Monday, August 29, 2005

Another Sunday trip to the water

On the second Sunday, Tina took us to Deception Point, down on the Peuget Sound. It's a dramatic merger of rivers and tides - a place where the tides fluctuate so greatly that the currents are dangerous.
Only Tim, Timmy, Josh, and I chose to come - but it was lovely. Here's Tim contemplative.

The sheltered cove we selected, and Tim and Josh scaling the walls.

Tim and I swam briefly in the water - but it was a bit like the chill of the glacial stream in Iceland - quickly in and quickly out, then return a few times till the cold settles into your skin a few layers deep.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I'd never cast glass before. Josh and Vickie, the other TAs, taught me how to cast.
First, you make your molds - in this case, sand molds for some lenses I wanted to try.

Then gather glass from the furnace in a large, heavy iron ladel,

Rest the ladel on a support while someone trims off the excess glass,

Lift the ladel and carry it to your mold,

And pour into your mold.

Check the class site for images of the others casting.
Not all the students chose to cast - but it was a fun morning.

More photos from the movie project.

Check out the photos on the movie site -

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Day 4... 5? A break.

It's been crazy busy here - we've blown, cast, gone through code, sensors and responses, and started the students on concept and all that. So - Saturday night we took the students on a ride around the tree farm that surrounds Pilchuck.

(That's Tim and Simone)

(Josh on the overlook statue.)

We caught the sunset over the Pueget Sound. Saw the moonrise over the edge of the Cascades. And felt the remains of a 2000 year old cedar deep in the woods (it was too dark to really see it.)

The next day, Tina, Josh, Vickie and I skipped out from campus to Pike's place by the sound.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Day 3 - Discovery

On the third day, late in the evening, I gathered up my courage for a swim in the pond. The pond is great - deep and moves a bit - but I'm scared of things I can't see under the water and of reeds, ropes, trees etc - anything that can tangle me. But in the interests of facing my fears, and with the confidence that I enjoy swimming - I swam and I've been going back as often as I can.

Day 2 - the demos

On the day the students arrived, the Pilchuck staff, TAs and instructors did a series of demonstrations. The big project was a giant hot glass light bulb.

I worked with Ken Rinaldo and two flameworkers to realize the Steam Organ.

The Steam Organ is a flameworked tube with fluted tubes off to the sides. Each tube is positioned beside a tiny hole and a tiny plate strung on a nickle-chrome wire being heated red-hot but 110 current. Water is dripped through the holes onto the plates which hold the water beside the hot wires and creates steam. The sound echos through the horns to the listener.

An un expected result was the stretch the heat and current introduced to the wire. Cycling the current to keep it low enough not to blow the wire and overheat the piece created a rhythmic click on the interior of the organ.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Day 1: Arrived at Pilchuck

This morning Chris, Eden and I had a great brunch then walked down to the Fremont area where I headed off to meet Tina. She and I drove up to Pilchuck to start the class set up.

Check out the class blog at Tina and I will be posting there occassionally.

The hot shop at sunset from our studio.

The day before, Chris and Eden showed me the city - including a stand of old growth forest in West Seattle.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Iceland from another's eye

Stephanie Misa had a great old camera - and a good eye for images. Here are a few that were posted on her flickr account. (Thanks Steph!)
Extras waiting for the next shot - but not looking too into the pizza.
Haddi, the Assistant Director.
Jonas, Key Grip
Matti, extra extraordinaire.
Thelma, set pet extraordinaire.
Villi, the sound guy, and an extra.
Now for a bit more of our camping trip...
Fura, contemplating the nature.
Reaching the top.
At the top.
Isold and I.
John, the day after, and post-dip in a glacial stream.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Things that surprised me: Cats and Pools

When I travel there are generally some small unexpected things that pull me outside of my assumptions and show me how different the place I am is from where I've been. In Iceland, before we left the city, two things revealed the city to me - in a slow fashion, but still a lasting one - the urban cats, and the swimming pools.

I shall start the story of the pool with a digression: The first day I met Adda she suggested we swim in the mornings. I agreed - and met her for a brisk walk from the apartment, along the pond at the heart of the city, and towards her local pool.

We'd walk to the pool in the quiet of the morning. At the pool, we'd pick up a locker key, change and bathe, then head out to the common area. What gradually surprised me was the calm of the place - the people swimming seemed to enjoy it rather than race through a workout. Conversation at lane ends and in the hot tubs ranged from society to politics to business and other aspects of life. So not only is it swimming through clean, clear water sparklingin the sun, but its a center of society and community for Icelanders.

So, the strengths of the swimming community surprised me, as did the number of pools (Iceland is powered by it's geothermal activity so there is lots of good, fresh, warm water). My second surprise were the cats: friendly, vocal, gentle - even in downtown Reykjavik. They all seemed to have homes and to trust people. They were delightful and very different from the either indifferent or feral and dirty New York cats. That Icelandic urban cats are as happy as farm dogs, reflects the closeness to nature of their society and culture.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Downtown Reykjavik

For part of the shoot I was on traffic duty - hanging out on the far corner from the bar and trying to get drivers to take a detour around Laugevur. This was my view to the water.

At the foot of the hill, on the waters edge, stands a Viking longboat inspired modern sculpture.

For the taxi shots we had to rig the car to accommodate the camera on the outside. The was the biggest rigging we did. The biggest sets were the community center and the bar scenes.

Ingunn - script supervisor.

People on the bar scene exterior.

The church from down the street.

Monday, August 08, 2005

More Reykjavik

Late one night about 3am, Misa and I went for a walk in the city. As it's summer there, the sky had only deepened, rather than darkened, but there was quiet all around us in the city. We walked the short distance from the Freyjugata apartment, up to the church which defines the Reykjavik skyline. The tall columns of its facade are based on a natural rock formation elsewhere on the island.

The city is similarly interesting and inviting since even in the deepness of the night it's light enough to explore. The quality of the light is such that I can imagine the presence of unseen creatures just at the edge of my vision. Imagine that feeling when out among the mountains and glaciers - it makes the strength og belief in the supernatural here much easier to understand.

The sky and proximity of the ocean and the rough-hewn mountains was ever-present throughout the trip as well.

And for so small a community, it is very creative, lots of arts, and surprises. At one of the three internet cafes we used, a youthful klezmer band struck up an evening of music. It was delightful and brought in many passersby.

More Murals

Earlier I posted two murals. I saw this one below behind my internet cafe.

Art in Reykjavik

While searching for props I went into serveral art spaces. I didn't always have my camera with me - but liked the feel of much I saw.

An arrangement of Icelandic volcanic rocks.

A chime based on the motion of the water and the flotation and impact of the ceramic bowls. Lovely sound and experience of crafted randomness.

An electronic installation where projected fireworks and the sound of them is emulated on site by an array of small neon tubes and circuitry suspended from the ceiling.