I grew up with diamonds in my pockets

Ok! Who gleaned the bridal undies? I came in today and there they were! I thought they looked nice with this pile of mattresses in the background.

I also found this lovely little trooper clinging to one of the building columns:

So-down to business now. I think perhaps the interview process for the GLEAN residency should include one more question. “Are you a pack-rat or do you have hoarding issues?” I, well, I do. I don’t actually know if that makes me more or less suited for this type of work. My last show, Cumulus, explored the theme of hoarding because it is on my mind a lot and I am often confronted with space issues. Throughout my life I have often had dreams of homes full to the ceiling of things. At different times in my life I have interpreted it differently and I am currently in a constant battle to streamline. Nevertheless, I removed 350 lbs from the Transfer Station today…happily.

I need to talk about my dad for a minute. Each time I glean, I go right for the broken glass. For years, when a car got broken into in the neighborhood, I would collect the broken auto glass. It goes back to my childhood and, as I stared into the broken glass ocean today, I thought of dad.

Dad did auto salvage and towing. I grew up with broken glass. Because of my dad, I understood recycling and the impact of our junk on a different level. I got to go to the junkyard, carry hand fulls of auto glass in my pockets (pretending they were diamonds). I was in love with that claw that bit the cars and picked them up. I have no fear of materials and I always thank dad for that. It was clear that he preferred to teach his son things like welding and pulling apart cars, after all Jr would follow in his footsteps, but I worked for and valued his attention, especially once I got to college and I knew my work made him proud. It makes me smile when I think how he would have reacted to hearing about this program. It would be one grunt, kind of a “ha!”. Then he would kick back in his chair and look dreamy for a minute. Then he’d say excitedly, “Hey, Vic-ya know what you should do?”

I guess that is why I had to bring home these three 2×8′ panels of safety glass. I really have no idea how they are going to fit into this work but I felt emotionally attached to them. I saw an employee dragging one into the garbage pile and he said it couldn’t be recycled (which made me want it more). There were several of them. I stopped at three, sighting the rule of design that says groups of three are more interesting than 2 or 4. Toward the end of my day I found three pieces of plywood cut at exactly the same dimensions. Kismet!


I think I have gleaned enough for a while, now. I’m going back tomorrow but just to sort out a few “maybes”. Nothing new! I hope anyway. Here are a few of the textural scores I brought home today. In case you’re curious, that image that looks like a bee box with beeswax in it…yup.


Testing, Testing…does this thing work?

My first trip to Hazardous Waste was quite a haul and I have been testing the products I brought back to the studio. Here is most of what I gleaned on that first trip.

I gleaned the cabinet from the side of the road in my neighborhood. I have to separate my residency gleanings from the rest of my studio to avoid cross-contamination with things I have gleaned elsewhere.

My tests don’t look like much yet. I’m just answering questions like, can Shellac, Varathane or Polyurethane be used as a binder for casting? Seems like yes on a small scale but I’m not sure if it will work on the scale I’m envisioning. I’ve got a pretty clear picture of the installation as a whole but I’m looking forward to discovering the individual textures and processes. I got four cans of expanding foam on that first trip. I was really surprised that they were there, completely unopened, until…the first can I tried. The plastic nozzle broke off while I was attaching the extension…so, no good. The second can I opened worked but seemed like it had no pressure or perhaps that it was plugged. It trickled out slowly. I used what I needed for the test and then set it down on the studio floor. When I returned in the morning, it had turned itself into A BEAUTIFUL SCULPTURE!

One of the best things I brought home from Bay 1 was a pile of blue fabric. I later discovered it was 9 continuous yards of blue Velour. Mmmm


The fabric was unexpected and it was an inspiration. It will surely be making an appearance at the show.