Rural Studio Blog

Let’s take a line for a walk

It’s the last week of On & Beyond the Chair class and work continues with students at home drawing by hand and sharing their explorations through this blog. Every day for 10 minutes students have been “taking a line for a walk” around their living rooms. A few of today’s collection of drawings include a “jungle bedroom” and a southern back porch: the most magical of all the social spaces!

Let’s take a line for a walk

On & Beyond the Chair class continues with students at home drawing by hand, while sharing their individual explorations through this blog. Every day, for 10 minutes, students have been “taking a line for a walk” around their chairs.

Students finished their first week of work building a collection of 8″ x 11″ drawings with a great sense of discovery.

Let’s take a line for a walk

On & Beyond the Chair class continues with students at home drawing by hand, while sharing their individual explorations through this blog. Learning from each other has been a significant part of students’ experience inside Chantilly House, our beautiful studio space located in the heart of Newbern.

In the last few days students have been working on a collection of 8″ x 11″ drawings: a fun and relaxing ten-minute long, daily exercise “taking a line for a walk around their chair.” 

Students have been asked to quickly look, draw, look, draw, look, draw. The assignment encourages them to make quick decisions while continuously drawing a line. They must keep as small an interval as possible between drawing and looking at the chair. 

When the time spent by the hand wondering is longer than the time spent by the eye looking, the drawing become more abstract than descriptive.

Potatoes, Potahtoes

A wide view of potato plants, collards, and cover crops

Most potatoes are not grown from seed, but rather by planting out “seed potatoes,” which are just high-quality whole potatoes, or pieces of potatoes, that were saved from a previous season. Here in Alabama, February is the best month to plant them, which is what Eric and the students did, despite all the rain. There are many ways to plant out potatoes, but at Rural Studio Farm the students set them out along shallow trenches in the newly built in-ground raised beds.

Then, students covered the potatoes with several inches of hay (many growers hill up soil around the seed potatoes). The hay protects the potatoes, modulates temperatures, suppresses weeds, and helps to retain moisture.

After a few weeks, the potatoes pushed their way through the hay and continued to grow.

Once the sprouts reached about 8 – 12 inches, Eric then hilled up even more hay around the plants until only the growing tips were left exposed. As the potatoes grow, the tubers will form in the hilled-up hay, increasing yields. This also eliminates the need to do any digging to harvest the potatoes—just open up the hay.

Cabinet Class From Afar

A lot has happened since the last Cabinet Class blog! Rural Studio has transitioned their classrooms to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Anyone see that coming? Not us.

To keep everyone safe, class is now being held on an online video platform. Obviously, this will change what is expected from students for the rest of the semester. Unfortunately, in accordance with Auburn University regulations, the Studio has put all on-site construction on hold, which includes 20K Ophelia’s Home. As a result of all of these changes, this class will regretfully be unable to fabricate their cabinets this semester. 

This change in plans, however, will not stop the class from powering forward! Teams are now working remotely to finalize the design of their cabinets. With their final designs, students will create thorough sets of construction drawings and instructions for the use of Ophelia and Rural Studio.  Hopefully, at the end of April, this class will have all components needed to build the cabinets, so the next class can construct cabinets when the Studio is able to return to the shop. Steve and Chelsea are excited to see the beautiful fabrication drawings this semester creates!

Zoom Meeting with Joo, Jay, and Hannah