Trash Talking Artist…Our “Office”


We (the five artists) actually have this little “work area” in the bay of the transfer station.  It truly doesn’t look like much, but it’s a “safe” area at one end of the bay where we can stash our gleanings, sort the materials, and take things apart.  We find treasures for each other, leaving them here for the other artists to find.  There are three large plastic carts on wheels which we move around with us to help carry any loads of “stuff” that we might find.  I always bring a small box (the green plastic box on the cart) filled with some tools from home, including a case cutter as well as a cordless drill, etc.   A funny (not-so-funny) thing happened the other day…someone who was off-loading trash “stole” something off of my cart !! Avoiding any confrontation, I just let her have it…it seemed that she maybe needed it more than I did.  I will  probably be watching my cart much more closely from now on!

crocheted film

I’m nearly finished with my first piece.  The material is some kind of film.  I’m not sure if it’s video or audio.  I think it might be video…  I got quite a few reals of it.

Here is a close up.  Its full size will be 12X36 inches.  I crocheted the film using a broomstick lace technique.  I used varying sizes for the loops.  A gleaned tennis ball container (for the large loops) and a gleaned dowel stick (about an inch wide for the smaller loops).  And a crochet hook size G.

All that is left to do is place it in this sexy muted frame I also gleaned. 

I’m not sure what the title will be yet.  I’m going to wait till all the pieces come together before I can tell which voice goes to whom.  Right now all the ideas are circling around and making me dizzy.  Glad to have this one completed 🙂  ONWARD!


Trash Talking Artist…more piano!

This must be the season for player piano parts!  I was digging through the massive pile of wood yesterday at the far end of the bay:Even though I’ve usually found nothing of value in the past, I circled around to the back of this pile and discovered the hidden (and somewhat twisted) remains of another old player piano  (yes, it’s a little bit hard to see at first): There are all kinds of little fascinating hand-made pieces waiting to be removed and used in one of my boxes:I refer to this as…a great find!


Here are the two pieces I made in March…

Laszlo is made of wrapping paper, dog food labels, cigarette foil, baked bean labels, gum wrappers, gift bags, magazines, and mentos wrappers.

The above piece is finished for now, but ultimately needs some more detail work before I call it complete.  Does it look familiar?  thats because its an enlarged version of a sculpture from Laszlo (minus the red dots).  I like the idea of reusing images as well as materials.  This piece is made of magazines, felt, gift bags, and cigarette foil.


Trash Talking Artist…A Glass Act



Since begiinning my quest to find “artsy trash” at the transfer station, I’ve constantly been looking for sheets of glass. As an assemblage artist, with work generally confined inside wooden boxes, I’m always wanting to cover, seal and enshrine my work with a single sheet of glass. Finding that glass has initally been no easy matter, to say the least.


As you can see, most of the window glass that ends up at the transfer station  is eventually smashed to smithereens in this corner of the bay:

I’ve quickly discovered that my job is to find the glass before the spotters get to it…before they haul it to the corner and hammer the life out of it.

I’m now finding lots of old windows that have been pulled out of houses.  With my own tools, I carefully remove the panes of glass (breaking a few in the process).


Much of this glass is rather old and crusty (with paint, spackle, etc.).  I give it a good soaking in a bucket of hot, soapy water and then proceed to cut it down to size to fit my boxes.


Trash Talking Artist…Box-0-Matic

A quick “step by step” look at the construction of my first assemblage/box piece: 

1. The box

2. The Maps…gleaned from some vintage encyclopedias3. Maps lining the box4. Player piano parts5. A bit of rusted metal6.  Putting it together…partially covered with glass

sin-tax: a response to SWN

disease, abscond, discard, refuse, garbage, trash, value/valueless, waste, effluents, disorder, chaos, decay, putrid, putrescence, rubbish, exhausted, litter, scourings, dregs, fetid, decay, catastrophe, derelict, bi-product, scum, unclean, dangerous.

garbage words.

“Garbage is the formlessness from which form takes
flight, the ghost that haunts the presence. Garbage
is the entrails, the bits or scraps, the mountain
of indistinguishable stuff that is in its own way affirmed
by resolute dismissal: it is refuse-d (not accepted,
denied, banished).” -John Scanlan “On Garbage”

this makes me wonder about what we are attempting to do. are we trying to order chaos? are we trying to reclaim the the dead; to be the dr. frankenstein? are we piecing together the remains to construct a simulacra, identifying the parts that we see, to construct a whole or are we just skimming the surface, like rats, feasting on the entrails of society to fatten our gullets?
formulating form.
I’ve been struck by layers. levels of dumping and discarding, of sorting and piling, create an amalgamation of 64,000 lbs that are compressed into trailers and take the 150 mile journey up the Columbia gorge to the landfill in Arlington, OR.
each layer consists of a story that needs to be discarded. there is no room in our lives for the compilation of everything. our brain sorts and categorizes memory and every once in a while we choose to anchor an event to an object that we have collected and we name that object a souvenier. by naming an object as significant we inadvertently name other objects as insignificant. Our layers become transparent and porous. the seepage, or to put it in landfill terms, the leachate, filter out and distill that which we value, and we are left with visual anchors of the valued moments of our existence.

Lines are drawn, divisions are made and the plane of the land becomes digestable and navigable through boundaries.


Art, Garbage, Syntax

After the passion of consumer ecstacy fades, broken objects land here, cast onto smelly mountains like rejected parts of speech. Words, in fetid piles of garbled syntax, get trampled and compacted by industrial machines, then mangled again as they caravan to the landfill. Sentences fracture into words, and the words into arcs and lines.
These things–material (matter, mater, mother) have outlived their consumer durability and are desecrated as garbage. In our meaning-making work, we pick through the ruins, put things together, and stalk our muse.