Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Making of the Scroggs Frog

Scroggs fourth-graders get hip hop lesson

January 19, 2015 

Chapel Hill News

CHAPEL HILL — Fourth-grade students at Scroggs Elementary are studying North Carolina artists.
Sarah Cornette, the school’s art teacher, asked guest artists to come speak with the fourth-graders. The guest artists included Sam Ezell, folk artist and painter from Hillsborough; Barbara Tyroler, a photographer from Chapel Hill who has worked extensively creating portraits of children; Forrest Greenslade, a retired biologist who now creates sculptures and paintings for the Botanical Gardens; and Michel Brown, Chapel Hill muralist.

Scroggs students learn from local artists
Jan. 17, 2015 @ 06:25 PM
The herald Sun

Fourth-graders at Scroggs Elementary School recently got a chance to meet and work with local artists

Sarah Cornette, art teacher at Scroggs Elementary, invited the artists as part of the fourth-graders’ North Carolina Artists unit.

Cornette shared the artists’ work with her students before they visited, and they prepared questions to ask the artists.

later in life.Forrest Greenslade, a retired molecular biologist who lives in Fearrington Village, now paints, sculpts and writes. He brought his personal favorite painting to share with the class Tuesday afternoon.

“The reason this is my favorite painting is because the idea for it started when I was exactly your age,” he told the class as he displayed his painting of an ivory-billed woodpecker. “This painting really represents my entire life.”

He told of being inspired by paintings of birds as a young member of Junior Audubon Club. These images inspired him both to study science and become a biologist and to paint animals 

But the students didn’t only learn about Greenslade’s work — they also rolled up their sleeves and created something of their own.

Greenslade taught the students how to collaborate with each other to create small clay slabs that would eventually fit together to form a giant frog, Scroggs’ mascot.

“Find places and just poke it in right there,” Greenslade coached as the students lined up with slabs of clay

flattened with their hands and rolling pins.

The project was also a larger collaboration between two classes. Monday’s class formed the bottom of the frog, and Tuesday’s class formed the top.

Students patted down clay around a center of cellulose beads, or packing peanuts. Greenslade said he hoped the beads would burn up when the frog was fired in the kiln, leaving a hollow frog.

However, there was also the possibility that the frog could burn up in the kiln.

“We’re going to take a risk and try something new together,” Greenslade told the class.

Student Sonia Levin-Metcalfe said she liked studying and meeting local artists because “we get to learn different kinds of art and different types of it.”

She also said she liked the frog project because “it’s a lot of teamwork and it’s a big experiment. So you don’t know if it’s going to make it through the kiln and actually become a piece of art. But it’s fun to try.”

As the students patted down their clay, the frog began to take shape. Then it was time for smaller embellishments, and students set to work making frog toes and eyes.

“I like how it all comes together,” said student Griffin Nargi. “The art of it is just to put in the perfect details.

Other guest artists for the week included Chapel Hill photographer Barbara Tyroler, Chapel Hill muralist Michael Brown, Hillsborough folk artist Sam Ezell and Cornette’s daughter, Sadie Cornette Cook, who attends the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

UNC Advertising Major Discovers Her Inner- Maker

University of North Carolina advertising major, Emily  approached me for a series of interviews for an honors course she was taking on the role of the artist and artisan in modern culture

. I agreed, and we began meeting and talking. She observed me working in my studio, and noted that she had never actually made anything with her own hands, and was not familiar with using tools. She commented that her father had a shop, but she had never worked in it.

  1. Emily expressed a desire to try her hand at making a sculptural piece. I was designing a series of humorous floral sculptures for the Sculpture in the Garden show at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, so we decided that Emily would attempt to make a similar piece. Here is Emily with my prototype design. Over the next few weeks, Emily came to my studio and worked under my watchful eye to ensure that she used tools and materials safely.

Her first task was to envision her piece, and start on an armature, the skeleton of the sculpture. She cut petals from 100 year old tin roof shingles that I had in the shop. She then hammered them into shape She assembled the petals into the flower’s face by wiring them on a hardware cloth circle. She added chicken wire to complete the armature.

Emily then mixed a concrete composite of Portland cement, screened peat moss, an acrylic fortifier and water, wearing a mask to keep dangerous dust from her lungs. She sculpted it onto her armature, being careful to protect her hands using surgical gloves. She made glass eyes by painting the backs of half-marbles.

After the concrete cured for a few days, Emily coated her flower with a bronze acrylic, and tarnished the metal surface with an acid stain. She allowed the tarnish to act for a few days, and then applied a wax to burnish the surface into a lustrous glow

Here is Emily and her flower in my garden in Fearrington Village. She has now graduated from UNC, and lives in the Atlanta area. Her flower adorns her family’s garden.

Emily says that making a piece of art with her own hands opened her mind to new ways of thinking and creating. She says that she plans to always find ways to do things with both her mind and hands.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sex In The Afternoon: Paintings Inspired By The Chatham Mill Pollinator Garden

Chatham Mills “Pollinator Paradise” Garden

A demonstration garden created by Agriculture Agent Debbie Roos of the
Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension
The garden is at the Chatham Mills complex
in Pittsboro and is open 7 days a week.
Address: 480 Hillsboro St. Pittsboro, NC 27312.

Paintings by Forrest C. Greenslade, PhD
I love this garden,It is a continuing inspiration to me as both a gardener and an artist. I am trying to learn more about pollinators and the plants that support them. 

Pollinator Paradise

The View From Chatham Mills

Chatham Mills

Let's Bee Friends

Fireworks In The Afternoon


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Cool Off With Organic Forrestry At Pittsboro's Carolina Brewery

Northern Exposure
Cool off the long hot Summer with a cold beer and cool art. Chatham Artists Guild painter and sculptor Forrest C . Greenslade is the featured artist for June and July at the Carolina Brewery in "I was that kid you could always find turning over rocks in streams and looking for what wonders nature would disclose to me," says Greenslade. His curiosity about the natural world, led him to a life as scientist and organizational executive. Now in retirement, Dr. Greenslade is again doing what he did when he was ten years old -- turning over rocks and sculpting and painting the wonders that nature discloses. "I lived a serious life, but now in my dotage, I am just letting the kid out again," Greenslade smiles ."It's more fun than an old guy deserves."
Pittsboro, NC. His “Organic Forrestry” mixed media works are inspired by his life-long love of nature.

Meet Forrest and other Chatham Guild artists at a reception on July 3rd from 3 to 5 at the Brewery.