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Winter Studio Visit: Angela Eastman

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We stopped by the drawing and painting studio recently where core fellow Angela Eastman has set up winter operations. She showed us this span of foliage she was assembling–a shaped wire armature with painted tar paper cuts affixed (see above). The piece is Angela’s first private commission, made for a Brevard family’s home. 

 
Angela walked us through the process of creating the piece, opening her sketchbook to drawings she made at the site. “The spear pattern on the wire is a continuation of patterns I found outside of the house,” she said. 

 

As we looked back up at the piece, we saw the sketches translated into three dimensions–a challenging fluidity captured. We talked about how the installation would go. Angela smiled and recounted carrying one of her wing-like wire pieces up a hill on her back, and how it jived with an ongoing thought she has: try some paper-form costumes for dancers and pieces for the stage. 
 

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After looking at the commissioned piece, Angela handed us one of the metal cups stuffed with black tar-paper cuts left over from the process–she will use them for something–and continue her exploration of pattern, line, and form. She expressed a desire to use all materials at hand as well as employ greener resources. Next in Angela’s sights? Chasing a balance between making smaller, functional work and larger pieces: floor-length paper-cuts, jewelry and neckpieces, ephemeral land-based sculpture.
 

 
But our eyes were drawn back to the world of small things in Angela’s work space. This table, which speaks to one artist’s close attention to visual rhythms and disturbances in nature: 

 

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To view an image of the finished private commission by Angela Eastman (seen above), visit: angelaeastman.com
 
Photographs by Robin Dreyer, writing by Elaine Bleakney
 

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A Boat Story

Rachel Mauser, We Will Find the Sea, cut paper, modified coptic binding, pewter, walnut
Rachel Mauser, We Will Find the Sea, cut paper, modified coptic binding, pewter, walnut

Once upon a time there was an artist named Rachel. She grew up going to camp during the summers, where she learned to sail, kayak and canoe. No boat was unknown to her. Young Rachel carried the image of boats with her into adult life.

Last summer, Adult Rachel found herself in a one-week pewtersmithing class as part of her core fellowship at Penland. Pewter? she thought. The instructors were two of the most well-known pewtersmiths in the land. Rachel had no experience with pewter–or much metal experience at all, for that matter. She was uncertain. Her uncertainty reminds this writer of a line from another story: “It was dark in the woods and she had to be brave.”

Others in the class were metalsmiths. They were well on their way toward making pewter cups. Candlestick holders. Salt shakers. Rachel closed her eyes. It was then that she saw it: a pewter rowboat floating in a book. She worked all week on the boat, its two tiny oars.

Later, back in the familiar kingdom of paper, Rachel made a book for the boat. The boat in the book: what Rachel made reminds this writer of magical books, childhood, the great big endless sea.

The moral of this story is a quotation from the artist herself: “Our ideas are not limited by the materials we know.”

 THE END