I am interested in material.  I find things that belong elsewhere, or that deserve the company of others. My shop is the island of misfit toys.  Collecting and sorting materials yields two types:  those that become central, point a direction, or offer support; and those that are seemingly complete, can be manipulated no further, or otherwise do not play well with others.  Some of the latter persist and find an unexpected place much later, others continue to be dragged along.  I once carried three fluted columns from a dumpster to my studio across the river where they hung around patiently and insistently for eight years before finding a proper home.

I am interested in process as it refers to the act of working.  Materials -- collected, sorted, and conferred with -- are stitched together.  Initial compositions are a jigsaw puzzle arrangement.  Things fit, things don’t fit, etc.   The catalyst is always one piece of wood or metal.  The process after that is indeterminate.  The endpoint is never considered.  I make chicken-scratch drawings; they typically answer a momentary uncertainty or show a path from A to B.  They are not preparatory, and they never reveal a completed work.  Assembly line production and methodologies overtake rigid rational thought.  Internal narratives develop, propelling more work with its own imagined logic.  A “time stands still” meditative state is desired and most productive. Consciousness reasserts itself near the end; a sure sign that things are nearing completion.

I can only guess at what I do and what will happen.  I take disparate elements, listen to then, combine them with others and cajole them into a harmonic balance.  I strive for an internal quietness in these pieces.  They should be very still by the end.


MH 2014

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