The Play Station SF is coming!

This weekend, my team tested concepts for our upcoming installation, “The Play Station SF”, soon to be a temporary part of the Market Street sidewalk in downtown San Francisco.

We tested interactive kinetic bike sculptures, this one hand cranked and featuring a MonkeyLight Pro 256-LED wheel installation.

We also played with a teammate’s last minute fun addition – two hand made zoetropes created on horizontal spinning bike wheels.

There will also be a kinetic bike sculpture created from corrugated hose, to add a sound element.

A fun canopy to create color and a sense of place . .

And three spin bikes with a box full of games and challenges to play on them!

“Present Ground” now open at Hayes Valley Art Works

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Site-specific art installations by local artists are now live at “Present Ground”, a collection sited at Hayes Valley Art Works from Oct 1- Nov 5. Visit the site from Fri-Mon 12p-5p at the corner of Fell and Laguna Streets.

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I spent one very busy week busily prototyping my piece, OPEN/OPEN. From Lowe’s runs to geometry sessions, to midnight tests in the alleyway outside, it wasn’t clear if the piece would actually work onsite.

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Construction was designed with outdoor use in mind – including a strong wind.

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I learned the challenges of trying to construct a piece of public art in a tiny one-bedroom apartment with not outdoor space. It just doesn’t work. Not only was it impossible to lay out the fabric pieces, we ended up performing some dangerous moves to drill the holes (and hopefully, managed to clean up all the metal filing before the next bath).

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Collaborator Josh was on hand for a very, very hot installation day. Here, we test tensioning the piece. I intended it to be installed at a slant, but higher up. The natural bowing of the nylon webbing over 20 feet made the piece sag more than intended. The manpower you see here was sufficient to tension the piece, but attaching it to the 10-foot EMT conduit pipe caused the pipe to bow, so we decided not to tension it further.

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Here I am “interacting” with my piece.

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As intended, it looks cool in the wind.

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Poke around the construction site to find other unique installations . . like “The Hole To Bury Your Emotions In” and a honeybear.

OPEN / OPEN

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I’m currently hard at work on team urban design The Play Station SF, going live on downtown San Francisco’s Market Street October 6-8.

Now, I’m busy testing materials for another project that has just been confirmed! I’ve been selected to install a site-specific piece at an upcoming show entitled “Present Ground”, hosted by Hayes Valley Art Works.

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The Art Works is a community art space located in SF’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, and aims to activate an empty construction lot behind a condo development (which was recently constructed over the former Hayes Valley Farm site). HVAW is a temporary space in this city of development, and true to its nature, all of the artworks installed will also be temporary.

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On view Oct 1-Nov 5, my installation “OPEN/OPEN” comprises an overhead kinetic fabric piece that simultaneously attracts attention visually, while also delineating space in an unprogrammed site and blocking unrestricted peering inward to the site by neighbors and pedestrians.

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Construction materials are nylon cordura, webbing, swivel bolds, and EMT conduit pipe.

The public opening for “Present Ground” will take place at Hayes Valley Art Works at Laguna and Fell Streets on October 1 from 4-7 PM.

Thanksgiving DIY: Watercolor Feathers

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I made a fun little decoration yesterday – a garland of fluttering paper feathers made from recycled magazine pages and decorated with a bright watercolor wash. Its a Thanksgiving decoration that veers away from the traditional brown and orange palette, and you can give it a try by following along:

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Step One: Find recycled magazines or other papers printed on a white background. Then create a feather shape template – I used two different shapes. Accordion-fold the paper and snip out a handful of feathers. Repeat until you’ve got at least 15-20. 

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Step Two: Get out your watercolors (I used gouache). Mix up some very watery colors, and brush them across the feathers. Make sure you’re painting on top of something you don’t mind getting stained. I used at least two colors per feather and let the colors blend together a bit. Let dry. 

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Step Three: Snip the fringe. Stack about 4-6 feathers together, and fold lengthwise. Using scissors, snip a fringe along the edges, but do not cut all the way across. Continue snipping all the way to the base of the feather. Unfold and separate the feathers, repeating with the next set. 

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Step Four: Measure of length of fishing line, and use small pieces of washi tape to attach each feather from behind. 

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You can hand the garland across a doorway, in front of a window, along the edge of a table, or just drape across a centerpiece. When they hang, the feathers catch any slight breeze or movement and twirl gently.  

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make a sweater pillow!

got cabin fever? freezing to death? (if you live anywhere but california, that is…sorry!) try out this fun DIY tutorial i created to make two different couch pillows out of recycled sweaters from a thift shop. one version has a button closure and utilizes the existing hem of the sweater. the other has an envelope-style closure in the back so you won’t need to sew on any buttons. have fun! 

full tutorial here

xo, emily 

experiments in block printing for christmas gifts this year. handmade linen tea towels and cotton canvas duck envelope-style pillow cases. the most successful prints (shown here) were cutouts of thin foam glued onto corrugated cardboard. this provided adequate “give” to get the prints to completely transfer to the fabric with acrylic paint (thinned with fabric medium). linocuts were giving poor transference, either because of the ink, the fabric, or the transfer method (even with a soft surface under the fabric). 

My newest DIY instructional for making your own block printed textiles from veggies (like yams and potatoes!) is live on Inhabitat. Check it out here and try your hand at making unique self-made textiles, tea towels, pillows, gifts, cards and more!