Friday, November 14, 2014

Visits, Open Studios, and Waterfire

Song of the Day: Careful You, TV on the Radio

Providence Stuff: Providence in 1947


Well, we had our first Halloween back in America. Both of us were quite excited to have kids ringing the doorbell, begging for candy, but were disappointed to find that since our little dead-end street is on the other side of the main road from the rest of the neighborhood, very few families make their way over to us. We had nine trick or treaters; our neighbors said that's a 900% increase from about five years ago. 

I took the dogs for a walk at dusk to see some of the decorations and costumes. Folks in the main neighborhood had done a good job representing. There were several fire pits out in front of houses, complete with a tailgate atmosphere: coolers, buffet tables of wings, treats, and costumed dads. Kenz had brought her work home that evening so that she could hand out candy (she was much more optimistic about the foot traffic than I). 

Likely the best house (there was music being pumped through outdoor speakers as well). 

Still decorating at 5pm.

"I want more visitors"

She kept painting until well past midnight. 

Nephew Oliver got dudded up for the evening. 


Pet life is the same as it ever was. No matter the weather, the dogs are eager to get out for their walks each day, which can cause some problems for their 'walker' - I've had to dig deep into our London things to find my boots and waterproof pants because the rain here is just above freezing. Now that Kenz has brought the plants inside, Bruce Bruce makes regular investigations throughout the day. 

Willow, ever the lady, crosses her legs when lying down.

Rain walks? OK!

Lemme see what's going on with this plant. 

Doing a Willow impersonation. 

Apollo got a new 'baby' this week and has been carrying it everywhere

BB found a new fort in some discarded packing material. 

"Dad, she's in my spot." 


There has been a slight uptick in visiting over the past two weeks. We've kept up with "family dinner" night on Monday nights, having Jasmine over in her last few weeks before moving to NYC. And, as a delightful surprise, I got to see some old friends last Friday afternoon. Will & Kira were among the first to visit us in London. The two of them (now engaged - more on that in June) were traveling up to Boston for a wedding with Kira's family. They gave me a call around lunchtime, saying they'd be stopping in Providence for food. "Don't go into Providence - come to Pawtuxet Village!" It was great fun to meet the rest of Kira's family over sandwiches and coffee in my little village's brunch spot. 

Mom'n'Tom headed into Knoxville for Kara's baby shower and took the opportunity to drop by the Gibson's to meet newborn Oliver. Kenz was taken aback: "My in-laws just went to see their in-law's little sister's baby! Man, I lucked out with some cool in-laws."

Monday night family dinner. 

Will & I.

Kira, her dad, and Will

Kira's mom & brother.

Stoked to have old friends appear in PVillage!

Kara, MOMA, and Oliver. 

Jasmine finally got us out of the house for $5 mussels & fries at a local french restaurant. Kenz was loving it. 


Kenz's schoolwork is coming along - however, it seems to be a blend of satisfying and arduous work. She's still averaging over eighty hours per week in the studio, coming home each night sore, exhausted, and sweaty. Yet, she still looks forward to each new day in the studio. Last Friday was an "open studio," which was an opportunity for students to showcase their works in progress for the public. I visited and was immediately impressed with the quality and breadth of work that was being done. I left there realizing this was not the same as Camberwell; these folks are on another level (including Kenz). 

She's doing a blend of work for both graduate and undergraduate courses since she's in the three year program (the first year has a few undergraduate courses to bring her up to speed on fabrication, which includes relatively simple, focused assignments that don't necessarily ignite her creative spark). Below are pictures of things for both types of classes. 
Her graduate independent study is in metal; her prof said "I've never seen anyone braid metal before."

Making a stool to satisfy an undergrad woodworking course. 

I don't know what course this is for, but it's a mahogany egg that has to be perfect (she's spent three weeks sanding it)

The prof going over stools. 

Open studio. 

They each made a cutout to put beside their work; this thing is definitely coming home (they're currently using it to scare others in the studio). 

Aside from the braid, Kenz showed the models of what will become final projects in two separate classes. 

It was neat to see what her colleagues were working on, walk around the studio, and see her in her element. 

They spend more time with each other than their own families; no wonder they have a height marker on the door threshold. 

Ice bucket mojitos. 

Served in plastic bags. 

Kenz is currently attempting to braid enough metal to become a structural element in her table. 

It's proving to be a hassle since the ceiling is lower than the metal rod's reach...

...but at least she has found some super sweet welding glasses. 


Considering Kenz's schedule, we've yet to really sink our teeth into Providence's night (or day) life. However, we knew that this weekend was the last Waterfire of the season, so we mustered the energy to get downtown and walk along the river. We didn't know much of what to expect, but it turned out to be a lot more adorable than at least I expected. There are fire basins all along the river, which runs through the heart of the city, complete with gondolas, outdoor music, and a crafts fair near RISD's campus. There's not much else to it, but I'm not sure there needs to be much else. We simply walked along the river, held hands, and enjoyed the people watching. I look forward to doing it in the summertime when it's not 40 degrees outside. 

I parked far away and strolled past the state house on my way to meet Kenz. 

The middle of the river has a circle of basins.

This past lighting was a salute to Veterans in honor of Veterans Day.

When I say gondolas, I mean gondolas

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!