a lot over the last few weeks. She is facilitating the long-term preservation of my cup drawings through an encaustic process.
Cup of the Day #64
Boiling Cup by Gwyneth Leech
India ink on brown and white paper cups
I stand by her giant west facing windows all day, dipping cups in a molten solution of beeswax and Damar varnish. Then I slowly fuse the surface of each cup with a heat gun. Slow is not my usual way, so I have been learning to be more methodical and careful as I go, gently heating the wax surface rather than overheating and causing the wax to run right off the cup.
Barbara has a lot of tables in her studio because she teaches workshops for R & F, the encaustic paint manufacturer, on a regular basis. It has been wonderful to have the space to spread out the cups, and to walk around and see them in different lights. I began to stack them into tall structures the other day, tantilizingly totemic towers of ornamentation. This opens a whole window on scuplture!
I will be installing the massed cup exhibition in just over a month, so I am pressing on with treating the nearly 300 cups I have so far. A few more days should see the job accomplished.
Dipping Cups in Barbara Ellmann's studio
Long Island City
The trip out to Barbara's studio on the N train is full of interest. Emerging above ground just before Queensborough Plaza, the train ascends along curving tracks that wind through the neighborhood, providing close views of water towers and the graffitied upper reaches of warehouses. From the elevated platfrom at 39th Ave-Beebe I descend a long narrow flight of stairs, and walk a few blocks to her studio. On 39th Avenue a new vista spreads before me across Long Island City to Manhattan, dominated by the red and white striped stacks of a power plant they call Big Alice.
Sunset through water towers,
from the studio building
Long Island City