New Glass + Video!!

My biggest blown glass piece to date- a three gather strawberry dish with an opaline white wrap: my final project for my second semester of glassblowing. I got it on video, edited it quickly on final cut pro, and slapped it on YouTube so you can see how I made it.

(Facebook readers, look at the original post for the video)

The glass I'm working with is about 2,000*F, and yeah, I got crazy burns from this project- sooo worth it though!


You And I

It's finals week, I've been cramming for all my projects. My documentary is finally in post production, and will be finished by the end of next week. I'm working on a sterling silver band ring for my jewelry final, a heavy marble carving for my sculpture final, plus I've got a few papers and odds and ends to tie up.
I haven't been able to take many photos of what's going on, but hopefully this video will tide you over. Thanks for reading!

Tea Infuser

This sketch is just for the basic form and functionality of the object- The actual design is based on Cambodian Buddhist architecture. When considering possible designs, I started thinking about green tea and its Asian tradition, which made me start looking at ceremony, which made me look at temples, and I liked Cambodian the best.

The dish and lip are sterling silver. The dish is hand forged out of a flat sheet. The lid is zebra wood from Africa, and the handle is walnut. It'll all be sealed to be food safe.

You wanna lock me out of the studio for a whole weekend?? I'll bring it home. Yeah, that's a jeweler's bench pin drilled onto my desk. Hello, 4am

Soooo many hours of work in this little thing. Not having a camera (besides my cellphone) is really starting to suck.

Awesome, Great Job!

All of the shows this week were spectacular!

I kicked it off playing a set of experimental music at The Red Room under the direction (or rather, un-direction) of Shelly Blake-Plock. He covered the floor with foil, positioned ten of us musicians around the room, and then covered us in more foil. Shelly caught me outside before the show and asked, "Are you claustrophobic? Can I make you into a casserole?" Of course, Shelly.

Shelly Blake-Plock, The Red Room 11/14/2009

Saxophone never looked so shiny

Joel Grip on double bass

Diving Belle providing vocals


Student Show Openings 11/19/2009

"A Collection of Objects" by Vince Valerio

This seemingly random collection of objects has one consistent thread among them: I asked each student to share with me a work that went beyond “just a project.” Each object is a symbolic artifact that represents the student as an artist and gives the viewer a glimpse into their personality and thought process. These artifacts are an extension of who their makers are as a person. From interests in what it means to be a woman and issues pertaining to sexual identity, to love for horror, written text and everything in between. What drives an artist to create the work they make is always of interest and fascination.



Annual Juried Undergraduate Show

Juried by Caroline Lathan-Stiefel. Lots of fun, lots of fabulous artwork. Sculpture did really well this year, and was awarded the coveted Best of Show.
I won a scholarship for my "Portrait of the Artist: Monster in a Closet."

A winner of the Doris and Ron Markley Award


Ambiguous Bodies

This was a great show too- fantastic mix of sculpture, painting, drawing, and video. This show is dealing with ideas that greatly inform my artmaking. Highly inspired. Also, free beer and great snacks.

"Throughout history, the human body has been represented and interpreted in multiple and diverse ways. In Ambiguous Bodies, the artists continue that tradition, embracing ambiguity as a was to dismantle the classical or ideal notions of form, and to include difference of beauty, race, sexuality, and gender- broadening the scope of how a human body can be portrayed."

Curated by my good friend, Laura Amussen

Laser Cut Tea Lights

Just got them back from the factory, and I couldn't be more pleased! These are cut out of hardboard. There are two separate pieces that slide together in the middle, creating a cross that the candle sits on.

Want one??
You can choose from hardboard (pictured), blonde bamboo, and an assortment of colored plastic.

Email me at if you are interested!

Once upon a time (eh, 1648), art was a very prestigious, academic endeavor. The people in charge of deciding what makes good art were the men of the Royal Academy in Paris. They liked pretty little landscapes, epic scenes of classical battles, and quaint little still lifes. ...Till the Impressionists rolled around. Cezanne, Manet, Pissarro, Whistler, and many others were rejected from the Academy salons for their experimental methods in painting.
So, they said, "F*** that Salon, let's have a shit show!"

In honor of the shit shows past,

Salon Des Refuses
Call for Work!

The Art History Club is holding a one-night exhibit for the rejected artworks of the Annual Student Show. If your art is not accepted into the Annual Student show, bring it to the Loch Raven Room in the University Union on December 4th between 4-6 PM.
• Your artwork must be picked up after the reception by 9:45PM. If you do not pick up your work it will be discarded!
• It must be ready to be hung (there will be table space.)
• Space is limited and is given on a first come, first serve basis.
• No Entry Fee! Open to all Towson University students.
Reception and Exhibit:
Friday December 4th 2009 6:30-9:30PM Loch Raven Room in the Union
Free and Open to Everyone!

Any questions feel free to email the Art History Club at


Lots of stuff coming up! Call me for more info, or if you wanna go with me :D

The Short List:
11/14- Music @ The Red Room. 8:30pm, $6
11/19- Art @ Student Show. 7:30, Free
11/19- Art @ The Storage Space. 8:00, Free
11/19- Opening for Ambiguous Bodies, Goucher. 7:30, Free
11/23- Music @ Towson /w Diving Belle, Brand New Set. 7:00, Free
12/3- Music @ The Ukazoo Forum. 7:00, Free


TONIGHT: The Red Room inside Normal's Books.
I'll be offering my voice to Shelly Blake-Plock, apparently for the exploration of audible sleep walking.


Saturday, November 14th, $6

Shelly Blake-Plock (gtr, voice), Joel Grip (dblbass), John Dierker (reeds), Dan Breen (bass), Lyle Kissack (drums), Rose Hammer (reeds), Nathan Bell (banjo), Savanna Leigh (voice), Paul Neidhardt (percussion) ++ Hans Koch & Jack Wright (reeds)

The 10-tet: "a ridiculously great ad hoc free music ten-piece ensemble based around thumping sounds and sleep walking"

The Duo: Jack Wright, alto and soprano saxophone, and Hans Koch, bass clarinet, first met in Chicago in 2001 and recorded a duo that whetted their appetites to do it again. Alas, this has not been possible until now on this small tour, with a little assistance from the Swiss government. And they will continue their playing in March in Switzerland.

Hans Koch was born in 1948 and lives in Biel Switzerland. He quit his career as a recognized classical clarinetist to become one of the most innovative improvising reed-players in Europe. He has been working with everyone from Cecil Taylor to Fred Frith since the eighties. As a composer he has shaped the sound of Koch-Sch├╝tz-Studer since the beginning as well as working for radio-plays and film. Since the nineties he has been working with electronics as an extension of the saxes/clarinets as well as with sampling/sequencing/Laptop. As a reed-player he is always working on his very own vocabulary and sound, which makes him a very unique voice on the actual scene. He will be playing bass clarinet on this tour.

Sexagenarian but noticeably immature, Jack Wright is renowned for his impersonations of ducks, pigs, and other blowhards. He will be attempting to play the saxophone exclusively with his feet and anus. He learned that technique whilst employed at (subsequently fired from) the Phila. zoo to entertain monkeys and encourage them to copulate. Before that, he was a boring Vegas lounge act, garnering the most applause when he pretended to hang himself with his sax strap, and one time it was almost not a joke. Occasionally he remembers the proper use of the instrument and its ideological purpose of propping up the universe. He lives in Easton but comes to Philly in order to fall off ladders at his Spring Garden House.


Thursday is gonna be nuts... three art openings I gotta make it to. Who wants to party hop?


THURSDAY 11/19: My sculpture "Portrait of the Artist: Monster in a Closet" (AKA driftwood lady legs) has been accepted into the student show. Juried by Caroline Lathan-Stiefel The reception is this Thursday, there will be an open bar, it's free, and there will most likely be after parties. Come!

Annual Student Juried Exhibition

Center for the Arts Gallery

Friday, November 20 – Saturday, December 12

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 19, 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Closed for Thanksgiving Break: Wednesday, November 25 – Saturday, November 28

The annual undergraduate juried exhibition features student works that represent the art + design programs, including painting, sculpture, graphic design, illustration, crafts, metalworking/jewelry, ceramics, digital art and design, photography and printmaking.

Admission is free.


THURSDAY 11/19: Opening Reception for Vince Valerio's show at The Storage Space, featuring my sculpture "The New American Totem" 7:30. Free!


THURSDAY 11/19: Opening reception for "Ambiguous Bodies," curated by Laura Amussen. This is gonna be a great show!

"The human body can be interpreted in diverse ways. In the exhibition Ambiguous Bodies, 10 artists employ the idea of ambiguity, dismantling notions of the classical and the ideal form, while simultaneously broadening the scope of the human form to include differences of beauty, race, sexuality, and gender."


Photos by William Walker

"The New American Totem"
Fiberglass, Wood


"Portrait of the Artist: Monster in a Closet"
Fiberglass, Wood

"Walking Landscape"
Laminated Wood


"Gender Bender"
Forged Steel


"Padre Nuestro"


Past and Future

Check it out:

Student show submission deadline is next week. Tomorrow night I've got a portfolio photo shoot for all my current work. I've been cramming so hardcore.

I found a bunch of images from my youth... hahaha!
Oh man was I cool... yep.

2004- 16 years old

2003- 15 years old



"Walking Landscape"

Laminated sheets of plywood, particle board, and oak carved and sanded, finished with linseed oil.

Artist's Statement:

When I think of laminated wood, I think of topography. The lines created by carving the wood closely resemble the altitudinal lines on a map. To perpetuate this image, I carved my sculpture to resemble a mountainous landscape. The lines of the hills cut underneath the piece itself, making it seem like a living creature with a heavy belly and legs. I wanted to create and anthropomorphic sense of landscape, allowing the creature and its environment to blend into one entity.

Welded Steel Wire

The assignment was to recreate an everyday object using steel wire. I made a scale coffee cup so precise that a real plastic lid will click onto the lip. But, I made a steel lid that clicks on as well. This is all shaped and welded steel, powder coated black.

Sculpture is Dirty

It's midterms week. I've been up long nights in the library working on preproduction for my short film (screenplay's almost done..), long nights in the sculpture studio carving away at my many projects, tedious mornings in the jewelry lab welding and powder coating... and I wonder why my lungs won't stop coughing.

This is me, cramming early in the morning to finish my blueprints for, a laser cutting service. I designed some little tea candle holders to have cut in hardboard, and they'll be shipped to me soon. If my design works the way I planned, it'll slide together with no glue required.

If my design is good enough, maybe I'll start producing a line of these little tea lights to sell.

I worked in the studio tonight for five hours, and recorded some footage along the way. It may be easier to explain my process in film; I'll see about making a few of these shorts. Sorry for the small frame, I've got an ancient version of Final Cut Pro and it doesn't render video well... and the sound on my Mac HATES the airhose haha, you've been warned!

The Scavenger Project

Does anyone else wanna do this with me? It's a $15 registration fee, but you're guaranteed a spot in their Brooklyn/Seattle gallery shows AND a spot in the published book. You can also pay a little extra and get a T-shirt with your scavenger list on the back, and a copy of the final book. This sounds like an awesome opportunity to practice quickfire sculpture and photography (a la Erwin Wurm), plus, it'll get your name out there. I think it'd be helpful to get a few people doing it simultaneously, so we can brainstorm. I'm signing up either way. If you're interested, PLEASE let me know! Contact me via Facebook: Savanna Leigh or at
From their blog:

This is as much a social experiment as it is an art exhibition. Any medium may be used as long as it can be shipped to us (or photos taken and included on a CD). Experimentation and thinking outside of the box is the name of the game. We mail you a list of 10 items for you to visually interpret along with artists from all over the world!
The final outcome is to document the project in two ways, including multiple exhibitions (at galleries in Brooklyn, NY and Seattle, WA) and in a book.
To sign up please visit

Movie Making

I haven't posted anything I've done in my film production class so far... here you go!

These are both simple silent studies to learn the mechanics of filming and editing. The first was shot out of sequence, the second is a location study of Alzaruba's home and studio. They're not much, but they're a start. I'm really diggin preproduction- storyboards, shot lists, site contracts, scheduling...

Casting Process: Fiberglass

It's been what, three weeks, and I'm finally read to cast. This is it- you either do it right, or you ruin everything, and it's all decided in about 15 minutes. Work fast and accurately. I did this casting as a demo for the Sculpture 1 class- I'm starting to really like teaching..
Prep the mold the night before- Paint on an even coat of Shellac to seal the plaster. When that's dry, paint on a layer of paste wax to act as a release agent. When that's all finished, the mold is ready for the gel coat. This is the first layer that captures all the detail in your image. Use Bondo car body filler. Wear gloves.
Fill a wax cup with Bondo, and add a dash of fiberglass resin to make it thinner. Knead the Bondo's tube of red catalyst till it's no longer watery, then squeeze some into your cup and mix thoroughly. The chemicals will not begin to react until you add catalyst. The Bondo should be light pink- if it's too light, add more. If it's too dark, it'll kick really fast and you'll have very little pot time.
Paint the Bondo mix all around the mold, avoiding air bubbles. Push the Bond to the lip of the mold, but be careful to keep the sides clean. When it starts to kick, the chemicals heat up. Let it set for 30mins, or till it's dry to the touch. Wash all tools in acetone. Cut up fiberglass matte into squares of different sizes, and have them ready and on hand. Wear gloves and sleeves... Fiberglass will make you itch all day if the fibers get in your skin.
Pour fiberglass resin into a wax cup and add its catalyst: MEKP (methyl ethyl ketone peroxide) will make you blind if it gets in your eyes, it'll burn your skin, and it's somewhat explosive... so handle with care. I think the ratio is 7 drops MEKP per tbs of resin... but I just kinda eyeball it. Mix it up, and paint it into the mold on top of the Bondo. Lay fiberglass matte into the resin, and paint more resin on top till the matte is soaked. Make sure the matte squares overlap; this is where fiberglass gets its strength. Add more layers and you could run this sculp over with a car no problem. (I didn't get a picture of this step while I was teaching)
Let it set for 45mins, or till it's dry and cool to the touch, and then break off the plaster with a chisel and hammer.

Et voila, I've got a body! It's lightweight, weatherproof, and super strong. It needs sanding, patching, and painting still, but I'm over the hump.


Special thanks to Willa Fan, who curated the show my paintings are currently hanging in. Though it's not a big show, it's garnered me some publicity- my site traffic is up 65%, and that doesn't hurt! Go check it out!

~Upcoming Events~

10/15/09- Moaning Pipe Cabaret this Thursday 6:30-8. I'll be playing music! Ukazoo Books on Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. No cover, free coffee!

10/16/09- Glassblowing this Friday 6-11 @ McFadden Glass Art on Eastern Ave Baltimore. I'll be blowing glass! Live glassblowing demos, drink specials, no cover, free parking.

10/17-09- Glitterama this Saturday @ Creative Alliance, shows at 7 and 1o. $12 for all the burlesque you can handle! The King of Kitsch, your well-greased host, Greggy Glitterati, brings you both the beauteous and the nutty in an evening of wonderment. The luscious Lena Grove of Gilded Lily. The titillating boylesque of Paco Fish. The socially-conscious puppetry of Sibelius and The Cause Company. Comedic burlesque babe, Ms. Shortstax. The death-defying trapeze of Nicollete Le Fay. Ms Malibu, the fiery mistress of Tiny Hats! The Living Balloons of the immaculate Poptarts! And laying the beats beneath the bumps, DJ Wachsentush!

Hope to see you there!

Casting Process: Molding pt 2

So, I tore the foamcore off the sides of my set plaster, used a rasp on the surface to make it nice and level so it sits soundly, and carefully flipped it over to reveal the clay beneath. Then it's time to dig all that hard work out of the mold... destroying the model is pretty fun though. My feet are in the image below, for a sense of scale.

Once the clay is all gone, I spent a while cleaning the inside of the mold with water and a paintbrush. Any residue left inside will end up on the casting, so I want it as clean as possible. I discovered a crap load of little airbubbles in the plaster... this is gonna be a pain later. That means that for every little hole in the plaster there will be a little bubbly wart on my casting that I'll have to grind down. Ah well, better luck next time. My splatter coat was probably a little too thick.

Once it's good and clean, I left it in the oven at 250*F for about 5 hours to dry it out. The thicker the mold, the longer the bake time. It probably could have used 7 hours. The plaster needs to be bone dry before moving on to the next step- it should be ready by Monday night.

The Sculpture 1 class is learning how to cast in fiberglass, and I'll be using this mold to teach them via demo on Tuesday morning. I'll try to get pictures of the actual casting process, but if I can't, there are a few here.


Tomorrow I'm hanging a show on campus in Registration to benefit their ongoing Diversity themed art show.
My work will be up from 10/9-10/16
if you're around and want to see it. I had to write up a quick artist statement for the labels:

I am a sculptor, and I’ve been creating art and art objects my whole life. I’ve been trained in formal painting since high school, and have over the past few years begun to explore space in three dimensions. Now I try to combine drawing and sculpture by creating textures on the surface of my work reminiscent of painting, particularly in the stroke of Jackson Pollock.

My painting is highly process oriented and expressionistic; I am interested in the juxtaposition between action and reaction, or rather, cause and consequence. These abstract paintings are created in under an hour with no prior planning, which is why many of these works are painted on found materials such as cardboard and wood. There are no sketches, no pre-existing concepts, only the intention to express myself as quickly and as clearly as I can in a visual medium. There is no better way to describe the way I was feeling in a specific moment; these abstractions are my captured emotions.

In my sculpture, I am interested in investigating identity. I come from mixed cultural backgrounds and it's hard to find my own personal identity in any particular culture, especially in this American "melting pot." By blending the visual identities of multiple other cultures with America’s trite modern aesthetic in my art, I hope to create a facade of personal identity that is cultural, sexual, and religious. This mix of ideas creates a realistic combination of identity and hopefully offers the viewer a glimpse into someone else's world.