Full On Everything

IMG_7020 If there is one reality that I’ve had to resign to, it is that whenever things are absolutely and totally full on in the studio, my ability to keep the log totally grinds to a halt.  So now, coming out of six weeks of total action on every  front,  there are a bunch of photos to post.

IMG_7077In the “clean” space I’ve been working like crazy on a few more billboards:  two text works “Blissful Productivity” and “Epic Meaning”  (the color of Epic Meaning is a lot better then it appears in the photo) and a landscape image based on a photo I took from the top of the hill behind my house.


studio update


It’s finally official – the studio is complete.  The building itself was finished back around the end of April – but it’s taken a few more months to get everything dialed in…  including the addition of redwood siding  – stained with a vinegar/steel wool solution that turned it an exiting shade of black.


When I told David, my contractor, that I wanted to paint the wood on the shade structure and the fascia an “interesting brownish black” color (to match the wood siding), he commented that in his book neither brown nor black were colors that one would typically call “interesting” – though now that everything is dialed in I think I’ve gotten him to agree with me that black can be not only interesting, but exciting as well.

Now that the space is done is things really start to play out… I’m triple stacked with deadlines right now and there is a LOT starting to happen.  Though stresses aside, it is pretty awesome to be working inside this summer now that the weather is scorching hot.

Raugh enough?


In 1998 I created a new ideology called Raugh- which was meant to embrace “Human Nature.”   A few “Rules of Raugh” are:   Raugh surface should absorb or camouflage dirt, rather than reveal it.  and Because all possessions ultimately break down or wear out, a Raugh object must deteriorate beautifully.  Yet another dictate is Raugh is absolutely comfortable.  So since moving into A-Z West I’ve been prototyping a series of different kinds of Raugh furniture.  The latest, this carved foam daybed/sofa was probably completed only a year ago (or maybe even more recently).   And now both the theory and function of Raugh are coming under severe testing by the dog Poppy and cat Thunder Angel.


After the first few scratches I convinced myself that it made the foam look better and more like granite (which was actually sort of true) – but then pushing the standard of elegant deterioration to it’s furthest extreme, Poppy and Thunder both continued to gouge at the foam until it was totally shredded, and visiting guests no longer bounded over to give it’s softness and enthusiastic try.


Finally it was time for the old foam to go into storage, to be replaced by crisp new chunks – covered (for now) with a hide that seems to offer at lest some protection from claws and paws.  But is this new version Raugh enough?  That I’m not quite sure of….

Fixing the Pits


Here are some pics of my pit seating area that I’ve been meaning to post for the last three or four weeks!  Concurrent with about a whole slew of overlapping project deadlines have been a series of upgrades throughout the house and grounds of AZ West.  Part of the impetus to finally get moving on these projects has been a new book that is being published for an upcoming show at Magasin 3 in Stockholm this fall – We just did a bunch of new photography of the works and living environments for the book – which literally shamed me into taking care of things that should have been fixed up years ago.  Among those projects was a total overhaul of these sunken seating areas and the deck overlooking the Regenerating Field – which had previously become tortured and dry in the hot summer sun.  Skylar and Aubrey sanded the heck out of the crunchy old wood, and then recoated everything with a fresh coat of preservative.  Nice!


How to Survive


Last weekend  at A-Z West Michael Parker and Alyse Emdur led their fantastic  “How to Survive”  workshop – part of High Desert Test Sites “The New Everyday Life” series.  For two days 12 participants constructed their own solar ovens in the brand new studio at A-Z West,  practiced survival choreography in the western wash with Flora Wiegmann,   were initiated into the nuances of liquor distillation by Aaron Freeman and Tyler Nathan, ate a delicious solar cooked dinner up at the cabin, and finally partook in a sunday afternoon exploration of  Aaron and Ronda Mueller’s completely off-the-grid lifestyle up in one of the most remote areas behind Pioneertown.


Long Haul

110318_0022What is the opposite of a quick fix?  Whatever you want to call it, that is the long saga of trying to repair three wagon stations after they were demolished by the wind in February of 2008.  Yesterday TK fastened new aluminum and lexan to the hoods.  Before that was a string of work performed by at least seven different people to get them to their current state.  and a few times we even had to backtrack and do things over again, such as when newly repaired panels were blown out a second time by the wind while they were still sitting on the studio patio. (just one more reason why the indoor studio is going to be such an improvement)

AndreaAndDavid_PhotoByD.Dodge_0577Here is the Wagon Station in it’s original glory – a luxurious doublewide…   until it flipped by the wind (below) and then another windstorm hit a day later , breaking it down even further, scattering the pieces all over A-Z West.

DSC01833Finally, by the end of yesterday, two of the units have their shiny new hoods are ready for detailing…