Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fall Forest Festival Celebrate Art In the Forest

I'm currently harvesting various fibres for paper making, and making new sculptures for the upcoming York Region's Fall Forest Festival Celebrate Art In the Forest. This show aligns beautifully with my works — creating organic light sculptures with natural materials.

Aside from displaying my light sculptures, I will also do a demo on the process of making a light sculpture. More detail of the festival can be found here.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Artist In Education 2014-2015

I like to take a moment to thank the Ontario Arts Council for letting me be apart of the Artist-In-Education program during the school year 2014-2015. During this school year I was at Danforth C.T.I., and Humberside C.I. demonstrating the techniques used to create a paper light sculpture. It has been a wonderful learning experience not only for the students, but also for myself as well!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Innisfil Stidio Tour 2014

Meet many artists and see their works at the Innisfil Studio Tour!

This weekend (Saturday November1st and Sunday November 2nd, from 10am to 5pm), I will be displaying my sculptures at Munro's, apart of the 22nd Annual Innisfil Studio Tour. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Arts on Main 2014

Arts on Main Experienced Artist Winners (Debra Gibbs, Joanne Rich, Michele Eissler, John Schmelefske, and Mary Luck), and Presenters Patricia Middlebrook, and Colleen Kotnisz).

Thank you South Simcoe Arts Council, and their contributors for presenting my light sculpture Maple, 1st prize in three dimensional art category during the Arts on Main 2014. I am very excited and at the same time, speechless. Below is the winning sculpture, Maple. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Artist In Education 2013-2014

Thank-you Ontario Arts Council for giving me the Artist-in-Education grant for the school year 2013-2014. This grant has allowed me to teach the skills and techniques of building a light sculpture to six high schools in Ontario. 

During the 5 day workshop, the students are taught how to use the materials to form the structure, and the techniques of applying the tissues. Here are some pictures of the workshop and some students' work. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Light Sculptures Made From Dogwood

In my previous post,  From Reeds to Dogwood, I introduced my newest harvest straight from my garden - dogwood. I've started experimenting with this new material as a substitute for reed to form the skeleton of my paper light sculptures. Below are the first three of my latest art lamps, handmade with dogwood:

Creeping - handmade light sculpture art lamp by Simcoe artist Joanne Rich
Creeping, 2014

Creeping was the first light sculpture lamp I made with dogwood. Dogwood may not be as flexible as reed, but it still has some good flex to it. This sculpture started out as several circles in various sizes, later joined together by three dogwood branches. Getting it to balance was not as easy as I thought it would be, but after hours of fine tuning, I finally got the piece to balance. The sculpture is covered with several layers of tissues with paste. As the paste dries, it shrinks and pulls the tissues, giving Creeping it's unique shape. Once lit, my husband said "I feel like it's creeping towards me". So I named this sculpture, Creeping.

Light in the Woods - handmade light sculpture art lamp by Simcoe artist Joanne Rich
Light In The Woods, 2014

Light In The Woods was the second sculpture I made using dogwood. For this sculpture, dogwood is bent just like how I would with reeds, except I didn't cut off any twigs that branched off the dogwood. The result? Once lit, intricate "branching" details hidden inside the sculpture, are finely visible.

Echo - handmade light sculpture art lamp by Simcoe artist Joanne Rich
Echo, 2014

For Echo, I wanted to see if I can imitate the "free-flowing" sculptures I made using reed. I gathered all the dogwood similar in size, and snipped off all the branches. The result is a sculpture that is "free-flowing", but in it's own special dogwood kind of way.

My next project will be making tissues from the milkweeds I collected earlier in Fall 2013. Currently the weather outside is a bit chilly to start my papermaking project, but at the first sign of spring, I'll be out there!

Monday, October 28, 2013

From Reeds to Dogwood

A dogwood bush growing in front of my house.

I take pride that my sculptures are made with natural materials. With support from the Ontario Arts Council, I received an Access and Career Development grant to study papermaking with plant fibers with Akemi at Kozo Studio. Since then I have made sculptures with maple leaves, forsythia, grasses, and even onion skin!

Functional art light sculpture handmade by Joanne Rich using forsythia paper.
The paper on this sculpture, is made from forsythia fibers.

Functional art light sculpture handmade by Joanne Rich using blackberry paper.
The paper in this sculpture is made from blackberry fibers.

When I first started making my sculptures, I used reed to form the skeleton. Reed was the material introduced to me when I first learned how to make my light sculptures. It's very easy to work with. Just soak it in warm water for 10 minutes, and it's extremely flexible.
Reed is used to form the skeleton.

I'm happy using reeds, but it's shipped from Indonesia. It disturbed me when I think about its carbon footprint. Just like our diet is influenced by what's available in our surroundings, I began to wonder if it can be the same for materials. I looked into basket weaving in Canada, and came across dogwood. I've never used dogwood before, but upon researching I learned that it should be harvest in the fall, when the sap is at their lowest. It should be pruned close to the ground, to encourage new shoots in the spring.

Although not as long as reed, it is flexible, and as a bonus, colorful! After harvesting, they are dried before I can use them (I read that they shrink).

Dogword to be used in functional art light sculptures handmade by Joanne Rich.
After pruning. It will need to be dried before I can use them.

You can learn more about this process by following this blog, taking one of my sculpture making workshops here in Simcoe County, or taking a look at the final product in my shop.