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August 31, 2023

by saguirrerisdedu

Change is Imminent: Fabrication In The Final Weeks | Samuel Aguirre | MFA Furniture Design ’24

We are in it. Deep in the fabrication process and all the hurdles that come with it. There is not one shop where all the work is taking place. There is not one supplier providing all the materials. There is not one location with all the tools we need. The fabrication process has been a series of hurdles, surprises, uh-ohs, and a couple ‘WOAH, didn’t see that coming”. The only constant would be the 500 board feet of donated redwood, myself the artist/fabricator, and the support of What Cheer Flower Farm Leadership. For this I am grateful.

This summer has been a lesson in the art of pivot. To accept the surprise around every corner and adapt to find the best path forward. I’m not your typical graduate student, in that I’m a little more “experienced”. I’ve been around the sun a few more times… I’ve lived through change and have grown because of it. And even with all the experience and mental preparation, change can still blindside. It takes time to recalibrate, shift focus, and move forward. To properly recalibrate is to accept the inevitable surprise is a part of the process. Sometimes it takes a moment to remember that. To change my expectations is to change my attitude toward a situation. And it’s attitude that dictates if a hurdle is a source of stress and anxiety, an opportunity, or simply a bump in the road. Sometimes two steps back and one forward. Other times one step back and two forward. But always a lesson to be found.

As the artist, and having spent countless hours handling the material, I inevitably have a relationship with these redwood objects, and would be at fault if they didn’t exude some emotional response. For me, these flowers represent the lessons learned: patience, the importance of a strong team and collaboration, remembering it’s ok to ask for help, and accepting defeat as part of moving forward.

Over the next couple of weeks we will finish the work. And on the Fall Equinox we will erect a few 8′-12′ solid redwood flowers. We will invite the community to celebrate the close of the season. We will acknowledge the highlights of the year and stir excitement for all that’s to come. For these flowers, this moment of celebration will mark the beginning of the next chapter for this redwood. Over time these wooden flowers will come to represent what they are asked to represent. It is not in their power to tell the world why they are here. But for the community to slowly impress their desires and needs over time. As the artist I look forward to watching that happen. As a community member, I look forward to being a part of it.

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