right now!     ian g. cozzens updates, news, photos, and thoughts

less busy; briefly

November 28, 2008 at 5:17 am

cityscape postcards

Well, [most of] my stuff for Craftland is done! If I didn’t explain Craftland before, it’s a seasonal art & craft store, that opens in December and features lots of (mostly local) handmade stuff, ranging from the OMG-cuuuuuute to the fine art/craft, and combinations/in-betweens of the above. You can visit their website here, and you can (should?) also visit the store itself: 235 Westminster St, Providence, RI, Dec. 5-24 (7 days a a week!) 11am-6pm. Yeah, that’s my one blatant shill: come buy stuff! it rules, it’s made by awesome folks, and it’s cheap (at least my stuff is). If (yes, “if”) you need holiday presents for people, this is the place in Providence to get them. I also just sent a bunch of stuff up to my friends’ store Eli Phant in Portland, Maine, so that’s another good place to look for rad prints (and other crafty/arty stuff). All right!… advertising moment over.

more of what I got done in a crazy marathon last week:

cat postcards:

cat postcards

cat print (only one layer, but hey, it looks good!):

one layer cat print

little coffee maker print:


What I did not get done yet, but is gonna be done soon:

  • reprinting the Mill City print
  • printing more than one color on the cat print (or maybe I’ll just leave it…)
  • printing the bread-making poster
  • fully thanking the people that helped me out last minute in the rush time: thank you!!!!!
  • responding to emails and calling people back from the many days when I was working in crazy mode, sorry friends and strangers!!!

In a brief hiatus from busy-ness, I’m helping my parents blow-in insulation to their attic, trying not to sleep too late while staying at their house, and trying to get some work done on finally filling in the missing years of the main secret door poster archive area (I’ve had the images for a little while now, there has just been too much other stuff making demands on my time…).

I also scanned in some process work which may or may not show up in the College Hill Independent in an article on artists’ processes. To usher in what I’ll be working on in the next months, here’s one of the scans; a drawing I made in… August? which was the beginning of the house that will be on the next print series print, as a way to show instances of different kinds of connections between spaces. I’m super psyched to have most of the other stuff out of my way, and be able to work on this again. It is very exciting to pull these drawings out again, to remember what I was thinking… and, um, to try to decode my own handwriting…

(click on the image for larger version)
private shared house plan

. . . In the “tools” updates category, and making any and all computer image manipulation much sweeter, my major birthday present last month was a little wacom tablet. It was somewhat awkward to start to use, but now it just feels like my computer is (either) my friend (or just) exponentially more an extension of my brain/hand. Since I don’t really work on the computer all that much or do my primary work on it, to feel much more directly connected to it is really interesting… and great! Streamlined somehow, less interference blocking the way. Thank you AGP!

Oh yeah, and at the end of October I got to be 30 years old! Crazy.

almost too busy to write

November 15, 2008 at 9:03 pm

buio cat rubylith

… but here’s a preview of an unfinished transparency for a small print that will be ready for Craftland. The transparencies for this print are now done, this photo is from a week ago. This print is actually gonna be tiny, the cat image is a little more than three inches high…

I’m working on about 8 things simultaneously, all in various stages of completion, and it’s nice, I can switch off between projects and tasks if one gets too tedious. Right now, it’s making me a little crazy to sit at the desk all day… but it feels really good to be working hard, and I think things will come together in good ways, at the appropriate time!

here’s the craftland website, it’s charming and informative! … all right. back to work!

craftland banner!

some things are still up in the air…

November 5, 2008 at 4:22 am

… but I think that now I should stop obsessively refreshing the election results pages (mostly here and here) and get back to work. Tonight was good. I biked home from picking up transparencies (and hanging out with S. Reiter!) in Pawtucket feeling optimism in the air, passed the civic center downtown which was lit up with voting booths and lots of activity, stopped at PriceRite where friendly strangers were asking each other if they’d voted yet… it was cool but not cold, perfect biking weather. I made pizza dough while Magic The Gathering was played at our kitchen table, then Scott got home and we made & ate the pizza together, and drank soda (pizza party!) while listening to the returns and speeches on the radio… in mostly quiet except for me occasionally wiggling around and making excited squeaking noises, and S. cracking really tasteless jokes, and then shaking his head and muttering, skeptically, “History… hmm!”

Here is preliminary goings-on for the three small prints I’m making for Craftland sale. I totally can’t seem to keep perspectival construction out of these drawings, despite my intention to make “really simple direct images”. Oh well, just wait, someday I’ll be making blobby abstract stuff & these days can be looked back on as “when she was all uptight” or something like that!

preliminary work for small prints

Thanks to xkcd for summing it all up.

bread business

November 2, 2008 at 6:41 am

Finally (and only a week late, really) the layout of the bread poster is done! Actually, really only half the layout is done, since the transparencies for the other two colors will be made by hand. However, that will be the relaxed part, this work on the computer made me a little crazy, with its pretenses of / pressure towards precision…

The two transparencies for the text and the line drawings will be printed by the very professional and excellent I-O Labs in Pawtucket! It’s costly, but really not that expensive in the grand scheme of things: and at this point I’ve messed around enough with these layouts on the computer that I don’t want to mess around any more with piecing them together from photocopier transparencies…


As you can see, this idea has shifted its format away from the previously mentioned vertical poster style. Here’s a screen-captured fragment of a version of that one:


…which was just too hard to read, besides which, I ran out of room on the paper (which is stuff I had around from an older project, cut very precisely in long strips (7.375″ high) on the big cutter at Black Cat).

The sequence of the steps simply flowed better horizontally, and for some reason I could fit more in. No theories about this right now! Here’s the main poster layout (center) with the two color layers at top and bottom:


One more detail:


Conclusion: lots of fun to draw stuff freehand with ink & brush on Bristol board. Less fun (though rewarding in its own way) finagling the scans around on the computer, in a seemingly endless fashion. Satisfying to have it ready to go (still, however, there’s that computer-work feeling of “but isn’t there more I could do?). Scary to be turning it over to the printers’ and hoping the transparency comes out well. I’m predicting it’ll be hard for me to print accurately since it is so long, lining things up will be a pain. But overall, I am pretty psyched with this concept and execution, so far.

Next step thoughts: One of the other layers will be rubylith cutouts to track the shape of the dough through the process… The other one will be messy ink painting and scraping on mylar, to form large letters behind the line-drawings and to highlight the path through the sequence. This color will be printed low-contrast to the paper… maybe even just transparent base to change its value a little… we’ll see…

…and yes, this is what I used my extra hour of daylight savings time for!

putting materials together, to make useful things: part 1.

November 1, 2008 at 9:42 pm

This past week saw a great burst of work on the kitchen up in Worcester!

Here, Anna and Andrew are dismantling what’s left of the old counter on last Friday morning. The old sink used to be to the left of where Anna is standing…

anna and andrew taking apart the old counter

When the old sink’s plumbing and faucet totally broke down a couple of months ago (after a year+ of malfunction) Andrew and others went ahead and set up the new sink (scavenged from the Cohasset town dump by Nick’s mom) where you can see it in this photo under the window. He had tiled the counter, but because the backsplash tiling didn’t get completed, and the sink didn’t get caulked down, water splashed out over time, and had dislodged the tiles and also wetted the lath and insulation behind the sink… no good. Because of this, and for a couple other reasons (the old counter was 3-4 inches too low, the old plywood was not re-usable because of broken mortar and grout, it protruded awkwardly to the right of the sink, the space underneath it was dingy and gross, the plaster wall behind it was crumbling… etc) we decided to take the whole thing out and build it anew.

Thus the main focus of our work this past week was the sink area, getting it as far as possible along towards having a well-installed, fully-functional, completely-waterproofed sink and counter!

This is where we were at, early Sunday evening:

andrew working on the new counter

In the photo we are gluing and clamping a small piece of plywood onto the edge of the newly installed counter to form the understructure for an overhang and ‘drip edge’. (The crumbling plaster has been replaced with plywood.) Later in the evening (and way into the morning!) we mortared and tiled the plywood surface, using re-purposed tiles in two colors that were, by necessity and choice, cut and arranged into awesome patterns. No pictures of the final stages yet, that’s gonna be part 2!

I came back to Providence Monday evening. Then Thursday morning back to Worcester to do 2 more days of work. Now I’m back to Providence for a while, to work on prints for Craftland. Though I may go back to Worcester for a day or two, to keep the momentum going!

The intensity of the kitchen work kept me from finishing my ‘bread baking’ poster in time for the ‘sustainability art show’. It was actually a good thing I think: I would have been glad to be part of the show, but working on the kitchen, which will actually affect people’s daily lives! is more important to me. Getting to build things: to start with ideas, drawings, and discussion, then to put them into action and construct useful objects, was a crucial reminder of what my purpose in the world is. As far as I can tell!

More photos of last weekend’s work in progress follow: (more…)

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