The Expressive Thread

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!


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