Saturday, December 19, 2009

Moving Along

Well here is the first look at what I've been talking about doing. The branches are going to be attached to small square panels that will allow them to be hung on the wall using a french hanging mechanism. I've been a little frustrated with the space (or more so the total lack of space) so I haven't actually been in the studio much since these were taken. I reorganized it and got rid of some crap but the more that gets built means less space I for me to move and work in. As you can see from the images my work table goes back and forth between gluing and drying and building panels. The act of attaching the block pieces to the actual tree pieces is a tediously frustrating battle. I have bottles and weights and clamps of all sizes and each attachment is a balancing act.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rawr Rawr Rawr!

Hey world. Contrary to any digital proof I've been pretty busy here in the studio. I have been documenting things here and there but the photos are pretty unorganized so the blog will be a good bit behind whats actually happening. Any how lets get on with it and see some pics.

Here is a glimpse of the army of glued together stick components that I am going to be combining with some actual sticks that I collected today at the beach. Up above is the massive box of wood chips that are used to create the stacks.Shiney Crusty Metal!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Well its been a while but don't think I've forgotten about the blog! Mostly I've been looking for jobs and trying to make some money on the side doing some house painting. I have been in the studio working on more wood stuff but I never make time to clear off my table and take a some images. Anyway here is some proof of my existence as an artist. Hopefully I'll get around to cleaning off my desk sometime soon but until then I'll probably be building more with the wood.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I've been on a bit of a vacation at my parents cabin in north-eastern Wisconsin. I got an opportunity to do some fishing and camping on the Menominee river that divides Wisconsin and Michigan. We camped a few hundred yards above the dam. Here are a couple of things I put up throughout the last couple of weeks. In the background of the top image you can see a WE Energies hydro-electric dam. Hopefully I will get back into the swing of things and spend some time outside building while the weather is nice.

Friday, July 31, 2009


So this week I have been spending some time reorganizing my space. This was long over due. I wasn't really working in the studio and I attribute that to the fact that I couldn't actually move in it. I built these two shelves out of scrap wood and that was pretty huge. Its nice to have some areas designated for the collection of dust and random junk that I acquire.

I also hung up some more work in our house so I'm going to throw some images of that stuff in too since it took me the greater part of an afternoon. The wood piece (blue triangles) has never been hung before and I actually really like it up on the wall. Its also a fairly simple process if I can get access to some saws. So I am thinking about making some more work that is similar.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bike & Build!

Well its been a while since I've posted but that fortunately does not mean
that I haven't been creating some stuff. I've been working on the studio itself a little (trying to organize it and make it seem a little bit bigger). And I've started doing some more graphic stuff (cutting up some books) as well as a little bit of painting and I built a couple of panels for me to work on. That stuff has a ways to go and so far I haven't taken any images of it yet. Last week Thursday Tabby and I went to our friend Don's neighborhood and did some biking and building on a bike trail between Cedar Grove and Oostburg. We had a blast. We hadn't seen Don in a long time and it was good to see him and meet his wife Eileen. Don has been building near the bike trail for a few years now. As it turns out we've been doing some pretty similar things sort of parallel to one another without fully realizing that we were doing them. To see some more images that were taken on our adventure and to get a better idea of what Don is up to you can also check his blog at: I should have another post (or hopefully two) coming this week so stay tuned.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I was sitting in my studio today trying to think about what I could do with what I had. Then I looked outside and realized that it was way too be indoors. So I Decided to go for a bike ride and see if I could find a good location to make a sculpture. This is what I came up with.

I ended up at Saulk Creek Nature preserver which is on the edge of Port Washington. Its a really neat little area with some pretty nice trails. I really enjoyed riding my bike on them. I felt like I was actually getting some use out of my mountain bike.

I thought I would throw this image in to as a way to reference the scale of the piece. I had to get the rocks up there and then climb up and build. It was a bit of a struggle but lots of fun.

I'm dubbing this last image an "Urness" shot. I've decided that the "Urness" is an image where you snag a couple of unsuspecting plants along with your sculpture. I'm a big fan of this technique. Cheers!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Backpack Stack

I made this stack on Tuesday evening. It was a really nice night out. I took my backpack down to the breakwater and decided to fill it with stones and take them out to the lighthouse. I thought it was a really fun exercise. There were a few people out there and they seemed to really what I was doing. I have a hard time working in front of people... its like an artists version of stage fright, but once I started talking to people about it I felt really good about it. I'm thinking I will probably go back today and make another. More later.


P.S. this is a picture of a duckling that got separated from its family. *sad face*

Monday, July 6, 2009

So last week was sort of slow for art making. I started teaching a mosaics class at summer school. So far I am really enjoying working with the kids. Anyhow here are a couple of images of the small wood stacks. I also went up north (Crivitz area) for the weekend and I didn't make much in terms of art. Although I did find some interesting knickknacks and some tools at a rummage sale. I got a couple of pieces of copper sheet for one dollar. I am hoping to build some rings out of those in the future but I need to acquire a jewelers saw before I can attack that project. I also found, a bag full of keys and locks, a bag full of sticky cork, a killer pair of safety glasses, three files, half dozen drill bits, and some other random tools at the rummage sale. In other words... it was a major score for a grand total of 8 bucks.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back to Wood

Well I have been working on these some more. There are about half a dozen so far. The idea behind these smaller pieces is that they will eventually be components to a larger whole. One of my goals in creating these pieces is to reference a stick or branch. That being said I'm really not trying to recreate a stick. In fact I have been avoiding bringing in tree branches or even pictures of tree branches. The idea behind this is that it sort of requires me to imagine what I think a branch should look like. As a result of this I am sort of realizing that my creations don't really reference a tree branch much at all. By this I mean I've never seen a stick that is just one straight line or branch. So I have been working out new ways for these piece to have a more organic forum. Originally these forums started as a pretty basic stack but I am developing slightly more complex ways of creating branches. The picture below represents one of these methods. I'll post some more pictures in the future but the light in the studio was bad and its too hot tonight to deal with the blog editor and its finicky picture uploaded. More at a later date.


Friday, June 19, 2009

I have returned! Vacation was great fun (as it should be)! We rented a house boat on the Mississippi river. We stayed at three differnt beaches. For most of the trip we were a bit north of a small town called Wabasha, MN. Overall we traveled a 20 mile stretch of the river. The scenery and was beautiful. We caught some fish and watched some eagles. One morning we woke up to the sound of an eagle feast that was happening about 30 yds down the beach from our houseboat. One of the bald eagles caught a huge fish and eight of her friends came to share it with her. Well I was there I made a couple of stacks. So this is what I have to share for this week. Hope you enjoy. I'll be kayaking on a river near Stevens Point, WI this weekend so hopefully I'll have another post early next week.

Friday, June 12, 2009

micro wood stacks

So this is pretty much what I have been working on. I saved a big box of scraps from previous projects and I am working on gluing them together. Right now my intent is to create the sort of oblong stack forms and adhere them to pieces of driftwood that I find. One of the images below sort of illustrates that. In a sense I am re-imagining the form of the stick as it would sit on a tree. I view this process as a sort of reconstruction of the tree. I'm sure I will develop this concept further as I work on these more.

In other news I probably won't post again for about a week. I am going to the east side of the state where I am going to be spending next week on a house boat on the Mississippi River. I'm really looking forward to the trip I think it is going to be a lot of fun. Maybe I will have some interesting pictures to share next week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Slide Shows: 0 Matt: 1 million

Woot! I posted these slide shows and it only took me like 4 hours!... (and some help from Tabby) Chalk it up as a win. Also Tabby tells me my website is coming along nicely. Feel free to check it out!

First post... Woot!

So I guess this is my first post. Trying something new I guess. The premise behind this blog is that it'll let me track my progress as well as share some images of what I am making. Hopefully the idea that someone out there is looking at this blog will motivate me to keep coming up with interesting ideas. Either way I've found that I have quite a bit of time on my hands and I should be making some art during that time. So this seems like a fun and easy way to share what I am doing with all my friends!

So far it feels like the transition to working in this space is going rough, but I am optimistic that I will come up with something by the end of the week. I think I am almost there. I got my small work bench set up in my studio (a.k.a. laundry room). Today I glued together the last slices of door that i had left over from Whitewater. Originally I was going to bring a lot more with me but I feel like I should be done with those forms for now. Either way I am struggling to find avenue to explore. I walked on the beach today with Tabby and found a nice piece of driftwood that I thought I would cut apart with my small circular saw. The saw is smaller than the wood and would not cut through the diameter of it (demoralized me for at least 10 minutes). Even though it didn't work out like I had intended the driftwood has given me a few more ideas. Overall I am thankful that I have a place to make some work. I also realize the importance of gathering objects and bringing them home.

Anyway this is long enough for now. I am going to go back to my studio for a bit and hopefully come up with something worth posting about tomorrow. The images are: my cool new studio! [top images] Last Piece (for now) made from the sliced up door [bottom images].