
I love a good marble or paperweight. It was these cavernous carnivals of light that helped show me what glass could become. Big spheres filled with psychedelic scenes that induce wonder. Wonder how, wonder what, wonder who. But I never wondered why…
A bead, is sneaky and mechanical. It will accept your advances and walk with you all day. It will call people over without asking you. It might just quietly interrupt an observers train of thought. One bead can change the course of an entire day and it’s not bound to the display case…it’s bound to you.
What other object becomes a part of the owner so well? Especially when their own efforts are applied to use this object as a jump-off for their own creation. Beads are quite literally an opportunity that does not discriminate.
These are the stones, and the world is the pond. I try to throw them accordingly. Thank you for catching them, using them and observing them accordingly.
I’m headed to the torch now, beads will be available for purchase tomorrow morning!
It’s Sunday, you’re either out and about playing, hustling or struggling, at home sitting, playing etc. Maybe you have kids and you all need a project?
Our son is 5. With a “project” in his hands his attention is so concentrated and still. You can observe the place where he goes from the chatter and into the flow. It’s different for everyone but he’s a quiet worker when he’s working with something he has practice with, he goes into the process and brings something back besides a new creation. There’s smiles and standing up straight. There’s excitement to be alive. “I made this! Look what I did all by myself!” Just saying, it doesn’t matter what it is, if you can find a place to slow down and try something challenging, and learn something new, it will open you up.
Like folding paper. It’s paper, but spend a few hours with colorful squares and it becomes something else. Paper will never be the same to you after that. You will see things you never saw before from then on. Like how you never noticed (insert activity/craft/hobby) here until you did it, you opened up a new spot, you turned a different light on, now it’s everywhere!
Before the internet (I’m a whopping 35 years old). I used to check out books at the library! These were usually how-to crafty type of books. Paper airplanes, science experiments, how-to-draw books, knot tying. If it’s something you can do with two hands I’m probably interested in knowing how. I’ve even tried knitting and crochet, I was terrible at it but am happy to know how it’s done in case I need to fashion a pair of ugly mittens real quick. “Just don’t forget the tassel’s bro!”
It’s like that with everything. You might have an affinity for certain materials and attitudes, but they all have value and they all have hidden insights and provide wonderful contrast to their inevitable counterparts. You can’t go wrong people.
If you adopt, identify and associate with just one aspect of this experience, the ability to understand and make connections with other aspects will be greatly compromised.
The war of art, or the war of craft, in the center of each you will find all kinds of flow. The war is won and lost, simply by succeeding or failing to start. As soon as you begin, everything changes…
Your determination humility and bravery to try new things, and be open to the idea that who you are, may be something you have to work hard to discover. To raise your determination to a higher level than the resistance that will keep you to afraid to try. There is little that can be understood about certain things without doing, without trying because failure is even more educational than success. If you pass GO the first time around, it’s still there waiting for the next pass. Pass go knowing that it’s a blessing, that some folks get slammed in the intersection and slow down, take it all in, then maybe you see and understand a few things to help you through the next time around. Because you have to. Things will be different then so you need to look close again, and connect what you learned now, with what you’ll learn then. “A-haa!”
The saying “jack of all trades and master of none” is kind of true, but needs salt once things get rolling. Having a focus is important, but you have to look up and away from time to time.
All that focus you cultivate and brew, when you bring it up to aim at an outside target, it is charged. It has the potential to spark and ground something in here, with something else “out there”. These are the “A-ha!” moments, no matter how big or small. When you have them, you’ve broken new ground and this is being more of who you are. This is the universe being more of what IT is.
Even if it’s just you, sitting at the dining room table by yourself or with your kids trying to figure out how to fold squares of paper and assemble them into a spinning piece of something just to see what it’s like. To see if you can, and to say you did. Then they’re laying around when your friend comes over and you talk about it…
Ellie had commented on some of my glass spinning tops on Facebook and I noticed some Origami in her profile. (Cause I can’t-not see it ya know?) Next level is that she has these guides on Snapguide for making SPINNING origami.
Really though…the boat is leaving right now! Don’t even finish reading if you don’t have time. Come back later.
This is about cultivating the spirit of being open to the next right thing.
There are times when strange folks might offer you a look at their world. Your mother told you not to talk to or go with strangers. You are a grown up now and strangers are just other people that think you might be strange too.
Don’t miss the opportunity, these uneasy social moments are where you make or break communication and where we get to be truly human. This is your chance to say “no thanks bro, I’m too cool to leave my comfort zone”.
Or you can be the one that says, “which way to the boat, lets do this.”
Only one choice earns the story to tell and the notch of experience in your belt. The people that pull your hand towards adventure, know adventure and want to share it with you. Be brave and say yes sometimes, live this life.
Your cronies might attempt to belittle you into staying high and dry on the beach where required effort is at is least. You don’t give even a little shit cause you’re going and glad you decided. You have chosen to lead from the front. Now they stand their wondering if they should have gone too, as they should. Maybe they’ll choose differently next time, but that’s not your problem, you did your part and set an example. You paved the way kid, you are living and working to be more of who you are. Keep that up.
Historically it’s been true that some of the most terrifying adventures and situations have been the most worthwhile and fulfilling. It might not be skydiving or a physically harrowing experience that taunts you, it might just be saying yes to something socially risky, those things where the only thing stopping you is what other people will think. In those moments, just remember, that for an anxious or neurotic person the rush of going through with, and being over with, a nerve-wracking challenge can be equally exhilarating and the most worthwhile.
Don’t miss the boat. If you do, keep watching, they pass all day.
I’m at the torch now working on some orders while listening to this new episdode of Radiolab. Technology used for good. We talk about things, we record those things and share the stuff we feel is worth sharing. That’s what I’m after here. Take the things we love and build on them. http://www.radiolab.org/story/hello/
You came into being for some reason. This is not a creationism vs. evolution conversation, I’m not going there, not even touching it. This is a stream of consciousness about how we learn, experience life and the world around us. For better or worse I spend a fair bit of time thinking about this, and I will continue to do so. I hope you have and do too.
The idea is this; in order to know about what you’re made of, what you are capable of, what the world surrounding you and within you is made of. How it interacts and reacts with itself. You have to get your hands dirty. This all may be obvious, but beneath the obvious there is always more to be revealed.
There’s this idea that the main goal is the end product. It’s an important part but I keep settling into this idea of process and practice. That the whole experience is much more enjoyable, and even more effective when the focus is on, and in the process. Projects are started and finished but it’s the process and the practice that holds it all together. It’s a subtle difference in perception but the effects of this adjustment are life affirming and huge.
“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” Stephen Pressfield- The War of Art
Let go of any concerns over what art is, or isn’t. I have seen enough argument over the classification of creative results to believe that this is not important to the maker and can be divisive to the community. It’s a burden, and a boundary, that defeats the whole point of what art is really supposed to do. To take you somewhere you’ve never been before. This is not to say that history and tradition should be dismissed or ignored, I strongly believe in getting as familiar as possible with tradition and historical progression so you know exactly what rules to focus on breaking and how to accomplish that. As well as being well aware of what has been done so you don’t go around thinking you invented things that were already being explored 100 years ago.
Your best work is your best work. Period. If you have something to express then do that. If you wish to focus on and refine technique do that. If you feel the urge to go wild Jackson Pollock style, there you go. That obviously worked for him. He got wasted and put all of himself into his work in a reckless but very emotional way. Somehow people knew. I am not advocating the whole self-destructive process or need for mind altering substance to find your muse. I just see provocative, interesting and beautiful work come from people who get personal with the process and stay open to life in general. Generally trying or at least learning about things outside of your usual will enrich your perspective and ease your feelings of attachment to a singular source of creative stimulation. I think of it as creative cross training… Let the muscles mend on an off day and stretch instead.
Dig in and see where it goes. Sometimes the material/medium runs the show and teaches you. Kids don’t even know what paint does at first, so they start there, getting to know the properties. Then they answer back by using what they have learned to create something directed by them. This cycle continues in our lives with everything we do.
I understand the politics of the art community, and the real world aspect of career artists. I understand that there are a lot of people making things, many have sacrificed to work up to a high skill level and deserve recognition for doing so. It’s a living, there’s ego and reputation at stake, this gets connected with livelihood and survival and it gets fierce. We’re fighting for our life here!! The paradox is in what that can do to you as a person and eventually to your work. It also tends to be exclusive to people who might be timid about getting creative. It’s for everyone is all I’m saying and accolades and achievements are awesome and important even. But in the end the process is what remains constant. Everything we do has a creative element. Everything. We were created to create, observe, experience, create and so on… This is the fringe of my existential perception for now. I’m satisfied with it. I make things for a living but in the interest of being open, I see the benefit of pulling back from thinking that what I make, is who I am. It is one of the many ways to experience what I am.
“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” Stephen Pressfield – The War of Art
FYI I really like this book.
What I am is a human being, learning about what it means to grow into this place and send the ripples that I wish to send. Regardless of what your spiritual/religious beliefs are, can you argue that after you’re gone, the things you did with your life will resonate through time? If nothing else, that is what should guide us I think. Pay it forward in the best way you know how.
I realized that the only thing I can successfully strive for is a flow. There is no end or escape, everything changes constantly. That’s the only thing you can know for sure. So in order to flow smoothly, we need balance, strength and reason. This means a holistic approach to life. If you draw everything from one source, you’re going to become deficient somehow, you’re going to miss out on some real powerful realizations and experiences. If you identify with being a____. That might carry with it some boundaries and limitations to finding true balance.
Ideally we find ourselves in the flow, in this process, learning and not caught up with envious comparison, with fitting in or living up to a label. We are aware that being involved in the process is all that matters. This seems healthy. It takes daily practice to let go of being a _____. But it feels so nice to just be here, taking it in. This is rational, scientific even. To come to your own conclusions through your own personal experiences. The world around you, the people in it, plus your powers of reason and insight, form the best most honest and revealing teacher you will ever know. With discernment and without discrimination.
Human beings and all other forms of life, on a round blue-green orb hurling through space. Created to create, to nurture, learn, share and collect experience for the infinite memory. It doesn’t need an end goal when the aim is in the process.
Getting to know a person, they ask you what you do. You might say I am a _____. Are you really? How does that serve you exactly? The identities we work so hard to cultivate, construct, carry around and present, seem pretty heavy, cumbersome and high maintenance. I have this thing where I get into something new and have a moment where I start to feel like ok, this is what I am, what I’m about then huh, this seems like a good thing to be. Then I kind of feel the confinement of it the requirements placing upon me, the limitations that identity carries with it.This cycle goes around and around with things we feel we should, or want to be identified with. This identity is all a construct of our minds, and a projection. It gets in the way of having a truly human experience, it imprisons us from experiencing things that might conflict with and tarnish our magazine page of self we worked so hard to photoshop into being. In the end there is only one thing we really are, a human experience.
I have attempted to identify with many things and several lifestyles, but for one reason or another I can’t really ever seem to believe that I am____ or ____. I described it as not being able to really fit in, completely here or there. This I have come to see as a blessing. I get along with people, not just one kind of person…or people that think a certain way. I get along with PEOPLE. That’s not to say I haven’t had disagreements or heated moments, but in the end that’s how I see this life. An experience, meant to be explored and acted within to the best of your ability. To use your powers of reason to find the next right thing, the next right teacher or lesson, to apply it and act upon what you learned before to decide where to go.
I’m learning and practicing to let go of any idea of being a____. Identity optional. I might be many things, I might be all things. What seems to serve me best is to let go and be where I am, to explore and question, try things on for size and also take time to be still and become nothing again.
There are things I have kept around that seem to serve me well and continue to teach me, challenge me and help me to grow. These are proven practices, teachers and meditations but still not who I am.
It’s not about any one thing. You can’t know how it looks to catch the ball unless you get in the game, but you’ll never know how the game looks from above unless you spend some time in the stands. What about what it takes to grow the grass, build the stadium and feed the fans? Seriously. The whole picture is a healthy experience.
So it turns out that I fit in after all, I fit in with where I’m at and what I see, who I resonate with. With a little mindfulness I can resonate with anyone on some level. This is something I couldn’t be more grateful for and is the only thing I would wish on anyone else. I think it’s called being open. Still, I use discretion, but that is much different than discrimination, much more useful.
The practice to be free from being a thing, that makes it so much easier to see what is important, to get in where we fit in in that moment. Who are you? More like we are we. Free when we let go of being a ____. Identity optional.