Sunday, December 27, 2015

Richard Berger- RIP

RIP Richard Berger.

 He died earlier this year. I only found out recently. A very influential professor and Oakland artist. I will miss your bad boy approach to the art world and will miss your profound poetics in your work. His approach to the history of sculpture navigated my flickering ideas of history.

Richard, you didn't know how influential you were to me. I told myself I would visit you before you passed.  Some how I knew it was approaching.  It hurts me to not have seen you, one last time.  To engage you in your philosophical thoughts, listen to your stories.  Wished to share the new Ideas I had.  I find happiness in knowing you and being your extension of thought.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Sun Bear (three legs and a rail) ep4


I have been seeking a way, a form, a complete practice in which to exercise actions and thoughts that coincide with larger actions and thoughts that would allow behavioral growth.  Understanding the mechanics and behaviors of this growth was also of interest.  I seek a way to understand while I am actively changing the space in a way single to me, but part of a universal whole in which I am trying to understand.  Causing shifts which rearrange enough to comprehend anew, but not losing the string that pulls me to the center.  This is my present lesson. That seems the most human to me or the human I seek to be.  A searcher of unknowable truths.  A believer in forgotten mistakes.

Destruction is just a small aspect of rebuilding.  When rebuilding, my mind thinks, this is when drive must be channeled. Fire does not need direction, everywhere is its path. 

The most literal understanding of what I mean when I say all those vague concepts I chirp all the time, my only straight forward and simple representation and lesson is my work bench.  Beauty do to function and simplicity.  Growth enabled by necessity and a giants fall.

standing in the woodshop of csulb (wood major department)

I needed a bench to work on.  I had the wood.  The know how I fumbled through.  Each mistake reset with the only skill I did have, the only one we all have, to ride the wave on which we travel skirting on the right angle just enough to continue forward, finding aesthetics in falling upward a spiral step.  To move is chaos. To have continuous movement seems to be the harder drive, the more deliberate tendency.

This work bench maybe a certain kind of perpetual.  Either perpetually in my life time or the Sun Bears.

 To catch up on the previous post:
post 1 
post 2
post 3

 old tenons removed but not smoothed

My Bench is up to working condition but let me show you how I re-arrived there.  The last I spoke of the Sun Bear I was speaking of the maple plug planed and ready for the next lamination.  Since I cut off the old tenons of the third leg I was left with less material for the tail of the sliding dovetail.  The dovetail that would replace the failed fox joint that originally held the third leg in place. The walnut addition allow me to have the material to make the socket and tail of the sliding dovetail and hit my target height.  It's an ad-hoc aesthetic that I found both silly and harshly contrasting.  Which I enjoy.

Figuring the height was a bit forgiving.  If my measurements of this moving bench were off I would simply have to flatten out the top to correct the angle that would be off.  Of course even though this top has moved drastically it at one point started true.  This is still prevalent in the left side of the bench.   The area between the two twin dovetails of the first two legs were pretty square, some movement.  Those were the strongest of the joints in the work bench.  From there it went from bad to worse...but more about that in the next post.  Saving me a noodle ache when flatting the top I made sure my estimates were true. 

first two walnut pieces

I glued it in the same multi-step method as the maple.

must have gotten too excited this is the only picture of this stage. But you get the idea.

dried and flat

When all the smoothing was done the beauty of the walnut really revealed itself.  It has a gorgeous curl in the grain.  Can't remember where this walnut came from.  Possibly arts school.  My feet have a great view of it when I work.  That's if they look up.

smoothed and ready for the table saw
 top of third leg on which the dovetail will be cut

  Most often the table saw is a highly accurate tool, only if your reference for the cut starts from a square point.

The portions of the third leg that were once square were: the foot, the potion of the slab (slab dims 2 x 16 3/8 x 27 1/4h in.) that enters the foot (foot dims 23 x 3.5x 3.5h in.), the portion of the slab that enters the top of the bench.  As I did when I first built the bench I picked a squarish side, made it more square, then made everything in the general proximity of the parts that would be riding on the table saw square.  Square from there, opposite side as well.

  I did a survey of all the planes and angles of the legs and top and figured which way to fudge and how much.  A very intuitive approach.  Once I made sure the sides of the leg were parallel I finished removing the remaining buds that were the failed fox joint tenons.  The narrow side remained with the natural edge.  Setting the saw to an angle I decided...I just went on how much I needed to angle based on the density and brittleness of the wood (to much of an angle I risk failure on the pointy parts of the dovetail), then I went ahead and made the first pair of cuts down the length riding on the narrow side at the top.

first two cuts done on the tail

I honestly don't remember what I used to cut the length of the cut.  I think I chiseled some of it then cut the rest with my hand saw.  You can see it in the picture.

  At certain points in my general making, I still seem to hit mental blockade.  A now too uncomfortably familiar paralyzing unwelcomed friend.  I sometimes think it is a natural instinct to protect the self.  Or maybe it's a crossed wire on a feedback loop. 

  For me, my personal experience, my demise waits patiently behind hesitation.  The only problem in knowing this is knowing how to temper my willingness to jump.  This willingness has pushed my psyche, my flesh self, my general growth.  I realize this has also cause unwanted effect.  One example is this next step. 

I thoroughly measured this next cut.  The groove for the sliding dovetail.  I decided to use a circular saw to help me make the recess.  My first cut went perfect. down the center.  Stopping short of going through the whole of the newly replaced underside of the bench (I thought it would look neat if the third leg looked like it got shot out and embedded into the top). The second one was just as well, angle true.

The other side of the angled groove, this cut is where I saw myself going out of the marked line.  I had a chance to stop.  I just continued.  I'm not sure if I continued out of impatience or just for the challenge to fix another mistake.  Even though the whole time it felt purposeful, I regretted the cut as soon as I ended it.

This inconvenience left me with a slightly wide groove towards the stop in the cut.  A stopped reverse tapered sliding dovetail.

first cut down the middle

cut stopped short (used one of my winding sticks for the fence)

another view

Guess by this time I was too preoccupied with measuring to take more pictures.

groove cut and cleaned

I chopped the rest of the groove and cleaned it out with the chisel.

the third leg placed (also compensated for the very slight wind in the leg, that's why it looks at an angle)

The fit was good enough to require a couple of shims.

I added dowels to secure the lamination (I put few just to see if the need to expand and contracted could be curved)

maple and ficus shims

added some copper nails

To not forget this mistake I made sure I could see those shims.

third leg and rail secured

Setting these shims was the last step to make the Sun Bear able to stand.

After forcing a few more shims here and there to really lock in the legs (these were tiny compared to the other ones) I was content to start the flatting of the bench.

I remember when I last thought of retrofitting this failed fox joint.  A blue moon ago I started the work.  Because of lack of equipment, interest in other arts, and the influence of corporate work that lots of artist feel must me done to be feed, this project had been in slumber.  In need of making is the catalyst that revived it.

Next post on the Sun Bear will be about it's flatting and clamping additions.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Notes From Technotopia: On The Cruelty Of Indifference -Gómez-Peña

republished without permission

Artist credit: John Cristicello


Notes From Technotopia:
On The Cruelty Of Indifference An anti-gentrification philosophical tantrum by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, 2015

(In his most recent philosophical tantrum, performance artist and poet Gómez-Peña reflects on the dangers of the ultimate “creative city,” and what it means to become a foreigner in his own neighborhood, waiting for the much touted eviction notice.)


Dear Ex-local artist, writer, activist, bohemian, street eccentric, and/or protector of difference... 
Imagine a city, your city and your former “hip” neighborhood, being handed over by greedy politicians and re/developers to the crème de la crème of the tech industry. This includes the 7 most powerful tech companies in the world. I don’t need to list them: their names have become verbs in lingua franca; their sandbox is the city you used to call your own.

Their Faustian iDeal involves radically transforming your city within a few years into an unprecedented “creative city,” a bohemian theme park for the young techies and “hipsters” who constitute their Darwinian work force. It comes with dormitories, food courts with catchy theme bars and entertainment centers. Sounds like science fiction, que no?  

Imagine that during the reconstruction process, the rent - your rent - increases by two or three hundred percent overnight. The artists and the working class at large can no longer pay it. You are being forced to leave, at best to a nearby city, at worst back to your original hometown. The more intimate history you have with the old city, the more painful it is to accept this displacement. You have no choice.  

While you hang on by a thread waiting for the eviction notice, every day you continue to lose old friends and colleagues you might never see again. They were less lucky than you and got evicted earlier. Heartbroken and exhausted, you spend a large part of your civic time attending anti-gentrification demonstrations and collaborating with other artists and activists in anti-eviction actions and techno-artivist projects, but still it only gets worse by the day. The number of dramatic eviction cases increases constantly and both the diminished politicized citizenry and the progressive media begin to experience compassion fatigue.

As your community rapidly shrinks, so does your sense of belonging to a city that no longer seems to like you. You begin to feel like a foreigner and internal exile: freaky Alice in techno-Wonderlandia; the Alien Caterpillar who inhaled. Unless you own your home and studio, as a renter, your hours “here” are numbered and you carry this feeling of imminent orphanhood like a very tight and stylish noose around your neck. After all, you perceive yourself as a dandy. 

Imagine that all the classic and familiar places in your hood including funky, decades-old Latino restaurants and immigrant bars full of memories and ghosts, barber, specialty shops, bohemian sex clubs, experimental art galleries, indie theaters and bookstores –yes, shops where bound books are sold, -- the emotional spaces which have been your main source of inspiration, creativity and community -- are also forced to close because the pinche greedy landlord tripled the rent overnight or some millionaire bought the building or the entire block to rent out micro-units to airbnb. And all the new laws and acts protect him. Your imagination becomes a painful exercise in forced tolerance and providential acceptance. In a few months, these wonderful places that for decades provided the city with a strong cultural identity are destroyed and reopened as (get ready) homogeneous “live/work/play” spaces, “micro-condominium” buildings and tech plazas in the works. Coño! The new city begins to look like a generic global metropolis imagined by Italo Calvino. To make the lives of the transient work force somewhat pleasant, hundreds of similar smart cafes, trendoid restaurants, overpriced “eateries” and “celebrity bars” open up in each neighborhood. Even the last standing old-school dive bars are being “discovered” (a euphemism for taken over) by the transplants via their Yelp or Foursquare mobile app. But you, no matter how long you lived here or how much you have paid in rent – even if it is enough to own your hipster remodeled Victorian upper unit - You are not welcome.

You hit the streets again: What you used to call an average priced dinner is way above your price range now. Your sacred $4 night cocktail, now served by an aloof “celebrity bartender,” costs $15 and your daily jugos and licuados, now called “cold pressed gluten-free organic cleansing juices,” go for $12 in a “recyclable sustainable” bottle. But don’t worry: Remember that this is just a perverse exercise of radical imagination, or rather, a psychomagic challenge to deliver your daily dose of survival humor.
 Imagine that your own building, a legendary (ex) artist building is now just another revolving airb miniunit for zombie techies who make well over $200 grand a year, but behave not unlike obnoxious teenage frat boys. If you are the only one of 3 Mexican tenants left, when you open the front door for a new neighbor, they either perceive you as the building's janitor or report you to the manager as a “suspicious character.” And yes, in Technotopia: your new identity is that of “suspicious character.” The nightmare unfolds: Full of Maseratis, Ferraris, Porsches and Mercedes Benzes, the private parking lot is now protected with barbed wire fences and a digital display keypad encoded by microchips; and so are the “vintage bike” racks and trash containers. Video surveillance cameras are omnipresent. The new management wishes to keep the homeless, the day laborers and the “scary” young “people of color” at a distance…that is, before the cops get them. They are unpleasant memories of the old city of sin and compassion; kids from former distasteful and economically disadvantaged, at-risk neighborhoods.  

The newly empowered cops drive around the hood looking for (criminal) “difference.” The homeless and the “gang bangers” aren’t the only ones being removed from the streets to make them safe for the new cadre. With them go the poets, the performance artists, the experimental musicians, the frail transvestites, the politicized sex workers, the gallant mariachis, the cool low-riders, the urban primitives, the angry punks, the defiant radical feminists and the very activists who used to protect us all from the greedy landlords and politicians who conceived of this macabre project. It’s the latest American version of ethnic and cultural cleansing. It’s invisible to the newcomers, and highly visible to those of us who knew the old city. The press labels it “the post-gentrification era.”

“Prehistory is only 7 years old and nostalgia is pure style, a bad selfie of a fictional memory.”—Anonymous tweet.  

There are suspicious fires happening constantly, in apartment buildings and homes inhabited by mostly Latino and black working class families. And you cannot help but to wonder if landlords and redevelopers are setting these fires? “Is there a secret garden of violence in the heart of techno-bohemian paradise?”-Anonymous tweet.  

You also begin to wonder, who are these random people and newly evasive neighbors taking over your neighborhood? Metaphysically speaking, where did they really come from? And how long will they stay? Are they merely browsing in the mythological backyard of Technotopia? Will they return to the suburbs when the Chicano intifada begins? Day after day, allured by the new digital bonanza, hundreds, thousands of new people arrive, unfamiliar people, without manners or style, social or historical consciousness; mostly middle and upper class white people from the suburbs and small cities from throughout the country, along with some wealthy foreign entrepreneurs and programmers from similarly upwardly mobile techno cultures. Undistinguishable from tourists, so many of them look like they were just dropped here by a UFO straight out of a Minneapolis or a Houston suburb, complete with their yoga mat, mobile gym and tech gear bearing the logo of the company they work for; their designer dogwear and strollers, all glued to their smartphones to the point where they can’t even acknowledge your presence as you pass them on the street.

Soon, these normative looking humans will destroy their very object of bohemian desire; the multicultural fetishes which attracted them “here” in the first place. And they will one day wake up to an ocean of unbearable sameness. The good thing is, they don’t know it yet, and they probably wouldn’t notice anyway. And if a few of them know it, let’s face it, they don’t give a shit. They’re all “comfortable” and exalted. The whole city is catering to their desires. Besides, they’ve got 25 posts per day on their digital agenda and hundreds of superficial tweets to write.

What these cyber-adventurers have in common is that they are in a hurry, determined to make lots of money…mañana! Their neo-colonial dreams must be attained instantly. It’s the latest San Francisco Gold Rush, the 2nd digital bonanza, a true new Wild West. It’s definitely the last chapter in savage capitalism, and they wish to be cast in the biggest, hippest reality show ever! …But dear reader/audience member, don’t take it personally, you are always an exception to the rule. You are somewhat different. –Tweet. Upon their arrival they are willing to take any job on their way to a better one, displacing the working class, which made the city function for decades. They are even willing to be waiters, gardeners (as long as they are referred to as ‘landscape designers’), house cleaners (or rather ‘facilities personnel’) and even nannies, dog walkers to the rich and famous. The difference between then and now is they charge 3 times as much, and have no sense of labor ethics or a culture of service. After all, it’s just a temporary job on their way to Utopia 5.0. Their dream begins to come true as they ascend in the instant socio-economic pyramid of the new city. They hit the jackpot. They get their official membership card to the bohemian theme park on an app and they begin to share in a post human culture. “In this imaginary city, we no longer have citizens: we have self-involved ‘consumers’ with the latest gadgets in hand.” --Tweet. It’s a virtual mob, not an informed citizenry, and they are slowly taking over every square inch of space and oxygen. Their navigation and communication devices are installed in their iPhone or iPad. And so are their identities, hollow dreams, “real” experiences; their nuvo-families, and all of their fictional memories.  
You have seen these strangers: they seem to belong to micro-communities of 2 to 5 people. When they are not at work, they go to smart cafes…to work more. They rarely make eye contact with anyone. They walk staring at their mobile communication devices in search for an anxious, “spontaneous” human connection by following a GPS map to their next appointment. They also stare at the screen while having dinner with colleagues because they’re “checking in”, messaging someone on Facebook, or taking a selfie with a famous person they will never see again. They even do this while listening to live music at a club. When driving, they have no etiquette. They get easily irritated by the unbearable traffic they themselves created and behave like the bad drivers they imagine reside in the Third World.

They rarely attend artistic activities. They’d rather go to exciting themed events and parties sponsored by companies. And they go to network, not to make friends, flirt, or find a lover. With the exception of sporadic online speed dating on Tindr or Ok Cupid, their sexual life is “frugal” for the lack of a meaner word On their wildest nights, nothing ever happens out of the ordinary. Their most exciting days are Pride, Dia de los Muertos and Burning Man, where they get to be extreme tourists. ”But dear reader/audience member, don’t take it personally, you are always an exception to the rule.” – Tweet For the poetic record: They are mostly “white,” (meaning gender or race illiterate). 70% are male and have absolutely no sense of the history of the streets they are beginning to walk on. In the way they behave, they make you wonder if they know, geographically and culturally speaking, where they are located and if they are even aware of the profound impact of their presence in the lives of the older inhabitants? Last night at a bar one of them felt compelled to confess to me he was angered by a “racist poster” he saw outside: The photo of a handsome mariachi with a gun: “Gringas si; gringos no.” I felt sorry for his lack of humor.

“In the way these vatos behave you begin to wonder if they exist in the same city you are or in a parallel quantum reality you are making up?”-Tweet

In fact, they are easily annoyed by “difference” and have no problem letting you know or confessing it online. Verbigratia: “Don’t believe the hype: This neighborhood is not a safe place! There’s still way too many Mexicans, hookers, lesbians & street freaks. Don’t come to live here!” In the “creative city”, racism, sexism, homophobia and classism are passé…  

I continue citing my poetic field notes:These techno-vatos have no sense of philanthropy. Their savings are to be spent in gourmet food, gadgets, clubbing, fancy apartments and very expensive puppies, like French bull dogs, Italian Greyhounds, and Pomeranians … It’s a solipsistic frontier economy. And if you are mildly politicized you cannot help but to wonder, If each one of them prosperous locos would donate 5 % of their income to a social cause, we could improve housing, social services and schools for the poor, and the yearly art budget for the Arts Commission…but in this Darwinian age, that would be considered old-school communism, not venture capitalism…”Here”, the future will come in a few days and the money they make must be spent in the immediate process of getting there. But ‘there’ is actually nowhere”—Tweet. Besides, the mandate of the city fathers, in cahoots with the developers and new entrepreneurs is to create by any means necessary a city for the white rich. Our ex-major Willie Brown, paradoxically a black “progressive democrat” put it succinctly once: “we want to create the Monaco of the U.S., and if you can’t afford it, you can leave!” Thanks, Brother Willie! Well, it already happened…and yes we, the holders and perpetrators of cultural difference, “can’t afford it” but here’s the thing: We are doing everything possible to stay and remain a nuisance to the new urbanites and the greedy landlords and politicians who invited them.  

By now,I am clearly experiencing philosophical vertigo and political despair. The symptoms are devastating questions in my diary:

“Are we the artists and activists left, merely stubborn? Are we delusional and engaged in a losing battle? Are we waiting for the San Andreas Fault to open up or for the Mission shamans to conjure up the collapse of the new economy? But what if all the Mission shamans have already been evicted? Will the city get so unbearably expensive that the leaders of the tech industry themselves will decide to relocate to another place? If only we stick around a little longer… Is it too late to talk about this? Is someone somewhere online reading my words?... Hello?


3 pages later my questions continue: “Should I attend tomorrow’s anti-gentrification march or is it time to finally pack up and go back to Mexico City? I wonder what is worse, overt organized crime or the gentler forms of organized crime in Technotopia? What is more violent: the menacing gaze of a homeboy or the absolute indifference of a techie? Dangerous difference or dangerous sameness?”  

During the revision of the final draft, I become fully aware of my poetic subjectivity. I know that my words are somewhat careless, partially unfair and devastating but I can’t help them. I am not a journalist. I am a performance artist and a poet, and my city has been taken away from me. It really hurts to walk the new streets of my refurbished ex-bohemian city. What can I say? I am deeply affected by the cruelty of indifference of its new population and I get sad when I stare at this unbearable ocean of cultural sameness and boring techno-normativity. I miss the grit, the funk, the unexpected, my dozens of close friends who have left for good. Am I repeating myself? Do I need to add a dictionary?  

Dictionary (in progress):
Creative: A euphemism for successful
Here: Nothingness
Hipster: No one really knows. You just think you know. If you think you know, you most definitely are not one.
Local: Someone who used to live “here” when here was a place
Eviction: A euphemism for the eradication of difference
Google bus: A travelling gas-guzzling half-full office with chairs and no cubicles
Networking: A safe alternative to making actual conversation
Radical: An adjective for a franchise
Technotopia: San Francisco sans difference//A-critical techno-utopia
Underground: Another franchise
Vintage: 2nd hand object or a previously worn item of clothing sold for over $100
White: A bizarre state of mind that makes you attribute race to others with darker skin

(I wish to thank Balitronica, Emma Tramposch and Anastasia Herold for helping me to prepare the first version of this manuscript)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Thoughts on Central Ave. Jazz Festival

I have been tinkering with this idea of source.

When you are striped from your past removed from the source, mechanisms to make the real reasonable are distorted, reality keeps for the Other.  In the past few days I have been thinking about lineage.  at this moment I feel lineage is what helps memory retain the reason and the drive to move in the desired direction.

This weekend I attended the Central Avenue Jazz Festival.  There I witness lineage and connection.  Majority of the attendees were very aware of their lineage.  Locals that have lived through LA’s  segregation/ or separation that still leave noticeable divides in the land. 

I try to comprehend what it feels like to be fenced into a certain sector of the geographical scape?  What kind of thoughts would you have if it was still hard to live in any other place?  What if they told you, you were wrong.  Wrong for thinking there was still such a thing as segregation.  What feelings would you be able to construct when White Reason (I find it twisted to use this faulty binary race code)  still does not explain your present condition.  In the while the Other imposes on your community.  If you can understand what it is to see the affiliated family you adhere to still being seen as alien natives, African Americans, what sentiment would you gain.  Here as long as any other non-native, yet acceptance only for the "positive" end of this two sided spectrum. 

While walking around the festival, when I wasn't stuffing my face, I saw a community holding on to a genius culture but subjugated to self hate, which has attacked other communities as well.  Still I saw so much joy and love.  The music was enjoyable to every last note.  The caliber of musicianship brought to the doorsteps of community was too much for me to contain.  At this time in my age I find perfect joy in seeing others bask in spectrum's I only peek at.  A stare of the two.  Exchanges that only two felt shaping them as old memories and last favorites.  This community is rich with decades and elders, talent and unapologetic genius.  Roots are deep.  Lineage is strong. 

Me, my name is as generic as josie j.  End trails of clustered culture attached behind me.  Too strange to forget the past, subtly remembering mine, actively constructing its future.  The un-anchoring both forced and sought.  I hope to find some lineage.  I might see how lineage finds its flower at the end of a long system of tendon-roots infinitely connected.

How connected?  Live in LA long enough and the roots will grab you by the leg.  Major Garcetti, old jr. high schoolmate Anthony Wilson (son of Gerald Wilson), played a surprisingly clean small piano solo, a bit shaky at first but pleasant. As I can attest to live a life time in LA and you would see yourself another character in this interconnected landscape. On this same day of July 25 2015, LA dedicated 42nd and Central Ave as Gerald Wilson Square.  Gerard Wilson of Shelby, Mississippi arrived here in 1940 because it was a place that welcomed and allowed him certain access.  The Dunbar hotel located on Central Ave. was the nicest hotel that welcomed black musicians.  Gerald Wilson remained in LA living a few steps from his community, historically rich Leimert park.  A jazz giant.  An artist uniting his community.  He lived with his wife Josefina Wilson, modestly.  Artists construct our reality we owe them for our sanity.  They all should live a bit above their choosing of comfort.  An Artist and a teacher Gerald Wilson was everything an artist aspires to be.  Influential, respected and remembered, a good man. 

I walked along the festival streets and write this as an outsider, welcomed in a beautiful culture that I see myself a part of.  Born on foreign land removed from source. A different character connected to a lineage of colonization.  A crusade victorious in embedding its symbols and drives.  In this binary you can only fall on one side if you are heavy with color and conviction.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Sun Bear (Roubo Inspired Workbench) ep3

The Sun Bear

(continuation of the retrofit)


It has been quite a while since I have posted about The Sun Bear, a Roubo inspired workbench.   My obsession with it has kept me in the studio more than may be healthy in the last few months. Joking of course. The studio practice is a beautiful yet sometimes isolating, an unsaid reality...sometimes.   A project that started...I actually don't remember the birth of the Sun Bear...this is evidence of my neglect, of a beautiful time in my life, and the realization that I will present with this process of rebuilding.  A realization that becomes more solidified as I work on this beast.

*if you are familiar with the past post on this project please continue on.  if you wish to read these first click on these


 post 2

Looking back on my notes it is hard to pin point the birth to 2007,...possibly 2006 in thought.   I know I had it early in 2008.  A year full of fear, love, and memories that are now intimately connected to my art. Looking back on my notes I found that at times I failed to date my thoughts.  Also failed at writing more than I had wished. ..but that feeling forever never satisfied.    

Flipping through my thoughts I found a picture which explained the obvious haze.  Until now I see, that picture was dated 2002 a thought only to fruit in 2006. A picture of the moment I first saw a dream manifest in an institutional hallway of school.  Of course my attention at this time was divided among my divine idealistic muse (my Art Belief)  and this earthly dark angel in the picture.  While tracing back and reflecting on my work and my notes its hard not to re-examaine myself.  Only now a welcoming feeling.

My Bench reflects time spent adjusting and rebuilding self and ideals, simultaneously.  A map of growth.  A continually living being.  If you recall I last left the Sun Bear bottom flatten ready for the maple glue up. 

ok ok I know the pics I will show look posed but I actually work pretty organized now

I hope to catch the good light that sometimes happens in my shop

Tales from the Notebook

I had a few ideas of how to rebuild this fox joint that went awry.  I thought many over but finally settled on this method that includes a lot of intuition and impatience thrown in.  Experiencing still some immaturity.

Just like my Undergrad professor Fred Rose, I see myself as a wood explore.  I must remember each piece of wood came from a whole.  A living Whole.

trying to get out of  the habit of putting the plane on its side

 I chose to use reclaimed maple from a work table top which I acquired from the science department of CSULB, continuing the legacy of this Long Beach resident that once was this bench.  While I attended Cal State, the university decided to remodel and throw out lots of amazing specimens of the yester years of science.  Microbiology being their new emphasis.

 After ripping sticks 11 1/4  x 1 1/2  x 1 1/2, with my new table saw...*clears throat*...fuckin aye finally... I left some with the original table top varnish,   I dry fitted the pieces.  

Before I glued in the maple I glued in the walnut I decided to use to fill in the grooves I talked about in the previous post.  A quick second to spend sometime talking about which way to glue the maple...with the grain of the iron bark or against.  Since these woods most likely have different moisture content and rate of expansion.  I was torn on what to do.  I am not very versed in wood characteristics,  (doubt much exists on iron bark) I kinda just went with my best judgement.  Since the laminated piece will be spanning past the bench top both the top and lamented piece will expand and contract width wise individually with no real risk of tearing each other apart.  Wood expands longitudinally insignificant amounts so their should be little to no least fixable risk. 

Presently I have a limited amount of clamps.  Which added to this adhoc method to measure the structure of instability.  With the understand of what is the final failing point one can reel back and find the maximum efficiency.  Sounds a bit militant industrial now speaking it, but it is a method that I have come to used when dealing with unknown answers to hard art problems.  You can never have too many claps.  

My approach hinged on the limit of my clamps.  I think I glued 2-3 sticks at a time.  

I had a lil fun with minimal clamping.  Hopefully within tolerance.  

 You can see the old tenons of the fox joint of the third leg in the back left.

Once dried I leveled out the maple replacement.  Too be clear this is the bottom of the bench where the third leg belongs.   Some of the pieces are just free floating. I need to still reenforce these with dowels.  Nicely accenting it.  If you look closely at the picture above you can see by this time I cut off the old tenons of the fox joint on the leg.  I work on many things at once mostly if the projects require breaks.  The maple is now ready for the next layer of wood I decided to add... more on that later

 I will continue on the next post with the final glue up and problems dealing with an un-square object plus the start of the sliding dovetail I decided to go with for the retrofit of the fox joint.  until next time

deciphering the roots-