Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fallen trees and surrounding mud

Wickerson Studios is a 'state' created from the clay of the earth and the timber of the fallen trees. Two structures have emerged from their foundations: a bathhouse and a foundry.

The bathhouse digs deep into the earth and boils rainwater into the air. It is a place for the mind and soul and constantly resists the term, dwelling. Gardens grow both inside and out and animals nest in its branches and twigs. No work will be done in this place. It is a place for well-deserved rest, relaxation and healing.

The foundry is the laboratory. Raised and rammed from the dead trees and surrounding mud. This building houses the equipment required to cast liquid iron and bronze and the machines capable of manipulating and transforming cold steel. Traditional lost wax castings find their forms within this earthwork and the artist's endurance and strength are tested within its walls.

Sunlight is the only light that is ever provided. The winds and rains penetrate the privacy of these two special places. Everything is seasonal. The summer sun exhausts and the winter chill bites. It is easy to feel alive in this place.

-Michael Wickerson, Winter 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Treadmill: Naked Architecture

Stadskraan, Utrecht
This is a study to explore the possibilities of a reconstruction of an old machine that gave the city of Utrecht a unique medieval atmosphere. The way Utrecht’s wharfs have been used is most visible at this point. It’s the wharf in front of de ‘Winkel van Sinkel’ where the crane discharged boats towards the low wharf, where a ‘wed’, a long ramp, was used to distribute the goods (mostly beerbarrels) into town, or towards the higher street level, where the ‘waag’ was located, to weigh the merchandise.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quotes and Notes

I recommend constant activity in the study of nature; and with this sort of activity more than any other I bring calm to my life. - Laertius Diogenes Epicurius letter to Herodotus

A concept is a phantasm of the intellect, and is neither a something nor a qualified thing, but [rather] a quasi-something and a quasi-qualified thing; for example, there arises an impression of a horse even when no horse is present. - Laertius Diogenes Logic and the Theory of Knowledge

Ambiguity is a speech which signifies two or even more things, linguistically and strictly and in virtue of the same usage, so that by means of this speech several things are understood at the same time. For example "a house fell three times" and " a flute girl fell". - Laertius Diogenes Logic and the Theory of Knowledge

And regret is [a feeling of] pain [one has] about actions which have been performed, because [of the belief that] they were [moral] mistakes made by oneself; and this is a passion of the soul which produces unhappiness and internal strife. - John Stobaeus Anthology 2, 5-12 (pp. 57-116 W-H)

Hesiod said this of stalling; "do not stall until tomorrow and the next day;" and " a man who puts off his work always wrestles with disaster" since stalling produces an abandonment of one's proper jobs. - John Stobaeus Anthology 2, 5-12 (pp. 57-116 W-H)

Recommended Texts:
The Sculpture Reference - Authur Williams
The Self-Sufficient Life and how to live it - John Seymour
The Illustrated Signs & Symbols Sourcebook, an A to Z compendium of over 1000 Designs - Adele Nozedar
Natural History, the ultimate visual guide to everything on earth - Smithsonian Institute

Monday, February 7, 2011

Iron and Bronze Casting Collaboration

How does your project address an important problem or strength?

We wish to continue supporting the education of iron and bronze casting processes introduced to high school students over the past two years in collaboration with the sculpture department at KCAI and continued at Wickerson Studios during the fall of 2010.

To what extent does your project employ research-based effective practices?

High school student research involves both hands on demonstration through workshop exercises and conceptual development involving writing and presentations.

How does your project promote innovative and challenging teaching and learning?

Traditional methods of casting are not commonly introduced and accomplished during general curriculum at the high school level. Digital media can be used as a foundation for modeling and working traditional materials and processes in the production of cast bronze and iron.

Does your project advance discovery and understanding within its field or across different fields?

Metal casting can assist a student in a wide range of subject matter and interests. Historically it remains a basis of every civilization. Artifacts and implements speak of a cultures political and social significance. Religious and secular relics demand interpretations and economies are held together by the commodities and lifestyles which are dependent on metal casting production which defines everything from a civilizations military weapons to a civilizations household domestic utensils.

Student's interest in physics, chemistry and engineering will be able to take a keen interest in this ancient project and many student will discover their own personal voice through exploring their ability to craft forms and manage a complex studio/laboratory environment.

Does your project develop concepts, approaches, tools, methodologies or technologies to solve problems in a new way?

Computer programs are becoming more and more the foundation for how academics and businesses approach everything from architecture to designing cups and saucers. This virtual reality of computer-based technologies must still find it way into our world through actual object and form production. It is the bridge from the conception of an idea to the manifestation of the object-in-the-world that posses the greatest problem for anyone desiring to create on all levels of society. Sculpture still has a traditional relevance and importance in regard to this challenge for culture and society. New technologies are always welcome but they need not eliminate the traditional and old. Efficiency in a new medium does not negate the beauty of the past. The synthesis of the memories of the past and desires for the future need to reveal themselves in the present through a thorough understanding of all possibilities.