As of today, hopefully Wednesday's will be the day I consistently blog about my thesis work. Now that school has begun, a schedule is emerging from the obligations of college life. Making food, staying awake in class, staying fit, and making money are the recurring events in my schedule thus far, and my bloodstream is beginning to run with coffee, water and a daily glass of wine (I take after my mother). In spare time, it is difficult to want to read a book about my thesis, even though I know I will enjoy it. At this point, I'm debating taking a train ride to nowhere just to force myself to read.
I have discovered that planning out exactly what I will do each week helps me achieve my goal, therefore I present to you the next two weeks of thesis work.
Week 1: I have recently discovered that bones contain grease, which makes them smell (thanks bone-lust.blogspot.com) and I need to soak my bones in a water and dishsoap mixture to remove this smell. The process of degreasing may take multiple months depending on how much fat and grease is in the bones. Hopefully, being exposed to the elements this summer will have removed a lot of the grease on my specimens, but I'm going to start the process on most of my bones tonight. If I have time after doing other school work, I will read The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, which was recommended by Elaine Rutherford.
Week 2: Luckily, I have some bone chips which will be perfect for experimentation and probably wont take very long to degrease, so next week I will be playing with cyanotyping and indigo dying on the bones. Scott Murphy bought an indigo kit over the summer and there are leftovers for use on the smaller bones to see what patterns and colors emerge.
Questions being addressed through next weeks exploration are:
1) How long does it take to for bone cyanotypes to expose under UV light?
2) How long does it take for the unexposed chemical to rinse out of bones?
3) How clear of an image can be achieved on bones using the cyanotype method?
4) Does indigo dying work on bones?
5) If it works, does presoaking the bone in water help the dye soak in?
6) What colors and patterns can be achieved through dying the bones multiple times.
I am excited to see how both chemical processes work on such a strange material and am hopeful for success, but am also prepared for failure. In the words of Brother David Paul "the restrictions create the most successful artwork," so lets find some restrictions and see what can be created.
Peace and Blue,