As you can tell from previous blog posts I've been excited for my very first artist residency. I left for Blueberry View Artist Retreat on Sunday late morning to arrive here in the afternoon. It’s lovely to finally meet Janet and Mark after only emailing and talking on the phone. They are both artists themselves, they live on the property, have their studios here and run an antique shop. I moved in and got straight to work. The large tendril has been lingering, so that’s what I’m finishing up beading, but I’m also getting into sanding my first root/trunk piece. It’s been a while since I've used my Dremel tool this much, but after 4 + hours I’m starting to think it needs a name. I've really been enjoying peeling back the layers of this wood piece and discovering what’s underneath. I like to smooth it out, but not so much that it doesn't still look like it came from nature. I am quickly becoming engrossed in this process and loosing hours at a time.
I have the best set up for sanding. I had packed drop cloths and towels anticipating working in the large studio space provided me in this apartment, but I have a little deck overlooking the blueberry fields and gardens (see top photos). There’s a granite slab mounted to the corner of the deck for a grill, which has been a great outdoor work space to keep all of the sawdust outside. Not only is the sawdust outside, it’s just windy enough to pick up the sawdust and take it away as I remove it from the wood. I’m even getting some sun. I may come back with a weird bandanna/eye protection tan if it keeps going this direction.
I wasn't sure what to expect as far as getting on a daily schedule. I’m used to scheduling my art time around other people, meetings, work or on the go. I've been starting my day with yoga, coffee and beading. I have been thinking about exploring Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, but I haven’t wanted to leave my new space just yet. I did make it to the grocery store and the Riverside Tavern for a yummy burger for dinner.
I do believe that I’ll be hunkering down with this tendril, fingers crossed, getting it finished up. One of the issues I’m running into while beading it is not only its size, but its weight. Right now it weighs 89 grams (3.1 ounces) which is kind of heavy for one hand holding it in various positions. I often forget just how much glass beads end up weighing. I think I’ll be sticking to smaller beaded pieces after this experience.