Sticky Studio Experiments

Jessica Joy is an MFA candidate and experimenter extraordinaire at the School of Art and Design.

As it probably says somewhere above the body of this post, I am a first year graduate student. Before I started the program here at the School of Art & Design I asked a few of the M.F.A. candidates if they came here knowing what they wanted to do. Most of them ended up doing something completely different, but I figured I would plan out at least a few projects before I arrived so I could get started right away. Somehow, all the planning didn't seem to do me much good because I ended up back at the drawing board after a few weeks. I came in with installation/sculptural ideas, but I have more experience as a 2D artist, so these ideas never made it off the ground. So in an effort to start to dig into my subconscious and see what I really wanted to make work about, I covered one wall in my studio with paper that I could paint and draw on. I figured going back to my roots would give me the opportunity to focus on my thoughts rather than the effort of controlling an unfamiliar medium.

Inspired by my love of layers and transparency, I decided to experiment with ways to build up the surface of my painting. The first experiment I did was place a piece of tracing paper over one of the forms in my painting and then put it under a piece of glass and trace the form with glue. The next day I peeled the glue off the glass and put it over my painting. I did not really like the results, but I was intrigued by the way the glue looked by itself. A few days later I decided to give this technique one more try, but this time I was going to cover a cellular form in one of my paintings. Again, I didn't like the results, but was even more intrigued by the way the glue looked on its own.


The next iteration of my glue experiements featured the addition of color, which was written about on this very PLAY blog by Kath Weider- Roos!

Now that you have a better idea of how I got myself into this sticky situation, I want to fast forward to what I have been doing since school started this semester. My goal this semester is to focus on 2 - 3 mediums. Glue is number one, and glass is number 2. More on the glass work soon...  Anyway, two weeks ago I did several small test batches, and the most desirable form was a very simple combination of two types of glue and the partial use of color. Then I took my little glue forms for a test drive around the studio to see what I could do with them...


and then I started making a larger (with approximately 840 individual pieces) second generation ...


which are characterizes by the irregular interruption of the pigment in the center of the forms and a slightly larger shape. As I continue to create generations of these forms I plan to make careful notes of how the morphology evolves, and post them for you all to see.

In the last few days I have been focused on planning a multimedia installation for the first year graduate show entitled 'SIX' at the Warren Robbins gallery that opens on February 11th. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but you can bet these little guys will be making an appearance!


Stay tuned to see them evolve and cause trouble!





Jessica, fabulous post!!! and I love your latest glue iterations. interesting how you managed to make glue look like glass! In one picture, they look like they're on a light table but perhaps this is an illusion of the light? seems like lighting these will be another experiment. Thank for sharing your process with us and how you work with materials, can't wait to see how it unfolds.

Posted by Kath Weider-Roos on January 26, 2011

Ita amazing.. Great work! Well done. I love this.

Posted by DTX Studios on February 01, 2011

Fabulous experimentations! I graduated from U of M with a BFA in '82 and didn't get my MFA until 2007 at the ripe old age of is so wonderful to see someone with such vision so early on in an MFA. You WILL change- I call it evolve! - but with a start such as this, I am expecting great things from you! Keep in touch!

Posted by Leisa Rich on February 03, 2011





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