This piece is titled "39". It centers on my maternal Grandmother who when she was 39 was already a grandmother. I turned 39 this year which has made me look closer at my life and how easy it would of been for me to have had a similar life if I had taken a different path. This work is about the choices we make in life and where they lead. My Grandmother was a single mother of 6 working the night shift in a ball bearing factory to make ends meet. No child support or state aid she did it all by herself. Everything she did was for her family. With only a high school education she worked herself to death literally so her children and grandchildren would not go without. I was just 18 when she died at the age of 56. A massive heart attack due to poor health, too much stress and too little money. She helped to raise me when my parents divorced when I was only 6. "39" honors her memory and creates a personal family archive though imagery, correspondence and documentation.
After a few weeks of renovation I have finally finished converting my ceramic studio into a multi-medium workspace! The top image is my worktable and storage for encaustic and printmaking. Notice how neat and organized it is, I don't expect it to ever be this tidy again! The bottom image is of my new "hot box" for encaustic monotype. A large sheet of anodized aluminum sits on a wooden base with 8 lightbulbs on dimmer switches that raise or lower the heat. A pretty fantastic design inspired by Paula Roland and built by my husband. Also I now have a large expanse of white wall for working on as well as an area for hanging installation pieces from the rafters. The most challenging aspect of this studio redesign was taking a fully equipped ceramic studio and condensing it into half the previous space while keeping it operational. I am very pleased with the new layout. It is open, filled with good light and allows me work across multiple mediums in the same space. Excuse me I am going to do a happy dance now!