Sunday, May 27, 2012

I have been cleaning up fussy bits on the heron, mainly getting crumbs off - I found this little tool at an art supply store.  It is basically a pipe cleaner on a stick but it has been a big help getting tiny cumbs out of tight places. The clay I am working with is very hard - like wax.  I'm not sure if this would work with softer clay or if it would leave marks.
 I am trying something new with the shims on the heron - let's see if this works - I printed off a photo of the heron to the actual size and then laid the clear plastic shim material over the photo. I then drew on the shim material and cut each piece.  I tested it against the actual heron and I had to trim a bit but it seems to work.  I will probably have to trim again as the first two coats of mold material will change the shape somewhat, but cutiing the shims is the most difficult part of the mold work and I'd like to get as much done ahead of time as possible.
 The shims get a coat of Trewax (floor wax) so the mold material won't adhere to them.
 I went to the foundry to watch Flight getting chased....
 This is the mystery sculpture from a few posts back.  You can also see from my clothing and the trees that this pic was taken some time back.  I've been working on her off and on for a while and thought I would share another pic of her.
 Don and I went uptown for John King and Mike Ratterman's two person show at Zephyr Gallery in Louisville Ky.  But we went to 21c first to see the golden reproduction of Michelangelo's David - here he is peering through the trees.
 John Kings show consisted of glass cut in various shapes and mounted in wood frames - as you encounter each piece you discover that some, such as this, have human proportions.  You really have to see them in person to get the full scope, really nice work.
Mike Ratterman's show concerned the ephemeral nature of life and he demonstrated this with various installations involving salt.  Ingeneous concept and extremely well done, a must see.
 A friend of ours, Marilyn Matthews and Katherine Wariner recently had a show this is a very nice watercolor by Marilyn. 

Some good news, Daphne is a finalist in a competition sponsored by the Art Renewal Center.  There were 2100 entries, 500 finalists.  The ARC promotes a more traditional type of work and has had an annual competion for a few years.  I entered last year but wasn't accepted.  Visit their website to see work from past competitions
My Otter water feature had to make room for a visitor - today was a scorcher so this raccoon decided to take a dip and cool off. She looks happy doesn't she?  Racoons are normally nocturnal but nursing mothers will be seen during the day looking for extra food, she is coming up for bird seed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

 I have fixed the mouse damage on the leaves and leg of the Heron and have gotten final appoval.  The next step will be the molding process.
 Another view of the finished heron.  The clump of leaves is removable so it can be molded separately from the bird.  I will cast them fairly flat - this will keep the mold as small as possible - and then the leaves can be bent out when it is cast in wax to give little more movement and interest to the piece.
 and another view.
 On the horse I use die grinders to form the nostrils and eyes.  I used a 4" angle grinder to make the folds of the neck. I then will go back over all the areas of the face hand sanding with 80 grit paper.
 I have defined the leg and should with a 4" angle grinder using a die grinder for tight places.
 The finished horse - it is currently on ebay....
 A long, long time ago I started Ophelia.  I did some tweaking of areas around the face and on the supports and now she's done. Ophelia is a character in Shakespeare's Hamlet who is in such despair she is unable to save herself from drowning. I never thought she committed suicide, she just wasn't aware of what was happening to her. There are two wedge shaped stones which keep Ophelia upright so she holds water.  These represent the rigid societal pressures which helped to shape her fate.  One of the stones can be removed in winter so that the piece can drain and freezing will not be an issue.
 Ophelia filled with water....
 Ophelia empty - well almost - there are still a couple of areas that are holding water, I need to go back in and open them up so the piece drains completely.
My nephew Danny ,who is currently attending University of Louisville, recently celebrated his 20th birthday. And that's not a cake - he's blowing out the candles of his birthday chocolate chip cookie!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rats! Actually, Mice! And the Horse nears the finish line

 I looked at the leaves for the Heron and thought they looked funny - they had been chewed by mice! Almost all the leaves had damage, some significant.  The heron too was nibbled up one leg.  I had to move the heron out of where I had been working to a more secure location.
 I am repairing the damage to the leaves and heron.  After the damage is repaired I will be able to do final touch-up and go on to doing the mold.
 I am continuing work on the horse.  The horses back is too heavy on the right side. In this photo I have made a cut with the 4" angle grinder with a diamond wheel in that area.  I will shave this section of stone off  with the grinder to get down to where the horses side actually is.  I will make several passes shaving off a little less than I think needs to be removed at a time, just to be on the safe side.
 I decided to make the leg straight instead of bent.  The decision was made by the stone.  There is just not enough stone on that side to have the leg bent -  A horses leg comes out a little from the body when it is lifted so the leg has to be down and actually angled under his left leg.
 I have cut the mane down on this side to just a small section of mane.  I considered removing all of the mane but thought I'd leave some for interest.
 I draw on the leg of the horse but I will not carve it all the way down, I will have it disappear into the stone like the foreleg on the horses left.
 I cut the leg into the stone stopping the carving at the knee joint.
 This is the view looking down at the front legs.  The left leg is raised and is crossing the right leg.  I have just begun to carve out the stone to define the horses left leg and knee joint.  You can see there is not a lot of stone to work with.
 I have to move the leg further into the stone in order to get the line of the leg correct and so the knee joint which was defined in an earlier photo has now vanished.
 I have carved further into the stone to redefine the joint and I have begun defining the belly.
A view of the horse in the evening sun.  Not far now to finish.