Private Cathedrals #1


This piece is the first of a two-part series, the sister to Private Cathedrals #2, and very much a work in progress – including allowing my fingers to grow back. One finger. You can have ONE finger, Private Cathedrals #1. But I’m getting revenge [update: joke’s on me. Private Cathedrals #2 ate another finger – not because I’m careless, but because this process is ridiculously labor-intensive, and I do everything by hand]. This piece is the second of a two-part series, and very much a work in progress

I am updating this page as each phase unfolds, and will compile step in a complete gallery once the piece is finished (however long — and however many limbs) that takes.


Current Phase: Private Cathedrals #1



Phase #8 – Post-Resin Preparation, Round 3


Someone made the highly unwise decision just now to text me: “what? You SERIOUSLY aren’t finished with that thing yet?! Like, how?” So, I decided to update this particular phase with very detailed documentation on, well… very detailed pre-detailing detailing (razor blades, Windex, paint scraper, box cutter, dusting canister, Q-tips). This part is particularly intensive, and preparation for the last process (I hope, anyway) of resin and epoxy application. Moving window by window, detailing includes several phases of carving (both the layers of resin and epoxy, as well as the wood itself) to achieve the illusion of heavy glass set within a window of wood eroded down over time, with successive rounds of cleaning and molding.



Phase #7 – Post-Resin Preparation, Round 2

(paint scraper, box cutter, dusting canister, Q-tips)



Phase #6 – Resin Setting & Curing, Round 3

(duct-tape, saran wrap, hair dryer, toothpicks)



Phase #5 – Post-Resin Preparation

(paint scraper, box cutter, dusting canister, Q-tips, First Aid kit)



Phase #4 – Resin Setting & Curing, Round 1

(duct-tape, saran wrap, hair dryer, toothpicks)



Phase #3 – Composition Selection

(digital photo print, spray adhesive, super glue, 5-minute epoxy, cardboard, duct-tape)



Phase #2 – Mold Construction

(balsam wood, saran wrap, packing tape)



Phase #1 – Salvaged Object Preparation

(paint scraper, sandpaper, scuffing, varnishing, polyurethane)



Current Phase: Private Cathedrals #1



The Free Word Births Light

In the tumultuous aftermath of the Tunisian Revolution that kicked off the so-called Arab Spring, everything seemed possible. 2011 awakened so many hopes and unleashed so many joyful dreams – the euphoria was a contagion, an intoxicant, a transformative moment that outlived the early weeks of protest, and remains among so many even in the dark days. I took this photograph at a journalists’ protest on Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis on Bourguiba Avenue, prompted by a court ruling: a blasphemy verdict rendered against Nessma TV’s Nabil Karoui, in response to the channel’s airing of Persepolis in the run-up to the country’s first democratic elections.

I love so many things about this image: the caption on the protest sign (roughly translated: “the free word gives birth to light / enlightens”); the photo-bombing teenage boys gathered on the theater steps, and – most of all – the light reflected on, and by, this man’s face. I find so much hope here, and in everyone who fights for freedom: of speech, movement, thought, love… for anyone who refuses to concede defeat, for all who cling to joy when this world’s darkness threatens to overwhelm.

No, this piece is not for sale. I created it for a friend, and just finished the final touches. He has not seen it yet, knows “something” is coming in the mail, but doesn’t know that I will never look at this photograph without seeing him as well. Below are the steps of the creation process, from pain-in-the-ass start to painstaking (but always worth it) finish.

May the free word always birth light.

Spiderwebs in the Morning

I’m always searching for serenity – and this time, I found my moment of peace shining through dew collected on a spider’s web: a miniature magnifier of all the possibilities on the horizon of one more chance from a new day. This sculptural wall-hanging combines handmade framing (rescued wood, sanded, stained, and tattooed with the kiss of a blowtorch and the caress of a blade — a reminder that our scars are memories of survival, rather than simply pain), limited edition original photography prints, and layers of epoxy to capture a sense of reflection: not just the moment one fleetingly captures peace, but also our ability to return to that state time and time again.

Sunrise Portal #1

I’m always searching for serenity, even if that elusive sense of peace is only found in the transitory glimmer of sunlight across a lake in the morning start to a soul-crushing day. Whenever I can find the beauty in ugliness and the everyday, I want to pass that sensation along to anyone who may need a reminder that the soul continues, despite it all. This sculptural wall-hanging combines handmade framing (rescued wood, sanded, stained, and tattooed with the kiss of a blowtorch and the caress of a blade — a reminder that our scars are memories of survival, rather than simply pain), limited edition original photography prints, and layers of epoxy to capture a sense of reflection: not just the moment one fleetingly captures peace, but also our ability to return to that state time and time again.

The Fires Inside

This piece is my baby, and although I do hope she finds a happy home – it’s going to suck to say goodbye. The Fires Inside combines salvaged metals and customized framing with limited edition photographic prints, and layers of epoxy intended to capture the shining energy of endlessly transforming and transformative fire and light. This one-of-a-kind fine art wall-hanging showcases the fires inside us all, the spirit that keeps us moving forward, the flames that threaten to overwhelm us, and the safety of burning lights encased in a protective shield.

Imperfectly Perfect: We Are All Works In Eternal Progress

The backstory, details, and process of creation coming soon – it’s a beautiful story that unexpectedly changed my life by reviving who I used to be at a time I needed it more than I ever could have known. I’m exhausted, and want to give this particularly beloved creation the careful, complete, and transformative story that it deserves. I really don’t want to let this baby of mine go, but she’s earned her wings, and perhaps on of you needs the reminder right now: you were always there.