Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hurricane Lolo

Warning!  Some of the following images may include disturbing content.  Please do not allow the following images to reflect negatively on Laurel or Lolo's Laboratory.  Do not judge harshly, she is indeed human, despite what you might think...

 A few weeks back, after a making frenzy, I looked around my studio and was shocked and horrified at what I saw.  Every surface was covered in stuff.  The floor was littered with little pieces of paper, the sink was full of dirty paint containers.  How in the world can I work in this mess?  I decided then it was time for a huge studio clean up, and so the clean up began.  The following are the incendiary before photos:

The main room of my studio, it's my garage.  What a mess, yikes!
So, I am pretty lucky to have a very large and amazing studio,  and I need to have a big studio because I am addicted to far too many crafty processes and create stuff out of tons of different materials and techniques.  So in defense of my own slovenliness, it's darn hard to stay neat and organized when you've drowning in a whole lot of stuff.

Oh man, this is embarrassing...

In addition to the garage, I have 2 other smaller rooms that are connected to the garage which I use as well.  One of the little rooms is what I call the mini wood shop.    Here's what the work surfaces currently look like:

The next room is the room where I store my artwork, where I sew, have a jewelers bench, and where I keep my printers.

Ok, there is actually a jewelers bench somewhere under that pile of stuff.  If you can believe it, I was actually working in this mess!  I totally need one of Oprah's home organizer's for hoarders to come rescue me!

But alas, the clean up has commenced.  In fact, I am excited to announce I am giving the garage a complete studio make over!! Tune in next week for some major surprises.  The after pictures will I hope redeem me...

Keep in mind,  it takes a pretty creative person to make such an outstanding mess...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Dreamy Day Job, Part 1-Rings

I have been a high school shop teacher at the same school for the past 11 years.  Some wonder how in the world I can bare to teach teenagers, and at the same school for so long?  Well, it just so happens that I pretty much have the most awesome day job around!

At my school we have 5 shops, and I am the jewelry/metalsmithing teacher.  I basically create the curriculum I want, and have total freedom to try any techniques and materials that I think the kids will dig, and dig they do...

The other cool part about my job is that I have had the opportunity to teach lots of other courses, art classes to glass shop classes.  And, as all teachers know, prepping is essential, so I have to make lots of cool stuff for myself in order to come up with the projects I plan on doing with my kids.  Plus, since my own art is no longer metalsmithing, I need to keep my soldering skills up, so I just must make cool stuff for myself...

For my advanced class we make square rings where they learn a technique called scoring.  The rings on the left I made when figuring out the best way to teach them how to to speak...

Rings are my favorite things to make and wear, and over the past 11 years I have made a lot of them.  The kids love them too, these days we are all into wearing lots of stacked rings. 

In my advanced class they learn to set stones.  Making these little stackables are their favorite things to make.

I have fairly long fingers so I can wear a pretty tall stack.

I can't believe I get paid to play around with resin!

A few years ago I taught a class about incorporating handmade glass elements into metal.  I made the fused glass pieces in our glass shop, then had to come up with different ways of incorporating them with the metal work.

The ring on the left, store bought beads, the one on the right was a left over bead that I found in the glass shop that a kid had  made.  I am always emphasizing design with my students, I am particularly proud of how I integrated the bead with the metal on this one, and it had no soldering involved!

As a bead freak, I knew I had to start incorporating glass beads with my metalwork.  I decided after making a bunch of stuff with this technique, that I am not actually going to let the kids do it.  I am afraid they will crack their beads and hot shards of glass will fly around and hit them in their pretty faces.

The idea on the left the kids can do, because there is no torch needed to incorporate the beads.  The 2 others are really cool because the beads move back and forth and rotate around.

I suspect you believe me when I say I fricken love my day job.  I must add however, part of what makes it so great are the wonderful folks I work with, and yes, believe it or not, TEENAGERS ROCK!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Children: works in progress

With the new year comes lots of cleaning, organizing, goal setting, and contemplating the year that has just passed, and passed in the blink of an eye...

I am in the process of a total studio make-over, the before and after pictures will begin in next weeks post, so stay tuned.  In the mean time, I am going thru lots of work that has accumulated over the past year.  Last year for an exhibition I was in with 2 of my girlfriends, I was going to do an installation based on children.   I started making children out of all different materials and thought I was going to make one huge installation with them on a large wall.  I didn't do that, and I just stumbled upon some of the children I began making, that maybe, just maybe one day I will finish...

These boys heads are made on heavy matte board and are a bit larger than life size.

Little Miss Pouty is acrylic on canvas.  Ha ha, look at her ears, they are so not even!!

This silhouette  is cut from 1/4 masonite.  It's kinda larger than life size, like 20" across.

This creepy kid is made from a 1950's illustration.  I laminated him, and added the felt tears.

Playing again with silhouettes and negative space.

3 heads, pen on paper.

Kids have hilarious teeth!

This baby is small, around 9 inches high, and it's made from 1/4 plywood and collage.

So those are my kids in progress, I guess all of us are in progress, really.  I for one intend to keep on growing...just never growing up...