What is Quartz Inversion?
No, it’s not a quart of milk standing on its head. It’s the point at which silica crystals in clay change their molecular structure during the rise and fall of temperatures in the kiln. Heat serves as a catalyst for permanent change. Very cool idea. I think of it as a metaphor for most things in life. The transformational power of art can change us at the very core. Our actions change the earth every day, for better or worse. The choices we make, the thoughts we have, and the words we say change us in every way at every moment--from the inside out. I like to think that I go through a quartz inversion on a regular basis....and once quartz inversion occurs, there is no going back.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Remain Alert....

As artists it's important to remember that what the eye sees, the mind remembers and becomes grist for the mill in the studio. That's why it's so crucial to remain alert to one's surroundings even when one is not in the midst of a creative moment. This was never more apparent to me than during the one year I spent in graduate school at Bennington College in Vermont. Living in such a bucolic setting might seem like a dream come true to a visual artist. And if graduate school gives us anything it gives us abundant, uninterrupted time to create. For me, a die-hard city dweller, I found the "eye candy" of country living looked more like "eye broccoli" which made it virtually impossible to find any visual stimulus on which my senses could feed. Surrounded by nothing but trees and mountains and more trees and mountains, whether they were lush with green or covered with snow or on fire with the colors of fall, it all looked the same and my eyes (and soul) starved. For some, those trees were a dream come true, but they left me hungry and yearning for something more.

Today, while wandering around the west side of Manhattan, amidst industrial buildings, car lots, and sleeping homeless people, I happened upon a window lined with miniature vintage cars just waiting for me to feed upon them. If I had not been alert to my surroundings, I might have missed these gems. But since I am always "eating with my eyes" I stopped to feed on this beautiful urban image and capture it with my phone.

A crack in a wall, a brick wall stained with pigeon droppings, a discarded cup of coffee, the randomness of several strangers in a subway car all wearing the same color....All of these things are happening right before our eyes every day, but if we are not vigilant in our awareness we might miss them. Re-think your idea of beauty and you will see that it is all around you......