home wherever i go.

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photo of a photo, snapped from the facebook of stephanie burns.

i spent the first 18 years of my life in pretty much the same place, most of it in the same house.  but being the child of immigrants, was raised with this idea of other places i might call home.  i think this upbringing really impacted the way i’ve lived the second half of my life, often moving, creating communities everywhere i’ve gone.

tonight i was looking at a friend’s photos on facebook.  (i snapped this with my phone off the computer screen)  she and her partner just took a trip to europe and one of their stops was in florence, italy.  of all her amazing pics, this kind of random street scene, with closed up shops (maybe it’s on the ponte vechhio?  i’ll have to ask her…) really gave me a big shot of nostalgia.

as much as i want to go new places i want SO MUCH to go back to the places i’ve been.  i want to keep recycling my experiences somehow.  learning a new place and then leaving then returning.  returning makes everything feel new AND familiar.

i don’t know– i’ve never been one to go somewhere having done research, practiced the language, or any of that.  i love how the urgency to communicate necessitates learning, wondering around, having to ask for directions, strangers sharing their time and advice.

as much as i loved learning renaissance art history in florence, the things i remember most are…..

…the lady at the train station telling me to stop waiting in line so patiently.  because obviously, you will never get to the front if you wait, you kind of have to push your way forward.

borrowing a stranger’s cell phone to book a spot at a hostel–as the train rolled to a stop in that city’s station—and jumping out of the train on a whim to visit a new city.

…and you know, the fountain story🙂

places, people, languages, food.  i know these things are important to everyone but i want to know if they can fit centrally into my life.

i want the whole world to be my community.

hello gainesville!

well, i’m settling down in yet another temporary home.  i guess i’m starting to get good at this.  anyway, i am now in gainesville, fl doing a year of post-baccalaureate studies at the university of florida.  gainesville and uf are both quite nice places.  really a breath of fresh, oxygen rich air after philadelphia.  philly is a amazing city but i am amazed at the unconscious sigh of relief i breathe when i look around and see so much green. proximity is much improved.  i’m back to an 8 block (ish) bike ride to the studio which is sweet.  this is a much bigger program then i’ve ever been a part of so space is limited, there is a snap of my work space above.  this decrease in personal space is more than made up for in the huge and wonderful community, faculty and facility.

my favorite piece of equipment, at the moment, is the test soda kiln.  it’s a small soda kiln that shares a chimney with a regular sized soda kiln(very similar to the soda kiln at the clay co.).  it’s just one shelf (12×24) deep and you can stack 3-5 up depending on what your making.  it’s firing away right now.  very excited to see what comes out.

getting shit done.

it’s true, getting adjusted to a new space kind of sucks.  you don’t know where anything is, perhaps like me you didn’t get to bring all your favorite blue plastic and chunks of old foam mattresses.  anyway, the point is i feel all awkward in a studio at the beginning.  oh, and the clay situation is different (as it turns out better) BUT then i finally just dig in and make something.  something that i’m excited about and then i remember why i’m there.

i mean, nothing beats that feeling of satisfaction.  i don’t know if it’s just having brought to fruition this image from inside of you or the point when you start to get totally warmed up and loose and the clay and your hands kind of start to do their own thing but it’s good stuff.

anyway, here’s a pic from my phone.  i’ll post some later today when it’s finished.

new home

i may have a snuggee for a curtain at the moment but i’m pretty much totally unpacked and moved into my sweet west philly apartment.  bg,  my new roommate met me at the train station and we squeezed all of my possessions into her spacious hatchback.

this is what i was working with.  sweet windows and nice floors.

everything is unpacked but some stuff still needs a place.  and i definitely need some sweet curtains for these tall windows.  in the meantime a few glimpses of my space…

shadow boxes with work and tchotchkes from all over.

bowl and saucer by sarah tancred, octopus rattle by kelly sullivan

mini wall piece by jamie bardsley

wall button by kelly sullivan

another wall button and one of my first art purchases, plate by lisa orr

anagama shift.

my last night at the clay company was spent doing the 8-midnight shift with j.  at midnight matt said we might have as little as 45 minutes left so i decided to stay until the end.  approximately 5 hours later we shut the anagama down.  it made for a pretty delirious day at work, but it was worth it!  here are a couple of pics i snapped between side stokes.

"i'm hot to burn this sonovabitch" (paulina, what up!)

rearranging.

super hot and bright.

basically freezing except when stoking.

i found it really amazing to watch matt and don work.  they seemed to know what was happening inside the kiln at every moment.  or they would open up a peep hole and glean a ton of information.  when i fire the little soda, i’m never FULLY confident that i know what is happening.  in the anagama with multiple stoke points and all kinds of dynamics going on inside i was totally blown away by their extreme knowledge, confidence and control.  amazing!

atomic

ok, i literally took one picture the whole day.  i snapped this quick pic with the intention of going back for more but you know how it goes sometimes.

oh, wait no, there were two, liz and sarah aka femme covert’s fabulous wares.

we were crammed together pretty tight between the tables.  luckily robin from neckeds didn’t really mind when i touched her butt on accident.  speaking of butts, i think the best story of the day was when robin’s friend pointed out the sign i’d put on the group of these little sculptures:

the sign said “butt” seeds 3 for $15.  they were all like, “are those really for your butt?”  which totally shocked me.  because they are, you know, seeds WITH butts, not seeds FOR butts.

bottom line–aesthetically speaking i’m more about poop than sex so i changed the sign.  haha.

literally in the sky.

updating this blog from the cramped seat of a delta plane on my way back from new york.  before getting on the plane i was passed a promotional free trial of the in flight wireless service.  i would never pay for this service but getting to try it for free is pretty sweet.

on my way home to florida, which i miss.  strangely.  i missed out on a bunch of fun it seems while out of town.  mass amounts of kiln firing took place.  very exciting.  at least i’ll get to be present for the opening of the kilns.  christmas or halloween?

my trip was pretty relaxed but i still felt the burn of city life.  florida living has made me weak, i think.  my shoulders are all sore from toting everything around on my back instead of throwing it in the back of the minivan.  i didn’t do much, but here’s what i did do.

the graduate portfolio review at parson’s:  a crowd of young aspiring painters (it seemed) and me….but talking to R.I.T. and Tyler reps did net me some positive feedback.  thanks much to a and m for taking photos of my show to share.

new york art book fair: tons of art books and book arts at ps1 in long island city.  got to hang with my girl a. and our old friend k..

toured tyler school of art: and met with their new clay professor chad curtis.  i was blown away by their brand new CLEAN and high tech facility and inspired by their clay, glass and fibers department.  i’ll apply there for the fall, but that’s another post…

last but not least i visited a former professor/mentor gregg moore who i’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with again in the spring.

while in philly i got to visit and stay with s. a friend from back in the day in florida.  we got to have some dinner and some breakfast together and she shared her growing collection of pop up art.  hopefully i’ll be back in philly in time for her first exhibition.  beautiful work girl!

ok, i’m getting cookies from the flight attendant.  this is so wild!

disparate worlds

some installation pics of jamie bardsley and sarah tancred’s incredible show “disparate worlds”.  jamie is now settled in bowling green, ohio  and sarah is off to gainesville, florida tomorrow.  you go girls.  so honored to have experienced all this together.

installation1

installation2

post from the road.

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we left yesterday and stopped in atlanta around 8pm.  kelly of kspots.com put us up for the night.  after looking at new work of kelly’s (and making a sweet little trade–wall piece for wall button, and me purchasing a couple of bowls) we ventured out to little 5 points to get burgers at the vortex. after that we headed to cabbagetown to meet up with blackie and patty, checked out their sweet space, rooftop view and kudzu graffiti among other things.  so great to see old friends.

today we leisurely made our way to asheville getting in just before everything closed.  all talked out we decided to type our conversation for a glimpse into all this fun.

jamie:  was it yesterday that we left?

nicole: um hm.  here we are in asheville.  what do you think so far?

jamie: i wish something was open!!  good food though.

nicole:  yeah, my portabella and goat cheese sandwich ruled.  but you’re still burping up onions aren’t you?

jamie:funny…it hurts!!

nicole:  good thing i can’t smell.  in that little car.  no but seriously.  we met some of the residents at oddyssy.  that was cool.  loved the drawings and the phobia cups.

jamie: they were both very cool…have to stop back tomorrow for a tumbler and maybe a phobia cup for you…

nicole:  yeah, but i have to decide which phobia.  cats, puppets, sitting??  might have to go with sitting.  i am kind of uninterested in sitting generally.

jamie:  no seriously, i noticed throughout the drive..

nicole:  i get so antsy.  i hate sitting still.  when you guys aren’t in the studio i am constantly constructing with dance moves.  to gravy train.  anyway, i also dug their salt kiln.  it’s a nice size to fire alone.

jamie: i think we all do that…singing, dancing…its always a good time chillin in the studio alone.  their spaces really were amazing.. huge too!

nicole:  yeah, and also more enclosed.  they could rock out in their spaces anytime.  haha.  anyway, think we can get a tour of highwater’s factory tomorrow?

jamie: maybe we can try… how about the fact we werent dripping sweat the second we walked into the spaces??  that was pretty sweet too no need for ac

nicole:  that was nice.  you really do type with one hand!

jamie: ok we are freaks lets go check out the town

ok folks, it’s almost 7:30 pm.  we’re going out.  heading to lexington or cincinatti tomorrow.