Friday, December 24, 2010

My First Polymer

My New Year's postcard is done, the last layer added yesterday using a photopolymer plate to reproduce the type of my favorite typewriter. Close-up views only because these won't go in the mail until next week.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Louisiana in December

This is my favorite month here for sure. It might be too hot to grow anything in August but the week before Christmas, the garden is flourishing. I left the studio early the other day to check on the cabbage and cauliflower and walk around.
I also picked some of the last of the greens which I cooked up this morning with grits and seitan. Time to go go to school and print.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trades part II

Bryan Kring is a designer in Oakland who sent me this 2011 calendar. This is only a partial shot. I send him postcards every month because I really like his work. Good trade!

Sarah Hayman is first year graduate in printmaking at LSU. Her work is layers of organic forms, stencils, pods, textures. She traded me these two images at the print sale last month and promises to trade more if I can let go of the ceramic nests that are still hanging in the sculpture building hallway.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Keep Writing! Year 3

I love mail. When I moved to Baton Rouge and started college, I wanted to keep in touch with my friends and also give myself a project to complete each month experimenting with different ways of making a post card. For the second year, I asked different friends to collaborate with me. Some of them live in Baton Rouge, others sent me something they printed which I could add to. The card above is a block print and silkscreen by Adam Ross, a high school friend now living in Portland, Oregon. I added letterpress and one layer of silkscreen. Now my list of subcribers is at 120, friends, penpals and people who are receiving these as a gift from a friend. For my third year working on this project, and my last year at school, I wanted to make the cards more interactive. Beginning in February, each mailing will include something for you to send back. Hopefully, I will be include some of these in an art show next winter.
Interested? Send me your name and address. A subscription is $9 for six months and $15 for a year. Trades and sliding scale is available. You can also order a subscription for a friend.
Other examples of cards are at , under "subscription".
Next month's cards are resting on the drying racks in the print shop waiting for a third color. Don't miss out.

Trades part I

The Holiday Season means multiple art sales each weekend. Living in Louisiana, this means sitting outside in warm, windy, wet weather one day and freezing, sunny windy weather the next. I don't have time to go to many sales but when I do, my favorite part is the end-of-day trading with other artists. Here are a few.

Andrew Gilliat is a third year ceramics grad student at LSU who will graduate in the spring. He traded me this cup, slip cast with laser details, for one of my prints. It fits twelve ounces of liquid perfectly, so yes, I did drink a beer out of it when I got home.

Ty Harlan is an undergrad at LSU who was in my slipcasting class this semester where he made these bowls. He traded me for a postcard subscription and I am happy. It is in my studio at school for eating noodle soup. This one is spray glazed with the same glaze on some of my eggs in previous posts, though his came out more delicately.

Roberta Massuch just started the ceramics graduate program at LSU this year. This photo does not demonstrate how pillowy her forms are. I spent an hour at the sale this weekend picking up her cups and bowls and trying out the handles on platters. They are strangely comforting. Her work will be at the Appalachian Center for Craft this winter.

I have more to show but I don't want to overwhelm you. Another day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It will make your nose itch and your clothes vibrate

That's right, the Body is returning for the second time in a year. They will be in Baton Rouge January 4th after a show in New Orleans on January 3rd. When I saw them in August, my jaw dropped when, after a few minutes of belly rumbling bass, Chip began screaming over the drums and guitars, without a microphone. And I have time to make to make a flyer.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Little Bits

The night before my portfolio was due I took photos in the studio of me most recent prints. None of them look very good. Here are two close up bits of intaglio prints from the past month. Maybe better photos will follow.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Notes on Process

At midnight last night I found myself in the sculpture building hallway, waiting for a ride home, wondering how I was still there with my final ceramics critique twelve hours behind me. All that time spent in this building, here is my final project. My professor, Michaelene Walsh helped a lot through out this process.

First, I wrapped dried vines, straw, moss,leaves and paper into nests and dipped them in clay slip. I let them dry a bit on bowl-shaped plaster molds. I dipped them three or four times, then let them dry. I sprayed them lightly with glaze and loaded them into the bisque kiln. As we closed the door, Corrie asked me how the ashes of the vines would burn out without exploding. I had minor panic attacks for the next few days until the door was opened again and they survived.

I spray glazed them and loaded them onto kiln shelves covered with silica sand. Again, a ceramics major asked why they would not stick to the shelves. Again, I trusted my professor because I did not know for sure that they wouldn't. They didn't. All but one survived the glaze kiln. I spent a nervous hour on a ladder hanging all the nests, eggs, and eating doughnuts. I am glad the semester is over.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's Cookin'?

The end of semester feasting has begun. With the temperatures sinking to 28 tonight, it is a good time to have the oven going. There is sweet potato stew, vegetable broth for soups to come and steamed sweet potatoes to be turned into biscuits.

Meanwhile, this is some of what I hung in the Old Engineering Building Hallway. They are slipcast ceramics, assembled into impossible flying machines. I myself was flying high on sugar as my classmates brought doughnuts, cookies and candy to share for our last day together.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Red Hot Clay Center in Baton Rouge is hosting an art sale just in time for holiday gift shopping. I will have a few things there while I sit at the Blackird Letterpress table. See you there!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 2nd!

I had to take a few weeks off to do it, but this month's postcard went in the mail only one day late. Of course, it has taken me nearly a week to tell you about it. This month was a collaboration with my friend Eric Gilyard, currently a resident of a beach shack in Puerto Rico, though we used to live together and before that, work together. To see the image, you will have to subscribe.

Expect daily updates for a while. I have a lot to tell you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

If it's not one thing...

The New Orleans Book Fair was as great as I hoped. I met some great people from Verna Press, saw old friends, met Alex's baby girl all while selling prints and post card subscriptions. Just as I loaded all the remaining prints into the studio, it is time for the LSU One of One Printmakers Print Sale! Towards the end of each semester and smartly timed to coincide with the Ceramics Sale, take over two tables in Free Speech Alley in from of the LSU Union Monday November 15th through Thrursday November 18th from 9 am till 5 pm. We sell handmade prints, books, cards, paper and more all created by LSU students and faculty. Work is affordable and half of the proceeds go to the One of One Printmakers' Club to help us bring visiting artists and guest speakers to our classes. This semester, I finally got around to letterpressing a poster for the event, printed in the same colors as a Rocket Pop.
Also check out the CASA Ceramics Sale under the white tent across the way from us. I buy one thing every year and break it accidentally one year later.

This year, I may not be buying anything from the Ceramics Sale because I made a bunch of bowls, plates and cups in my ceramics class. Above is one of the nicest bowls so far filled with peas from our side porch. We steamed them and ate them on salad last night with lettuce from the garden and a radish from the back yard. I do like Louisiana for its fresh food and great weather in November.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

User Error

I still cannot copy the image for the flyer for the New Orleans Bookfair. So go here: , admire the artwork then make plans to be there, this Saturday on Frenchmen Street from 11-6 pm. You would be a fool to miss it. I'll be there with plenty of vendors of books, prints, and one guy with spraypainting caps. Last year Becca made cookies and we won the cute war.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mail Art Blog !

I am ashamed to have sent this lady her zine in a plain envelope.
Check out her blog and send her a postcard!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No More NO Machine

When Baby Boy asked me to print a block for their demo cover, I thought,"No way. Too busy." But I had so many ideas on the bike ride to school I immediately changed my mind. And here it is. They had a lot of input and I had a lot of help at Blackbird Letterpress where I printed these. There was a lovely song list on the inside that did not survive technical issues. If you are in D.C. this weekend, check them out playing on tour and covering four Wipers songs.

Or if you are in Baton Rouge, come join this ride, for race or for fun but the end result is food to give to the food bank. Mark asked me to make a flyer for the event and again I expressed my doubts. And here is the flyer.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Perhaps you've noticed that a few of my posts are about food. I really like to eat. When I have time, I like to cook, too. This summer, it was too hot to bake a birthday cake in July so I waited until yesterday. This being Louisiana, it was still too hot and humid for the fudge icing to set and the amazing vegan marshmallows kept attempting escape. We brought a big slice up to the garden plot, weeded, planted more lettuce and cucumber, and snacked on sweets as the moon came up.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Simplest Solution

I've been trying to work on packaging for sending zines that is efficient, attractive and preferably reused in some way and this morning I remembered how I used to send mail. So here it is, an old print re-purposed.

The backyard garden is defying my expectations. Here, Yzah Yzah inspects the first pea blossom.

Friday I made a little salad of radishes, chard and spinach from the backyard to top falalfel sandwiches. It doesn't look like much but all these were grown in containers in the back yard. A little compost, a little love and some planters I found on the side of the road.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good Things Going On

The New Orleans Bookfair is one of my favorite events in the city. The ninth annual book fair will be November 6th from 11 am - 6 pm along Frenchmen Street. Radical publishers, independent shops, individual authors and letterpress printers (like me!) will have tables for you to browse inside local businesses who give up their bars for a few daylight hours. It's free and fun. There is usually also refreshments and music. Two years ago, some tables were outside. It was sunny but windy! We had weights on all our things to keep them from flying away. Go to for information or to register for a table.
Also, my friend Myrtle has put out the call for a second Automata show in New Orleans. The show is for anyone working with kinetics, robotics or bio art and there is a companion show in miniatures, cabinets and models. The show is in April in New Orleans and the deadline for submission is February 18, 2011. There is a rumor that maybe my friend Molly will leave Montreal to construct a site-specific camera obscura. I visited her in Montreal once and she had created one in her front hall way. Good things are happening. Don't forget it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Break?

So October's postcards are going in the mail today if I can convince myself to leave the house. Technically fall break starts tomorrow but this is really just a chance for me to catch up on things I am behind on. Such as: grocery shopping, baking a cake, cleaning the bathroom and printing! I don't really take breaks. Not with so much to do. Tonight I am printing the covers for Baby Boy's demo for their tour on Halloween weekend. Also, I have been experimenting with the angle grinder as a tool for an intaglio plate. I'll let you know how that comes out. Today though, enjoy a glimpse of these postcards printed as a collaboration with my high school friend, Adam Ross. He finished art school years ago and now lives in Portland Oregon. The last time I visited him I really liked the paintings he was working on. Maybe we will work together again.

Friday, October 1, 2010

For Middle Schoolers!

I am teaching a class with the Baton Rouge Arts Council Community School for the Arts. It is my first workshop with them and I am excited. It starts Tuesday so if you know any one interested, contact Robin at .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Good Gesture

First project in my wheel throwing class: construct a building out of clay. This is a church from Brazil. It is hard to eliminate your style from anything you do and so this building swoops and leans. Luckly for me it looks alive and not sloppy.

Meanwhile, I received this in the mail a few weeks ago, a belated birthday gift from Andy, purchased while he was on tour this summer. The artist is Scott Young. It is painted and cut out masonite. Someday we will have live chickens.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tint Troubles

I'm glad I wasn't the only one having troubles mixing ink yesterday in the shop. Katy asked me for advice as I created so many fleshy shades for a screenprint, it looks like I am working for Cover Girl. The last of the unfinished summer projects, here is layer one of four for the Where You From zine (volume 2).
If only the layout was done for the inside.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to School!

This morning the ride to school was cool enough to be wearing a sweater even if it is 90 degrees now. I have been running between the ceramic building and the print shop. And finally, I finished two of three summer projects before the autumn equinox. Here they are: Keep Writing number 22, a collaboration with Becca Hebert and a special Ladies of Letterpress postcard exchange.
Tomorrow: zine covers will be silk-screened with screens I burned a month ago. All this and homework too.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This month's Keep Writing postcard is a collaboration with Becca Hebert. I printed the first layer last night with stamps she carved. Want to receive postcards such as these from me? Sign up on my etsy site, Interested in hearing about Becca's adventure riding from New Orleans to Pensacola with two friends talking with people on the gulf coast about the oil "spill"? Click the link for "Gulf Coast Bike Ride " on the right or go to

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New and For Sale

I have finally updated my etsy account with items I made last spring for a print sale here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Glimpse of What's to Come

Back in the print studio this week and nearly alone. School doesn't start for ten more days, so the shop is quiet. And cool. And with the heat index reaching 115 degrees last week, I don't mind staying inside to print. Above is a section of a postcard I started for the Ladies of Letterpress exchange. The idea is to make a postcard celebrating your state and summer. Something like that. I screen printed the first two colors this morning and they look better than I had hoped.

Keep Writing number 21 went in the mail this morning. This month's postcard is late, due to some technical issues like a broken press and a bit of culture shock when I returned home. This postcard is also a collaboration with Vanessa Adams, a New Orleans artist who has been taking print classes at LSU. This is only a section of the postcard. If you want to see the whole thing you will have to wait until I post it on etsy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Um, Excuse Me?

I have subscriptions to a few magazines for different reasons. Two years ago someone sent me a copy of the Oxford American's issue about New Orleans three years after Katrina. It was smart, sensitive and did not make me uncomfortable in the way most writing about the hurricane does. I signed up for a subscription. They are based in Arkansas and focus on writers and subjects in the south. This summer's issue includes an article titled "Are You a Tree Bitch?" with the unfortunate subtitle "Yes the phrase is offensive...but answer the question please." I read it on a lazy Sunday, a few days after returning from Italy. I thought, maybe I am overreacting. Maybe I am just extra sensitive. Nope. I thought about it. And wrote this letter to the editor. The last letter to the editor I wrote was in 1993 about being a weirdo at my high school.

I was disappointed and then angry that you chose to publish Ad Hudler’s piece on “psychology “ titled “Are you a Tree Bitch?” (Summer 2010). Starting with the dismissive subtitle, to the embarrassing excuse that the writer was “raised by an outspoken feminist” and is a “stay-at-home dad”, the writer absolves himself of criticism. He gave reasons why he should better understand that using the word “bitch” across genders does not strip it of its destructive power but continues on in defense of its usage. Using “bitch” to describe crappy, under appreciated grunt work and defining “dude” as someone doing performs the skilled, admired, artistic labor reinforces the power structure feminists work to dismantle. The author talks himself in circles trying to explain why it is ok to use this term in this situation while restating the ways it is insulting to use. While I do not read the Oxford American in search of radical political views, I usually find it thoughtful, entertaining and never offensive. This piece struck me as lazy, and its carelessness has made me unable to enjoy the rest of this issue.

Oh, Thea actually called his excuse "embarrassing" but I borrowed it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Are You Happy?

This line drawing was in a doorway next to a huge fascist-era building in Ravenna, Italy. That town was all about juxtaposition--monsterously grand building that was likely offices, with this delicate drawing. The most beautiful mosaics I've ever seen in a quiet unassuming little town with department stores going out of business. I was a fan of the bike paths and the gardens.

This piece was a public art collaboration between at least one artist and local kids. Unfortunately for me, the explaination was in Polish. The photos seem to document the kids he;ping to paint huge panels which were used to construct this box. Additional stenciling and drawing was added. It stands in a little square in Wroclaw, in the center of a bunch of reconstructed and brightly painted buildings. And it was about to rain.