It's been a while since we have checked in and reported on our residency program. We are not hibernating, that is for sure! With the close of our Fall sessions, we started the Winter session on January 5th and we are working hard with our current residents. How hard?
As one of our current residents, the very talented Asheer Akram asked the other night during one of our Open Work Times, "Do normal people know this?"... Of course, it was a comment that generated chuckles especially since we have been moving at warp speed with our terrific group. Our residents are hard working and the dedication not only to learning but pushing the boundaries of workflows is always inspiring. Asheer is a tour de force out of Kansas City, MO. If you have not heard about it or seen it, check out his Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative project. His convergence of culture, social spaces and use of pattern and form in addition to understanding materials and processes, had us excited from day one to start working with him. Color, line, and charismatic energy illuminate not only in his work but at the end of his long day running his own business, he keeps us on our toes and is a well of ideas. So when Asheer blurted out to Erik during an on the fly demo during Open Work time, "Do normal people know this?", we just sort of shrugged our shoulders, to us, what we are sharing with our residents are cool tools or workflows that can create amazing work. Each resident we have worked with, we have full faith will take it to the next level.
This Winter session we are also so happy to have Amiko Matsuo. We knew the minute we saw Amiko's application that she would bring a terrific perspective and push our program in an arena we have hoped to engage in from the start, the intersection of craft, art and technology. Amiko is a master at ceramics and it has been a joy to learn from her knowledge on so many levels. It is particularly exciting as 3D printing technology itself teeters on ceramic printing and the idea of using technology to create tools for making opens many possibilities within ceramic practices. Her knowledge of the rich history of Japanese ceramics, kiln types, contemporary applications of tradition and technology and study of relating ecological processes has thus far brought fascinating insights and project ideas. It is one thing to think about what technology revises or erases from process or culture but the way Amiko thinks about how to reinforce and innovate based off of ancient technical drawings etc....well, as you can imagine, we just keep going deeper and deeper.
Looking ahead at one of the final weeks of the first Winter Session, there is still alot to do but that aside, things keep growing and our new addition of a 10 needle digital embroidery machine will be a major focus this week as we start stitching out some of the ideas produced so far...more to come on the machine.