It is April already and I am still digesting the meaning of our Guatemala trip. I am back in my shop working away just like I did before Grad school. The time feels like a weird limbo reality. It is as if the last fouryears were a dream. I feel restless and unclear about what I want from my future. Jenn and I continue to plan Turning Around America Projects; this is my constant, the hub of my newly recreated life. I just found out that I got the Wingate grant to be an artist in residence at SUNY Purchase for the spring of 2013. I am very excited about the fifteen weeks I will have to step away from my daily life and produce a body of work. My ITE residency in Philly was one of the personal high points of the last four years, I just got some work back from them and I have been looking at it. It represents the many changes that have been going on for me. I went to grad school to elevate my craft to art, only to realize that people are loosing the knowledge of making things. This led me to Turning Around America, Mobile Workshop and a year of travel, teaching, and people. That project ended At ITE where I got to get up every morning and make anything I wanted. Looking at the work I see it was a way for me to visually grapple with the changes and experiences I was having. I came back and prepared for Guatemala, which was just a giant mind blender. It brought me back to the reality plain. I left three days after arriving home to teach for a month at The Center For Furniture Craftsmanship a classroom that was the polar opposite of my outdoor classroom in Guatemala. TAA showed me the human need for making and creating. Guatemala showed me the human need to make things for the purpose of improving daily life. Now I am trying to put it all together in my head. There is a constant flow of words running through my mind- sustainability-creativity-necessity-philanthropy- value- humanity-personal work… It will be interesting to see how they play out in the work I will create at SUNY Purchase. I have also celebrated my 56th birthday recently, young in office worker years, but old in woodworker years. I feel the difference in my physicality in the shop. It is more difficult to stack lumber and lift logs. I think about all the objects I have ever wanted to make and wonder if I will have time to create them all. I have seen the importance of teaching to the next generation and wonder how to make that happen in the most meaningful and efficient way. For the last week I have been working in my shop in the same way I did before grad school. Lumber is delivered I make it into product it is picked up and a check is left in its place. It is not the same as showing up at a second grade and teaching them something so meaningful that even a year later their mothers write about the impact my one-day had on them. This brings to mind the word Currency, and all its meanings. I guess the real question for me is- what do I want to be the currency of my life?
Some work I did last week before the jobs arrived: