Looking back on the past few months, I am thankful for all that I have been able to do.
I successfully created a body of work for my BFA Thesis show.
I had the opportunity to assist in firing Susan Beecher's Naborigama wood kiln for the second time.
I spent seven weeks at the Visual Art School at the Chautauqua Institute in Western New York.
And I just finished a ten week apprenticeship at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, Pa.
All of this seems to have completely flown by and I haven't really had the chance to sit back and think on all of it. Through building my thesis and having had to put together work for a show at Chautauqua within 4 weeks, I've learned that I am capable of putting together visually coherent work within a sort amount of time. I've also realized that I have a lot of more digging and exploring to do in order to find a concrete ground for my work. Thesis pushed me to constantly be thinking and figuring out on the spot what my work was about. A lot of the critiques I received at Chautauqua somehow lead me to believe that I absolutely need to know right now what my work is about. I became incredibly overwhelmed and didn't know where to go or what to make. In reality, if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't have anything to learn. I just graduated six months ago. I have a strong foundation, but there's absolutely no reason why I need to know what I am doing.
Being at the Tileworks was so refreshing after stressing over why I was making what I was making. There wasn't a ton of people in and out of my studio space on a daily basis. I could come and go as I pleased, and asked for suggestions or help when I felt I needed it. I set aside the heavy focus of being conceptual and just let myself make. I looked at things around my house that I have grown up with and pulled from historic tiles and architecture. By allowing myself to just work, I am seeing meaning within my work that I probably wouldn't have seen had I forced myself to look for it in the beginning.
Now that I am home for at least two months, I want to delve back into my photography. I have a few ideas and plan to do some experimenting with my pin-hole lens cap for my digital camera.
In the mean time, I am anxiously awaiting word from the residencies I applied to for the New Year. Finger's crossed, as I hear from two of them this week.