Here is a new year's update about my crazy schedule for the coming months in case anyone is trying to keep tabs on me. As you may know, I closed up my studio in Boston in the fall, and I am now in the midst of a 9 month long period of itinerant fellowships, residencies, and independent studies.
First of all, I want to explain how this is even possible. I was incredibly fortunate in 2017 to win two remarkable awards. In the spring I was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, which let me devote much of last summer to professional development (including making this website) and to devote the fall to technically challenging, experimental and so far non-remunerative new work. In September I received the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship from the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. This fellowship is allowing me to undertake a self-directed course of study in digital fabrication technology, with a focus on how I can use the technology to aid in veneering compound-curving forms. It will also allow me to buy a CNC router and other equipment.
Currently, I am nearing the end of a 4 month long Studio Fellowship at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, ME. This has been my third stint at the Center, and as always it's been tremendously productive to work in their finely-tuned shops and get feedback and technical support from all the knowledgeable folks on campus. I was able to get a head start on my veneering project and on learning to use CAD software and to operate a CNC router. It felt a little silly to spend my days sitting at a computer while surrounded by such fine regular woodworking equipment, but hey, the tools they are a changin'.
In a couple weeks I'll be returning to another of my favorite haunts, the Penland School of Crafts where I'll be participating in their Winter Residency. I plan to continue working with the CNC router, but will shifting gears slightly to focus more on how I can use the technology for product design and development.
In March I am going to Newport, RI to spend two months working with and among students in the brand new Digital and Modeling Fabrication department at IYRS School of Technology and Trades. I will be piloting and helping to develop an artist residency program that will hopefully become a permanent part this new department. The concept is to introduce an artist or craftsman with a highly developed studio practice to the tools and technology of digital fabrication in hopes that they will bring fresh but refined sensibility to the field. Ideally, it will be a partnership that allows an artist to grow his or her practice through access to some extremely powerful technology, while giving IYRS students exposure to an individual who is new to the tools, but advanced in their ability to conceptualize, design, critique and quickly integrate the technology into their work. I believe this residency could also help mature the field of digital fabrication, which in my opinion is in need of more practitioners with the deep understanding of materials and process that is endemic to craftsmen. The question of how digital fabrication fits into my personal practice and the Studio Craft field at large is one I hope to explore more in the Slog, especially while I am immersed in the technology at IYRS. Check back if this is something you are interested in too.
And after all that, I'll be heading to Philadelphia to attend the long anticipated Windgate ITE Residency at the Center for Art in Wood. I applied for this residency in winter of 2015! I'm amazed that the time has finally come around. I'm looking forward to spending a couple months in Philadelphia and joining the long list of esteemed artists who have been a part of this well-established program. I hope it has been worth the wait.
So that's my plan.