Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Physical

It's been balmy and rainy for what feels like two weeks. Yesterday was very windy.

I've got three 5-gal buckets in my studio now. Two of them have ~2 gallons of liquid and walnut chunks. The third has a one and a half gallons of the boiled liquid with some gum arabic and denatured alcohol added. I'd hoped the alcohol would help limit the mold to form, but it's fertile stuff, that walnut juice. I plan to strain the batch thoroughly and seal it up well. Possibly in small bottles. Maybe can it in mason jars.

straining the ink from katie on Vimeo.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What I Learned on My Seminar Vacation

Graduate school is a luxury. We have the luxury of time, studio space, and a community of peers. That said, it involves a lot of work. As with most work in the modern world, it requires diligence, patience, food, water, sleep, caffeine, and social delicacy.

Here are some of my life lessons from this semester. The music is from the album Appalachian Waltz (Edgar Meyers, Mark O'Connor, and YoYo-Ma).

How I Spent My Seminar Vacation from katie on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

plodding towards ink

Pouring off the walnut water from katie on Vimeo.

Anyone can look up walnut ink recipes online, gather walnuts, let them sit, soak them, boil them, and so on. Most people won't. My labor is not unique or special, but it is steady and patient. So much has to do with being steadfast and patient. Good work is not inherently glamorous or rewarding. I will repeat this to myself whenever I lust after rockstardom and recognition.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Joy of Monotony

Hulling Walnuts from katie on Vimeo.

I am impatient and manic; vulgar and overly chatty; exuberant and precocious. There's not a lot of quality stillness or silence in my life. In light of all this, it is profoundly helpful for me to have monotonous jobs where I can zone out and repeat an action or motion to distraction. Jobs where the stillness can come and settle. I exclude from this category any repetitive action on a computer. While data entry and code tweaking can be satisfying, I need more of the mind-body actions to get the good silence and stillness. The above video is one step towards making walnut ink. The hulls (and not the nut) are the parts that stain: here I am removing the hulls and discarding the nuts. Working with plants is slowly changing my concept of time.