Material World

I have a little problem: I’m addicted to my Amazon app. It started out innocuously, by renting some textbooks for classes at a way cheaper price than any other sites I found. Then, not surprisingly, things escalated quickly. Did I want to sign up for a free student account? Of course I did. Did want to try out free Prime shipping? Obviously. Did I soon find myself searching for things like “plastic gum ball tubes” and “decorative glass spheres” for use in my projects? Uh huh.

Here’s where I justify my habit:

As soon as I think about an interesting shape or effect that I want to experiment with in a sculpture, I first think about what materials I need to make it happen. At this particular moment, my work is driven by manipulating and combining materials, and noticing how these materials work together, above all else. I’ve also been working at quite a high volume and usually require a lot of one particular item. Sometimes it’s hard to find exactly what I want, in the quantity I need, for the right price at an art supply store, or sometimes I don’t even know where I would begin looking. But with this resource at my fingertips, the hunt for materials has become so much easier (maybe too easy).

I now have dozens of boxes of clear plastic spoons, tubes, pipettes, etc. just hanging out in my studio space, waiting to be put to use. Amazon boxes get delivered to my house at a fairly regular pace. Then they get taken to my studio where I rip them apart with X-Actos, carving tools, or whatever keys I happen to have on hand. Most often, items get used immediately because I already have an idea of what I’d like to do with them, or because I ordered them specifically to complete a form already in process. Other times, I don’t connect with some materials once I unpack them and have them in my hands, so they get stored for when I am stuck on an idea and need to just try something new. Essentially, having all of these supplies close by is my own way of making sure I never have an excuse for sitting around unproductively.

So my Amazon obsession is really more of a help than a hindrance to my progress. I’ll continue to click through pages of search results, endlessly adding things to my cart and removing others as my ideas change. In addition to materials, I’ve also been able to find great tools for research to inform my work, from artist biographies to my most recent find, a book about the hierarchy of social sciences. I’ll let you know how it is, once it gets delivered.

Featured Image: peek at my studio space in Insalaco 

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