Junk Mail Migration
2012 – current
junkmail, cardboard, gesso, ink, charcoal
Being part of a larger ongoing series about backyard ecologies, the Junk Mail Migration examines the direct impact of junk mail on the immediate environment – our backyards. Many of our favorite songbirds breed, live, and migrate to/from the Boreal Forest, only passing through Iowa seasonally. When their breeding habitat is destroyed, the population dwindles and the chance of viewing the likes of a Yellow bellied Flycatcher in our backyard diminishes.For this portion of the project, birds were selected that migrate through Iowa seasonally, are not year round residence of Iowa, and have over 70% of their breeding ground in the North American boreal forest ring. All are represented in life size scale, drawn with graphite, charcoal, gesso, and ink on junk mail laminated to cardboard and supported with reclaimed or sustainably forested wood.
Created using a few rules that unhook the worst creative block:
- 4×6 inch square of scrap mat board.
- Tape to my drafting table.
- Primary colors + white only
- Scraps off my studio floor bound with wood glue.
Ongoing series, first started in 2007.
birch panel, gesso, ink, charcoal, beeswax
A single specimen slide from the Morton Arboretum became the prompt for over 30 drawings. A single stem of a plant long since lost to our prairie landscape. What I found through this process is that every single plant in our ecosystem is unendingly captivating. The loss of a single one, an event worth mourning.
junkmail, bird call speaker boxes
Aura Clonic Tonic
beeswax, thread, leds, seizure data
A sculptural installation comprising of three beeswax cell groupings that ranged in size from 5×6′, 8×12′ and 4’x20′. The introduction to the show was an MRI my brain post seizure projected over a 8′ graphite drawing of my skull.
The cell lighting pattern was programmed by my partner, Jason Shaw, using the data from an EEG taken from a typical seizure patient suffering from the same kind of disorder I have. As the program progresses through the data, the intensity and color pattern changes from a mild green and blue to a more intense red and yellows at the height of the seizure. The room then cuts to darkness and the pattern starts again.
The cells were handmade from beeswax, linen, and wire using a woven wrapping method developed for the purpose.
Special thanks to all my friends who spent hours with me in the studio wrapping cells and waxing them.
One of the most rewarding parts of this piece was its ability to captivate attendees. They sat with the work. They shared stories of the feeling of hopelessness they felt when they or someone they loved was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. And the hope they now shared through the sharing of my experience living with lifelong a seizure disorder.
Iowa Prairie Restoration
2015, beeswax, ink, pigment, paper
White House National Archive, Washington DC
Created for the National Tree Lighting Ceremony’s Iowa Tree held at Eclipse National Park. Commemorating the Herbert Hoover National Park, the birth place of Herbert Hoover. One of the key elements of the historic home as well as Herbert Hoover’s presidency is prairie conservation. The site has been beautifully restored with local flora and fauna. The 10 ornaments reference 13 of the native plants and are made from native bees wax, ink, and wax paper. They were suspended in clear bulbs and illuminated from behind creating a light box effect.
Since 2006 I have self published over 100 zines, the longest running series is Craft Leftovers (which has about 50ish issues, the most recent of which was published in 2019). Zines are on a variety of topics, which is what I love about them. They are spontaneous (or labors of love) about everything from diy instruments to my favorite potato soup recipe to documenting how all my backyard chickens have died over the years. Currently I’m working on the newest zine in the Craft Leftovers series. You can find all my zines I currently have copies of in my Craft Leftovers Shop shop.