Sorry for the three week hiatus, but I got super crazy busy with finishing up my MFA thesis. I hope you understand.

 

After all the workshops, and lunch, everybody filed back into the auditorium for the last two lectures, starting with Michael Dale Bernard. I was familiar with Michael's work, having been fortunate enough to meet him at the Houston conference, but never really asked how he arrived at his imagery. It was interesting to hear him talk about growing up in the Mid-West, and now living in LA, and how both of those experiences influence his work.

 

 

 

 

 

Dozer

Laser cut and powder coat, pyrite

 

 

I really enjoyed watching the progression his work has taken over the years, starting with simple silhouettes and laser cuts, to more and more elaborate works. The earliest works utilized both the positive and the negative, while the newer works seem to have gained more dimension. I've always enjoyed Michael's work, even though it's vastly different than my own. I love these two pieces with the pyrite, made specifically for a show dealing with rocks. We also got a look at some pins made for production( Urban LTD series), which were frankly hysterical. LA seems like such a foreign concept to me, and I was fascinated at how he develops his imagery from the environment around him.

 

Dump Truck

Laser cut and powder coat, pyrite


Michale also had some really great process shots in his presentation on how he lays out and solders the frame works for his "Wood Be Diamonds" series. He makes drawings on tracing paper, super glues the pieces of metal to the tracing paper, and then solders them together. The paper just burns up, leaving a soldered framework. He went through this process rather fast, and nearly everyone in the auditorium asked him to back up and say that again, slowly. I don't know about everyone else, but I certainly gained ever more respect for him as a maker. Work smarter, not harder.

From the Wood Be Diamonds Series

Hand-carved and painted wooden diamonds.
Powder coated trellis frames.

 

Micheal ended his presentation with his current body of work, the aforementioned "Wood Be Diamonds". He carves faceted "diamond" out of recycled wood, which he then paints with nail polish. I love this. I love that in this day and age in out field you can use a material like nail polish and still be taken seriously. Micheal has an emotional and sensory connection to nail polish, pertaining to mainly the color and the smell. I use clear nail polish to seal the knots on some of my pieces, and I kinda hate that they later stink by nail polish, but hey, to each his own. Still I find this type of material exploration incredibly exciting.

 

From the Wood Be Diamonds Series

Hand-carved and painted wooden diamonds.
Powder coated trellis frames.

 

 

For more on Micheal Dale Bernard and his work, check here.

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