September 22, 2015


I've been mulling this idea over for a few years now. At least 2, when I snapped these photos driving around Memphis at Christmas.

There was something so sad, and strange, and wonderful about them, that I couldn't stop thinking about the teddy bears. I kept looking for memorials around town. I have tons of memorial images from the internet stored in folders on my computer. The pervasiveness of violence means that more of these seem to pop up every day and flash across the news.

I wanted to make one. When I told my mom about it, she thought I was a little nuts. Would I be perceived as deceitful or insensitive? I didn't think so. So I went to the thrift store, bought a lot of weird stuff, and constructed one in the privacy of my own yard.

Ok. Cool. Now that that was out of the way. Where to go from there? We were scheduled to have our School of Art staff exhibition opening for Knoxville's First Friday in September. This would be my chance to exhibit something unconventional, for a large audience, and document it. So I made two more and thrust them out into the world.

I got a great, positive response. (No one thinks I'm crazy, Mom.) I don't quite have my head wrapped around a statement for them, and I've got a lot of things to think about. People have given me many leads of others who work with / research these. I've been told to look at the ones from other countries. This is a huge subject to mine, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me. Putting them in a gallery setting was step one. In the mean time, enjoy some fancy, white-balanced documentation.

*The number one question I seemed to get asked off the bat was, "Did I take anything from real memorials?" A resounding no. Everything is mine. I aged, arranged, dried, and made it all, and making something intentional look spontaneous is not easy. The only thing I did take was the Yard Sale sign. You can't fake those, and I politely waited until the sale date had passed. 

August 30, 2015


Spent this weekend getting ready for September First Friday at the UT Downtown Gallery. I will be showing work with my School of Art colleagues. I got everything ironed out and will be installing later this week. 

Some previews of my first attempts at sculpture. It felt more like making 3D collages though. 

I took some glamour shots of Miss Mamie and walked around Knoxville on Saturday enjoying some local festivals and getting back into the swing of going to the farmers market. I had missed it for a few weeks from being out of town. (The mountains! The beach! Woe is me.) Didn't end up getting anything. Late birds apparently do not get the corn. 

Oh! And since the last time I posted I moved studios. I've doubled my space, and it's been great. Here's a little before and after shot. 

July 6, 2015


I've been wanting to play around with sculpture and have been making these recently. They are made of fake flowers and egg cartons.

Another new work.

I had Friday morning off. (Federal Holiday, y'all) and we drove down to our friend's farm to pick up a pork shoulder to smoke for the 4th of July and to meet the new pigs. I also met some interestingly shaped tomatoes. It's amazing what's out there once you stop getting the perfect, round, grocery store ones.

I ran into this unfortunate fellow later at the UGO. I would love to cook a pig head someday.

Later that evening was First Friday, and my studio had an exhibition at the Emporium on Gay Street.

My work sandwiched between work by Ashley Addair.

I'm not entirely sure this is finished. I may keep working on it after July.

So much food on the 4th.

A recent shot of Miss Mamie

June 12, 2015


I found my camera cord today. It's been missing for the better part of a year, and so many times I caved and almost bought another on Amazon, but I was sure it would turn up, because how could I lose something so important.

Without further ado, look at what I found! Months later.

Some signs I made.

The last time my studio was clean. In October.

May 4, 2015


My show is up for the whole month of May at Bliss Home in Market Square. I was approached to do this right before the winter holidays. I agreed to a biscuit-themed show of approximately 14 works not having any biscuit works. Say yes, and figure it out later is the best policy sometimes.

The first Farmer's Market of the season! We picked up our CSA  and have been ambitiously plowing through bags and bags of the first of spring greens and lettuces. This winter I worked on some branding and a logo for my farmer friend (I made a pig chalkboard for him last summer.) and I was excited to see his new banner in action. I was not excited about the bagpiper droning away in the park behind him.

(Always a tempting solution.)

Went shopping for a dresser. No luck, but found these neat hand-painted ads in the back of a store.

May 1, 2015


Tonight is the unveiling of my work I created for Bliss Home and the International Biscuit Festival.
Also, today is the day before the first Market Square Farmers' Market, so it's practically Christmas around here. After a 12 hour day, I will collapse into a heap of exhaustion and rise in the morning like the Phoenix (or a biscuit) and go to the farmers' market to drink upppity coffee and buy greens.

Self Rising: A Celebration of Flour

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cotton sacks replaced barrels as containers for dry goods such as flour, sugar, rice, chicken feed, and seed. These bags were usually white with the company’s logo printed directly onto the cotton. Thrifty wives and mothers would repurpose these sacks into fabric for sewing  -- making pillow cases, quilts, hand towels, and even clothing. Imagine the embarrassment of your dress or underwear having the Pillsbury or White Lily logo on it. A great effort was made to remove the printed logo – sometimes with lye soap, bleach, or even kerosene, but sometimes they remained. Companies producing these dry goods realized that their bags were going on to have a second life. In an effort to ease some of the hardships of the Great Depression and to entice more customers, they began printing sacks with colorful patterns and paper labels that could be easily removed.* It was their hope that the home consumer would buy their brand of flour or feed not because they were faithful customers, but because the print on the bag was desirable for a new dress or quilt. This body of work is a celebration of some of the more interesting flour logos of the past and the wonderful tradition of printed, patterned flour sacks.

*One of these companies was the Bemis Brothers Bag Company founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 1858. It was one of the first companies to produce machine-sewn bags for dry goods. By the 1920s, The Bemis Brothers Bag Co. had opened 5 more plants across the United States. In the 1930s, the Bemis Company began to produce printed dress sacks, and would continue to do so up until the 1960s. Their cat logo was designed in 1881, and the cat was named Biddy after the best mouse hunter in the Bemis factory. According to company history, owner Judson Moss Bemis wanted to emphasize that in “letting the cat out of the bag” he had nothing to hide and dealt fairly with his customers. This small logo can be seen on many older flour bags.

All these and more will be on display and for sale at Bliss Home for the month of May.