VWA Artists in Residence Update
The last couple of months have gone by quickly. I finished my piece ‘Hand Operated’ in Hydrowood Celery Top Pine, designed by John Wardle, which was exhibited at Heide MOMA over Melbourne Design Week. I also continued working on a collection of nine pieces of furniture for a new penthouse suite in Collingwood. Working mostly with white oak, these pieces use plenty of curves and a mixture of ebonising and natural finishes.
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Isabel Avendano Hazbun
Titled ‘Three Easy Pieces for Two Hands’ these three puzzles were designed by Simon Lloyd for the exhibition ‘Relatively Useful’ at Heide Museum of Modern Art. The segments for each piece were glued together using a paper joint, then turned, painted and later separated to create the stack. They are a playful tactile game meant to keep your hands occupied when thinking.
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I am currently taking a break from my tenancy at the WDC to spend time with family in America and help with the restoration of an adobe farmhouse in New Mexico. A few years ago my family purchased the building, which had been continuously occupied since its construction in the 1840s and was home to a legendary local weaver, Agueda Salazar Martínez.
Adobe is a pre-colonial method of construction in this region involving sun baked mud brick and layers of plaster. It is unique by nature and an attention to detail and knowledge of material and process are an essential element of restoration. It has been fascinating to observe the process and learn about plastering techniques from the tradespeople onsite. I hope to incorporate what I learn here into my work when I return to Australia.
My contribution to the renovation of the house was initially limited to cabinetry, but I ended up starting with the flooring, which is pictured below. The challenge here is following the profile of the 500mm thick adobe walls, which are undulating and far from square. A final layer of plaster will be applied to the seam where the wall meets the floor to create a clean transition.
I had been waiting, like much of the world, to reunite with loved ones these past few years and feel fortunate that the opportunity finally presented itself, and along with it the chance to contribute to my efforts to the build and acquire a new skill in the process.