Art School: Semester 6, Week 13

Well now. Week thirteen is over. And yet the semester continues. How the heck is that happening? I wish I knew.

But it is rumbling to a close. Next week is it. Really. All the details below.

This post is a bit light on photos and things, as you will see. But there are still a few photos to look at. Most importantly, though, the new typo count table is up and running:

If you click on that link, it will take you to the typo count table, which includes the statistics from everything reported against last week’s post. If you found a typo and didn’t report it, you aren’t included there. To fix that, report those typos (as well as editing goofs, logic errors, poorly phrased sentences, and just about anything else) along with your nickname, and I will give you credit. That table will update every week, and I will include a link to it somewhere in each post, though I admit I am still working out exactly where it will go. (Intro? Conclusion? A whole new section? I honestly have no idea yet. Feel free to send me your opinions!)

Anyway, with that settled, here’s the week’s news. (And the rest of this week’s chance to achieve typo hunting fame!)

Advanced Ceramics

Much to my surprise, my final project piece was bisque fired during this past week. I did put it on the ware cart to indicate it was ready to go, but I had no clue that a firing had happened until I walked in one morning and noted it was MIA, and also that a kiln was cooling down. Yay!

When it came out, it was no longer that particularly ugly yellow. Instead it’s an ugly orange. Here are some photos showing the work overall, the view inside, and the surprise crack near a handle that I am pretty sure was not there before it went into the kiln.

As always, click for a larger version.

The sawdust firing — which might hide some of that orange ugliness — happens soon. Keep your fingers crossed that it does the job.

What remains in this class:

  • Monday: sawdust firing my final piece; watch some research presentations from other students; studio cleaning
  • Friday: Final project crit

And I didn’t forget. Last week I promised links to my presentation if anyone wanted to see them. People did ask, so here they are:

The slides have a lot less detail and a few more images (and humour, I hope) than the presentation, so both might be interesting at some level.

Public Art

This class is done. Actually done. In the last class meeting we each presented our proposals for the wall project at the SkyTrain station. I took photos of all the maquettes that people presented:

From left to right we have proposals from Heather, Thomas, Atheana, Jessica, Ursula, Pauline, and me. Click to enlarge (thankfully) and apologies to Pauline for the really awful photo. The sun was doing very different things to our maquettes, and the spacing was less than ideal. Still, you get the idea.

Here are a couple of closeups of my own maquette, to give you a better idea of what it looks like:

The black, square frame is 8" x 8", if that helps understand the scale.

We also voted on our favourite piece (we were not allowed to vote for ourselves) but we have no clue what the results of that vote are. The instructor and shop supervisor get to evaluate them for buildability (no, that is not a typo!), and both Langara and the Canada Line representatives get to evaluate the most popular proposal(s) for suitability. So our votes help bubble things to the top, but there are ways in which even the most popular can be vetoed. As a result, the piece to be created will be announced at the start of the next term, when we get going on constructing it.

I have a definite favourite — hint: it’s not mine — and I hope it wins. Time will tell. But I won’t say more about that (here or anywhere else) because I have friends in the class and don’t want to offend any of them.

Anyway, this class really is over and done with. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the grade to appear.

But I did promise to share my proposal presentation in last week’s post, so here it is:

There’s a goof I know of in there that I will give typo credit for if you find it. In fact, I will give typo credits for any and all typos found in any and all of the PDFs linked in this post, but I am not giving credit for things like punctuation in bullet lists. Arbitrary rules will be arbitrary.

Cultural Theory

This is almost the vampire class. It won’t die. I need to make a wooden stake in the shop. Sigh.

This past week we talked about some stuff written by Donna Haraway. It was complicated and weird but, amusingly, it isn’t even a choice on the final exam.

“Wait, what?” I hear you ask.

I think I have described this before: in this class the instructor has us write an essay in an hour for the final exam; we get to see the topics in advance and prepare, but we cannot bring anything into the room with us except writing utensils and (optionally) a 25-word quote from the author whose work we are writing about. This past week the instructor did hand out the questions for the final, and I will once again be writing about Michel Foucault. His writings were the most understandable of anything we read, in my opinion, anyway. So for me they are the best things to respond to.

The final happens on Tuesday. Only then will this class be done. I have already started prepping for this exam, and I should be done with that work before the weekend is over.

Other Stuff

In Very Good News, the transit strike was averted at the last possible moment. At about 12:30 am on the day the buses were supposed to stop running for three days, a tentative bargain was struck. That was great, and had I figured that out I could have taken public transit to school that morning. However…

  • The email announcing the fact of the agreement was so badly worded that when I read it at 12:45 am, all I saw was that there would be delays. Well of course there would be delays… there were no buses! Duh!
  • Why was I reading email at 12:45 am, you ask? Because we had a big (and unexpected, at least by me) windstorm that night, and the power was bouncing around a lot. It must have gone up and down a dozen times before finally going out. And every time it did that, something in the house would do something the dogs hate: the UPSs would click and/or hum; a weird light Anne has would flash; the cordless phones would beep, and so on. Not to mention the big booming and flashing noises that were coming from electrical equipment around town as it died. The dogs did not appreciate any of that, and they woke me up to tell me so. I went to sleep downstairs in a futile attempt to keep them from waking Anne, and so my good chair could help with some minor back pain. I was thus near my phone when it alerted me to a new email, which attempted to tell me the buses would run in the morning. I didn’t grok it.
  • The power was still down at 5:45 am when I finally gave up on sleeping and got moving. And since I figured the buses were not running, I didn’t check the news. Instead I got on the road as quickly as possible to avoid the pending traffic apocalypse that I was certain was coming.
  • And — of course — since the power was out there was no radio in the house to tell me about the settlement.
  • I didn’t even manage to turn on the radio in the car, so the ghostly empty streets only convinced me that Vancouverites were going to be really unhappy whenever they finally attempted to commute to work, school or wherever else they needed to go.

Finally, in the cafeteria (once it opened up), as I got breakfast, the cashier told me the strike had been averted. Nice.

But that was OK. I had a bunch of stuff to haul home anyway. I would have had to drive once before I was done with the term just to bring home some of the larger stuff that would be awkward on the bus.

And as it happened the power was out until about 12:30 pm. Nearly a 12-hour outage. There was a lot of damage here in town.

Other than that, it’s been a quiet week.

And In Conclusion…

I have two photos unrelated to anything else this time around:

Those are snowberries (also not a typo). Apparently they are toxic to humans, but the poison is hard for us to absorb. I was walking to the SeaBus one morning and saw them. Totally new to me.

And what would snowberries be without the first snow of the season? Here’s Tinkerbelle contemplating that in the back yard:

It’s not much, as you can see, but Nov 26, 2019 brought the first snow of this winter to North Vancouver. It’s been cold at night — below freezing — much of the week as well, so despite still being Fall, it really seems as if Winter has arrived.

If you’re in the US, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and if you’re elsewhere, I hope you had a wonderful week.

Now, get cracking on those typo reports, please!

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

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