Material Tests


Where do you go to do materials tests when you don’t have any flat walls in the shipping container studio?  In the bedroom of course.  I’ve been working on a piece for my upcoming show in Berlin in which I started with the format of our local desert paper and replaced all of the copy with Lorem Ipsum.  Since there is a formal theme in the show that I keep explaining as a broken down grid system (what happens when idealized systems become imperfect and slightly more human),  it seemed like the grid-like format of the newspaper could look really good plastered up on some of the gallery walls.  Which is how it ended up in my bedroom…

The newspaper actually looks pretty of great.  Laura and Anna said it made my room feel like a hovel, which we then agreed was a good look.  Here are some closeups of the paper.  And because of how thin it is, and the way it is applied, the paper has a really nice pattern of vertical creases.  Eventually it will probably get painted over to do more tests (I’ve been wanting to do a wallpaper print series for Gemini GEL for AGES now)  and with a few coats of paint over it the texture under paint may look even better.


Also of course once the paper was hung, all of the other colors in the room had to be repainted.  On a purely decorative level, gold and terra cotta is the all-new-favorite color combo.



After Thanksgiving we decided to visit Garth.  Garth lives way up off of Gamma Gulch in Pipes Canyon.  Living year round in a small concrete teepee with no electricity and no phone – on a huge spread of amazing high desert land that has been meticulously landscaped, Garth has become a pretty famous character around these parts.


To meet or visit Garth you just drive the x-odd miles of dirt road out to his domain – since he doesn’t have a phone there isn’t any way to stick to usual formalities such as calling first or making an appointment. After a visit it is customary to leave something in the donation jar – which helps to subsidize his amazing undertaking.


It was a really cold afternoon when we got there and everything was going into shade.  We checked out the swimming pool and sauna that were built into the rocks.  The pool was covered with a thick layer of ice.  The sauna has a bed of brilliantly colored stones that you can lay in after they get hot.


We experimented with the pool of “meteor dust” and then we shared some of the solar oven stuffing with Garth in the outdoor kitchen.  Did I already mention that it was cold?   By mid afternoon the only warm spot was the teepee which is heated with a wood burning stove.  Emmett sang a ode to Garth and then Garth reciprocated by showing us his super far out and fabulous desert bling – which is mostly all custom designed by him.


Thanksgiving Solar Cooker


The fact that there are fewer posts lately isn’t because there is nothing going on – it is actually because every day has been so incredibly action packed that it is sometimes hard to even know where to begin.  But if we start anywhere, it should be with trying to get these pics from Thanksgiving posted before Christmas.


Thanksgiving this year was actually pretty awsome.  A bunch of favorite friends came to visit from all over, and helped put together a day-long, every evolving feast.  Michael and Alyse brought two solar ovens that they had been prototyping and filled it with black jars full of thanksgiving stuffing.


The stuffing turned out super….  and was only a day late.  Because it wasn’t in the sun and cooking by 11:00 AM it didn’t finish completely by the time that the house went into the shade.  (we are on the north side of the mountain, so by 4:00 PM the sun starts to set and the temps really drop).  So we had to wait until the day after Thanksgiving for their grand finale.


As the photos attest, it the stuffing was a success – perhaps even better with the buildup of the wait.  Michael and Alyse are going to be teaching a workshop on solar cooking in LA tomorrow.  And in the spring they will be part of a series of “New Everyday Life” workshops teaching all sorts of handy survival skills.


Panels in Palm Springs


Check out the latest pop up shop for the Group Formerly Known as smocksup!  This one was actually part of Mt Fuji pop up at at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.  Catharine, Danielle, Peggy  and I worked the sale. Peggy met a guy who she used to go to school with who now owns a spa on the east coast.  He bought her crazy sequined body-bag panel (check out the photo of her performing in it in the entry for the Swapmeet)


Also, for those of you not familiar with the Palm Spring Ace, one of the hot features of the hotel is a crazy hipster pool scene there on the weekends (“swim club”) which means that we had shoppers in the store wearing teeny bikinis and one even wearing only a towel (an escapee from the spa next door) in the middle of December.