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Unraveling a Tumbleweed at CCA Oakland

Posted on: Saturday, February 16, 2013

On-site at CCA's 'Soil to Studio' plant dye garden (photo by Sasha Duerr)

I was so fortunate to have been invited recently to talk to students in the Textiles program at the California College of the Arts in Oakland. Artist friend and plant dye expert, Sasha Duerr, has helped to cultivate a wonderful campus garden for the study of permacouture and 'soil to studio' practices. 

In addition to my talk on ideas related to 'fashioning self and the environment', I decided to unravel a tumbleweed fiber form that I had created in 2006 while on an artist residency at The LAND/an art site in rural New Mexico. 

'Tumbleweed 01' created out of recycled textiles, fiber, and vegetation in New Mexico 

I viewed this event with the students as an opportunity to shift my creative practice a bit – unwinding quite literally into a more expansive mode while also looking back at a chapter in my life that was very much about preserving materials and the memories of a specific place.


The hand-dyed fibers from the tumbleweed were able to breathe again amidst the lush vegetation and expressive succulents of CCA's community dye garden and surroundings. The students also served as live branches of sorts during the collaborative process. 

The Living Room Studio

Posted on: Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ruth Asawa's Living Room, San Francisco, 1969

I had so many interesting conversations this past week with artist and maker friends in San Francisco regarding their studio set ups and the curation of objects within their space.

One of the themes that seemed to emerge (in this era of Instagram documentation and perpetual sharing via social media), was the role that visual archiving plays in true creative development and the overall form-building process within the workspace or home studio.

Artists tend to be hoarders or at least collectors of items that have some resonance with their own creations, or not. I have a sculptor friend from Brazil who does not live with any of her pieces as she sees this to be a distraction from her process and the sanctity of her home life. 

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