The Expressive Thread

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Memories of Building an Art Studio

Memory #1: Tough to work from home with construction activities:
Yesterday I was working like a little bee and wham during a call/preso my connection was lost to my computer --- I tried a new route and it still wouldn’t work. So I looked out the studio window and there was a little guy standing in the dirt beside the digger with a red cable in his hand. I was able to call Husband to get him to call TWC (internet access and TV) to get someone to come out, rejoined the meeting, then 10 minutes later the phone went dead.

Walked over to the window again and there was a little man with a black cable in his hand – little sprangly wires were sticking out the end of the cable. So I rejoin my meeting on my cell. Then the door rang and it was the little man saying oopsie – so I had to drop off my meeting to deal with that.

Then Niece comes dragging up the street. She looked tired. Poor thing was not feeling well. She looks like she could use 12 hrs of straight sleep.

Then Husband calls on my cell - he cant find a phone number for cable or the phone company so I had to go find it off an old bill for his poor little self. I called the builder who came over in his dress clothes and wired up both cables, just as the TWC and phone trucks pull up. So the cable guy talked to me about re-running the wire behind the house and then the phone guy came up and just stood and looked at the dirt a long time. I was like – well, figure it out – he was wanting me to tell him what to do, where to route it.

Of course none of this stuff was marked and I guess the concrete man didn’t think to call. The wires were under the old driveway. What a mess. Husband had a hair cut so of course he was here about 5 minutes and then left for me to deal with it all even tho I had back-to-back meetings until 7 .. They are supposed to come out today and pour the concrete. At least they didn’t hit the gas line.

I’ve increased my anti-depressants

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Bird: Carolina Mixed Media Artist Challenge

The Bird began as a simple sketch. I wanted to capture the force and movement of his stride. And of course, how were the challenge pieces be used ? This was a start of that process. The inspiration was the beautiful red heron.

The result was a sculpture titled "Don't Feed the Birds".

Dimensions of Piece: Standing Sculpture
32 inches wide x 32 inches deep
40 inches high

Brief Description:

A hapless and na├»ve bird watcher inadvertently disturbs an egret. The bird watcher with his “Bird Guide to the Inter-coastal Waterways’ book and binoculars, didn’t heed the sign to be careful around the estuaries as some birds get a little perturbed when humans come tromping in, disrespecting the animals peace and quiet. Some humans are just downright rude!

This particular egret has decided to provide the birder a view of the inter-coastal waterways that wasn't in the guidebook!

The Challenge -
Each of these items are to be used in the piece, only 2 can be omitted.
1. Pine…Pine Needles…A Pine Cone…Anything and Everything "Pine" Will Qualify
a. My Bird: Pine cone pieces as part of the top of the legs next to the body
2. Something that Starts with The Letter *P*
a. Pipe – his legs
3. Light Bulb(s)
a. Taken apart from a key chain flashlight, used for his eyes
4. Metal Washer(s)
a. His eyes
5. Fabric
a. His feathers were hand cut, gold ink used for the feather highlights, the birders clothes were cut and sewn.
6. Something made of Wood
a. The driftwood he is standing on, pulled from a swamp on the coast
7. Twine, String, Fiber or Thread
a. All over him !
8. Bead(s) (As many as you'd like, and as many different kinds as you'd like.)
a. The birder’s necklace
9. Key(s)
a. The birders pocket has keys
10. Something Blue
a. The feathers and body
11. Coin(s) or Token(s) (As many as you'd like, and as many different kinds as you'd like.)
a. On the drift wood, part of the waterways flotsam
12. Something Made of Glass
a. Beach glass on the driftwood
13. Treasure(s) From The Great Outdoors
a. Sand and shells from the shore
14. Part or All of a Book
a. The bird book was created from an actual bird book, I cut out pics and made descriptions to create the birders book to her scale and size
15. Ribbon(s)
a. Used to tie the netting together over the wire armature.
16. Something from the Kitchen
a. Chopsticks – the birds beak
17. Foil
a. Used to form the neck of the bird
18. Wool
a. Roving around the top of the birds legs
19. Tissue Paper(s)
a. Used for the birders clothes – the clothes were hand cut and sewn together!

How to begin ? with styrafoam balls, wire, wire cutters, vise, hot glue (OUCH!).

Hey ! Isn't it starting to look like a bird ? The styrafoam was covered with wire mesh. And the aluminum foil was used to shape the neck, and eventually it was stood up on temporary legs ....
I eventually got it up on a large piece of thick foam core, then attached it to a swivelling vise so I could pivot and turn to be able to reach the underside. I attached wings via wire and mesh, the began the 'decorating'.

The legs were the difficult part of the sculpture. Copper Pipe had to be bent, secured to the bird and then to the driftwood. Holes were drilled in the driftwood where the pipe was embedded, then the bird's feet were made from split and hammered copper pipe and place over and around the pipe in the driftwood. Of course I didn't have any metal working tools except the tin snips. The birder was added attached along the neck. She was handmade from wood, even her clothes were designed and sewn to fit her body. Shoes were of clay and painted to resemble tennis shoes. Hair is of yarn. Ok done now!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back In the Saddle

Been a long time since my last post. I've had family things going on, my 90 yr old aunt has been in and out of the hospital since Dec 09. she is doing very well now. Karen a friend of mine, is checking in on her and has been a wonderful friend for my Auntie.

So now, I want to show how the last carolina mixed media art guild (CCMAG) art challenge ended.

My challenge was purchased by a fellow guild member ! She does awesome work and liked this crazy thing I did.

Next post will chronicle how i built this Bird and the materials the CCMAG artist were challenged to use in their pieces construction!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Where is the CPS ??!!???!

I am anxiously awaiting the latest (JULY/AUG) issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. The editors picked 4 examples of the work completed in the M4 Kit Challenge. Congratulations to Jodi, Toni, and Patti! The members of the Carolina Mixed Media Guild are amazing and talented people. Rats! where is that magazine?

Monday, June 8, 2009

the leg was designed to hold the key and other items of the kit. I wanted part of the wire to remain open, so the viewer could see the bits. 4 wires were used as the 'main' structure, with the design to be able to thread those wires into the buttons that would eventually be used as a hoof (they were the same color as the original hooves). Each wire would be stuck into one of the 4 holes in the button. Oh, it took a full hour to pry that original hoof off the leg.

I used a soldering tool with a sharp point to burn away the plastic part of the belly etc, that I didnt want. Reverse sculpturing it. The toy is really put together, it took a lot of hours just to cut away the belly, leg, head. About 16 full hours of breathing fumes, not so good but I did have the overhead fan on full blast. The guts of the toy was full of wores, battery casings, lots of plastic to hold things together. Originally, the horse or really unicorn, had hooves and unicorn horn that lit up when a button was pushed.


After Burning

Wire sculpting of the hind leg