A second wall sculpture done today — WIP — wet clay stage. Got the other one hollowed out and drying.
Admittedly kind of strange…no rational explanation for the shape of the face…it’s just what my hands roughed in without me thinking about it.
Ran across this quote today on the web: “Serov believed that the artist ought to be adept in every available medium because nature itself is infinitely diverse and inimitable, just as the artist’s mood and feelings differ from one day to another: today he wants to work in one way, tomorrow in another.” I like it! I identify with it. It’s not a trait conducive to creating a marketable “body of work” but it serves to keep my inner artist engaged. Just today I was reviewing past projects, in disparate media, and a part of me wishes I could incorporate ALL those media into my current repertoire. I guess there’s nothing stopping me from becoming a “mixed media artist” but I’d need to amalgamate them in such a way that the resulting body of work has a coherence about it…a signature look and feel.
Hammer formed metal is my most recent media addition, and I think it’s a keeper. I’m happy with its versatility, the patination process I’ve come up with, its look & feel, its permanence, and I enjoy the processes involved in forming it. Today I was wishing I could try yet another medium: gouache. Another one I’d like to add is mache; I wish I could find a suitable use for it in my work — where it would seem to “fit” the work, and not “cheapen” it… A major problem with 2D work, for my constitution anyway, is that it’s sedentary. Standing or sitting at an easel for hours on end is not good for me. I get to feeling “toxic” from the inactivity. Small scale clay sculpture (like I’m working on now) is pretty sedentary too…I stand in one place to sculpt them, then sit to hollow them out. At least with metal work I’m hammering, moving around the studio from anvil to buck to bench shear to vises and so on…the process of distressing the metal preparatory to patination is good exercise…overall it’s about right: not too taxing to the point of potential injury yet not too sedentary either.
I realize I could schedule constitutionals every hour or so during lengthy 2D sessions, but the paints would dry out, and I’d lose the “flow.”
Overarching all these “wishes” is the need to make a living from the way I spend my time!
So enough rambling for now…gotta go put ears on another proto-human head before the clay dries too much.
Jackie just decided to have a studio sale later this month, so I irrationally decided to try to make a sculpture or two in time for it. There’s virtually no chance of getting any ceramic sculpture done by then due to the necessary drying times and the pesky laws of physics…but I’ll ride the motivation wave anyway and see how far I get. This guy will hang on the wall, and he’ll have a funny pointy hat made from ………. riveted aluminum, of course!
He looks like he does because I have a thing about looking waaaaay back into our collective past(s?) to when we were proto-humans…with occasional blips of intelligence and understanding rising briefly above the baseline of animalistic inner and outer experience — as our knuckle dragging forebears gradually evolved brains capable of self awareness, reasoning, complex language, the arts, and a voracious curiosity to make sense of their surroundings…and of their very existence. With them began the mystery of how I know I’m “me” and you know you’re “you.” It’s that mystery that each and every human animal, all around the world, shares in common. And that commonality is so much greater than any “differences” we think we have! “The ghost in the machine” is the most amazing phenomenon in the known universe. I’m grateful for the privilege of experiencing it firsthand! I wish we could all focus on *that* for our eyeblink lives…
I just finished the fuselage section for an approximately 34″ final sized rocket (photo shows size relative to 25″ version). I developed a darker patina for this one. Intervening projects and seasonal commitments will likely prevent me finishing the rest of this 34″ version for several weeks.
8″ x 5-1/2″
Egg sculpture made from hand-hammered aluminum with baked-on patina, ~300 rivets. It’s alive! It can keep its balance due to “shake weights” I put inside…by shaking it gently to adjust the internal weights, you can get it to stand upright by itself on any flat surface, as seen in the photos. The internal weights also help it to stay put so it won’t roll around.
This is one of the most challenging art objects I’ve ever made! First I made a full size version in wood, to which I carefully shaped each aluminum section to fit the contours of the wooden form (aka buck). Each one is unique, because I cut the sections freehand, with no pattern or plan. Ditto for the patina — hand applied and manipulated — never the same twice. I used hardened steel alphabet punches to hand stamp letters into the corners of each plate, to help me put all the pieces back together again after the hot patina and burnishing stages. Constructed with care to last for generations. Check availability on my Etsy Store.
I scaled up my prototype rocket design to this 25″ x 10″ version, and did multiple patina tests to come up with this scorched re-entry look…like it’s been to the asteroid belt and back a few times! Check my Etsy store for availability.
Hammer-formed aluminum, all hand-built.
Space is BACK!!
I made this hammer-formed aluminum rocket sculpture in exuberant response to Elon Musk’s recent announcement that SpaceX plans to send two wealthy tourists on a joyride around the moon! Wow! He is also seriously planning to put humans on Mars…not just to visit, but to live there. We are a space-faring civilization on the cusp of colonizing our solar system.
Size: 18.5″ tall x 7.5″ at its base
$750 plus $50 shipping, available on Etsy
Lightweight, sturdy riveted construction, natural aluminum finish. Made from repurposed aluminum pans from estate sales.
Sci-fi, iconic retro, atomic age style…innocence, optimism, adventure, science, curiosity, audacity. Aiming for the perfect idealized nexus of form and function for a rocketship.
It’s my original design: beginning with a pencil sketch > scanned into computer > did some geometry for truncated cones to help figure out what shape & size to cut each section > hand-hammered each piece to stretch and form it into the compound curves needed > entirely hand-riveted.
It’s been very gratifying to see my vision for the perfect rocket appear in metal before my eyes! It makes me happy when I look at it…recalls a long-dormant boyhood earnest eagerness to see the future unfold.
Out of the blue the other day I got get an email from a German publisher offering a respectable fee for rights to use one of my paintings on a book cover!
” Büchergilde Gutenberg asks for your permission to use the painting named above for the cover (hardcover) of the book club edition of Sapphia Azzeddine, “Mein Vater ist Putzfrau”. Print run: 2,000 copies. Retail price: EUR 14.95. Publication date: 2nd quarter 2017 (April 2017).”
The title translates something like “My Father is a Cleaning Lady,” written from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy whose dad cleans a library at night.
The concept draft they sent for the front/back/spine design:
I responded: “After reading about Buechergilde Gutenberg on your website, I would be truly honored for my artwork to adorn one of your special Buechergilde editions! Your historic book club sounds like a wonderful grass roots organization of people who value not just the words and chapters in a book, but also the aesthetics…the presentation…the sensory satisfaction of holding and reading a beautifully crafted book.” (They then requested and I granted permission to quote my response in their marketing.)
I painted the portrait as a class demo when I was teaching a portrait painting class a few years ago. It’s one of my faves from my portrait painting period, so I’m glad it will receive a wider audience.
All in all, this has been a wonderful, serendipitous surprise! I look forward to receiving a few copies of the final hardbound book around May 2017.
Faux Taxidermy Goat Head
11/20 Edit: SOLD! Thanks Becky!
What a blast to make! I do love rivets…
33″ wide, 22″ high, 12″ deep, lightweight, hangs from single nail on wall.
The brows are made from an old aluminum baking pan that had a beautiful baked brown patina.
All the hand-hammered aluminum parts — muzzle, ears, eye surrounds, base of horns — are made from metal scavenged from “found” old bakeware.
I left much of the form open for light/shadow interplay, and so viewers can see the construction.
It’s insane how much work goes into a piece like this! But I’m nearing completion of the individual parts — now to pull them all together. I like the burnt brown patina on the hammered metal eye surround, made from an old aluminum cake pan I got at a moving sale a couple days ago.