1. We’re headed into our third week here at A-Z West!! Here are some photos of a lil bit of what we’ve been up to. High Desert Test Sites just posted the information for our big Nov 3 event on their site —- SEE YOU IN THE DESERT 11.3.12.¬†

    1&4. We’ve been juicing a lot. Lisa & Allan did a juice fast for a few days this week which included a daily morning swim. Thanks to the inspiring Kartz Ucci for donating a juicer to the studio!

    2. Joshua Trees are highly photogenic.

    3. Allan & Lisa headed to the National Park with Matt and a herd of BIGHORN SHEEP came super close to us. We had a stare-off with them while they stood perfectly silhouetted against the afternoon sun.

    5. Wagonstations are perfect outposts for journaling & brainstorming.

    6. We’ve come across a lot of perfectly preserved recently expired arthropod specimens. Dan Anderson found this giant hairy desert scorpion dead in a sink at A-Z West. The praying mantis was found on the patio of the studio. If specimens are left along long enough, Aphaenogaster scavengers show up and shuffle off with every last bit of the corpse.

    7. Boulders make great stages. This one was out at one of High Desert Test Sites’ parcels, Gamma Gulch.





    1. A wagonstation in the wash at A-Z West. BLM land behind, and the sky above. We are sleeping in these little pods.
    2. Last night we jammed for the first time since being here,  and it felt so good to play music together again. Heather hoped our beats would scare off the black widows that frequent the studio.
    3. Hot Cheezits
    4. Every morning from 10-11 we do work on the land. We call it Hour of Power. The other day we leveled some desert to prepare it for a wagonstation, and today we placed rocks around plants and smoothed out some small crevasses in the sand that a recent flood created.
    5. Lisa and Allan found a barrel cactus high up on some boulders on a hike into the wash. They recorded the sounds of the spines and their tones varied with their thickness and length.
    6. Our outdoor kitchen, lit by propane lanterns and fully equipped with everything we need to cook and enjoy our meals.
    7. Late night studio sesh
    8. Lisa found some inspiration in the desert and took some field notes.

    [photos by Allan Wilson]

    Other happenings: a photographer from Palm Springs Life magazine visited us yesterday and requested that we build a fire and hang around it. The blaze nearly melted Allan’s speaker. Heather is almost finished with her first piece, and she is calling it Cloud Suit. We’re looking forward to a trek into Wonder Valley today, and to the national park tomorrow to do some site selection and field studying.


  4. Day 1 & 2 photo collage:

    1. Heather and James Kidd go through her fabric stash at Pieter and find some amazing things for the desert
    2. Purple cactus at Garth’s inspires Heather’s color palette
    3. Dan and dog chilling out on Garth’s couch on his incredible mountain compound
    4. A shot of Andrea, Leah and Matt through the living room of a soon-to-be home built into a boulder
    5. The gem and mineral show!

    [photos by lisa schonberg]

    Today was pretty amazing. We visited a gem and mineral show, experienced the magic of Garth’s sprawling acres of sanctuaries and chickens, saw Leah Cetera’s human sundial out at Gamma Gulch, and walked through a maze of cacti and Joshua Trees. Lisa and Heather moved drums and sewing gear into the studio space this evening, which we share with Andrea and a black widow spider named Lyle. A bonfire with friendly sun soaked residents awaits us. Allan arrives tomorrow. If someone mailed us Stumptown beans we wouldn’t complain…



  6. The gang all gathered this morning for brunch: Heather, Lisa, Allan, and Julie were physically present, and TJO and Jodi skyped in. Lots to talk about before heading out on our journey to the desert!

    Exciting things that have happened/are happening:

    1. Our kickstarter was successful!
    2. Lisa won a career opportunity grant from the Oregon Arts Commission!
    3. We are heading to the desert this week
    4. Planned a fabric hunt in the LA garment district with TJO and James Kidd
    5. Found a MARANTZ cassette field recorder 
    6. We started this tumblr
    7. Heather and Lisa performed in PDX with Lisa & TJO’s one-time JT collaborator E*Rock


    {these are wagonstations. we will be living in them as artists in residence in joshua tree}

    X HoS