Finishing touches.

The next show is in a couple weeks. I’m putting in two new pieces I made for the show, which is always fun and always stressful. Sometimes I don’t know if things will work as I imagine them. Sometimes they don’t and I need to spend more time solving the issues created. One of these two new pieces, although appearing very simple, turned out to be a learning experience.

Here’s a few pictures of parts of both new pieces.

Putting threads on holes for screws

Putting threads on holes for screws

These brackets will hold 16 antennas

Everything becomes an assembly at some level.

Everything becomes an assembly at some level.

 

The other piece, required a lot of new thinks. Here’s a small detail that nobody will ever see, but had to happen. This is a little acrylic circle mounted into a model rocket nose cone, so I can deflect air in a toroidal fashion.

Machined plug

Machined plug

Plug inserted to cone and glued.

Plug inserted to cone and glued.

 

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It’s not all fun and games…

These things start out with good intentions. How they finish is usually with determination.  My last post was about air being hard to control. Well, it is.  I may be harder to control.

The post showed the fan blowing air into the chamber and becoming turbulent. I wanted to have small paper stars dance around with the air movement. The idea being that this made them impossible to count. Where that idea came from is the idea of counting the number of grains of sand on a beach. The answer to me was that given enough time, you could. To which I suggest, if the ocean is doing it’s business of moving back and forth on the beach, I don’t care how long you have, it’s going to be difficult.  This harkens back to the argument that given an infinite amount of time, if you put all the pieces of a watch in a box and shook the box, at least once you would get a perfectly working watch. Or the one with monkeys banging on a typewriter, infinitely, you might get a Shakespeare work or two.  I’m calling fiction. Some of you may recognize this set of arguments as ones that are against Creationism. I’m not saying I know the answers, but I guess I’d like the answer to be some blend of both, if that’s possible. But as usual, you get to decide for yourself. I’ll just ask questions and look for my answers.

 

This is how it all starts

This is how it all starts

So that didn’t work, those stars sat on the bottom of the box like they were glued. I even made a more drilled bottom in hopes that more air was the ticket. It wasn’t.

Exercise in patience, yet still didn't work

Exercise in patience, yet still didn’t work

So, more air right? I guess so, so I got a set of squirrel cage blowers that pretty much made a wind tunnel.  I then made a new case for this.

Side view of new blower design

Side view of new blower design

That worked great, not. Some of the stars would stick to the top and the rest would stick to the bottom like glued to each other.

Some stuck on the top, most camped on the bottom

Some stuck on the top, most camped on the bottom

One can handle only so much failure. Apparently I am very tolerant to failure, since I still hadn’t given up. I did a new design that will debut at Perry Meyer Fine Art next month on May 16th. Come see it, I am very happy with it. After the opening I will post a video of it here as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Air is hard to control…

I am making a new piece based on the concept of counting the stars in the sky. I suspect that it is a big number, and I suspect there’s a smarter way to do it than to point at the night sky and start counting.

So to that end. I have a piece which is placing the cosmos in a box and you can enjoy the process of counting stars.

Right now I am making air move around in a smooth curtain and then become turbulent. Think about the stream of smoke off a cigarette how it goes up in a smooth line and then turns into a cloud.

Here’s how.

Fan Housing

Fan Housing

That’s a fan removed from a old PC. Making it into a blower.

Channel for air

Channel for air

This is the channel to smooth the air. That part worked nice so far.

Base with holes for air cushion

Base with holes for air cushion

Completed assembly

Completed assembly

The complete unit all together needs more zoom on the fan. It’s not turbulent enough. I like using the screwdrivers with the funny tips as holders. It’s the first time I used them.

 

 

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Just like snowflakes

I had a recent show with the group of artists who have been involved with Art Pulse. It’s really a nice bunch of people and it’s fun to be working with them.

I released 4 new pieces for the show. The first piece is a simple enough piece called, Just Like Snowflakes.

Front view

Front view

It’s inspired by a personal experience a few years back. When one joins a large group, they tend to try to make your individuality a bit harder to recognize and you become part of the group, that then becomes your new identity. I’d like to think the individual is still there and still as unique as they always were. So there are 144 framed hand drawn sheep. All drawn by me, all done in one sitting and with one pen. And all somewhat different, no matter what a glance tells you.

Zoomed in

Zoomed in

The sister piece to this piece was each sheep was scanned and then put into a video that played over and over scanning through all 144 sheep.

Video

Video

Here’s a picture showing how similar they were, but still different.

transistion

transition

And just a cool shot of the projector doing it’s job. projector

I’ll post on the other two pieces at a later date

 

 

 

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You can only go to now…

It’s based on a raspberry pi computer and uses an Arduino to interface to the outside world. It’s a software piece mostly, because the hardware is so simple. I have Marcus helping me out, since I am not a software person. Although I have to say he’s doing a great job of teaching me.

Our first issue was this display, it’s not a bad picture, the display is fuzzy.

fuzzy display

fuzzy display

 

Right now the software is 75% there.  So I have to make the cabinet. What seems like a simple box usually takes a lot of effort to make them nice. Here’s a picture of my test cuts.

Test pieces

Test pieces

After all that I insert my laser cut panels to see how things fit..

Looks like it's going to fit.

Looks like it’s going to fit.

But of course tolerances and wood creep in, so there’s almost always some fitting of each part.

Getting adjustments ready

Getting adjustments ready

The amount to remove is so thin that you can read through the shaving. This takes a chisel that is like a razor. I’d still like to thank Russ Filbeck for teaching me how to sharpen so many years ago. Russ, your skill will always be my inspiration.

Razor sharp chisel doing it's job.

Razor sharp chisel doing it’s job.

And lastly, glue up and preliminary inspection by my quality control team.

Marlow checking on the work

Marlow checking on the work

Approved.

Approved.

 

 

 

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Bunnies in bunches…

The bunnies are all cast in bronze. This odyssey will take slightly longer than forever to chase them, clean them and then patina them. I have to do it in stages. It took 3-4 hours to just sandblast them clean of the slurry. Each one will take 15-20 minutes of detailed grinding to fix uglies from the casting process. There’s 75 of them, so the math says 25 hours minimum of that tedium. Looking forward to the completion.

boxes of bunnies

boxes of bunnies

More buns.

More buns.

Still more bunnies

Still more bunnies

Waiting for sandblasting...

Waiting for sandblasting…

 

 

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More doings…

Keeping with the sheep thing…

Welded sheep waiting for a lot more work

Welded sheep waiting for a lot more work

So when you get to this point, you feel pretty close to done. The lost wax process isn’t a fast one, although my progress on this one could have been measured with a geologic clock….  What happens next is a lot of grinding to smooth out the welds and other little boogers from the casting. Then you polish the whole thing with a wire cup/brush. Then the patina is applied. After the patina is complete you heat this sheep up and melt wax on him for a sealing.

Sheep with patina

Sheep with patina

Here he is, with the patina and I have applied the wax.

Close up of Sheepie

Close up of Sheepie

 

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What have I been doing….

I have been updating a facebook page instead of my blog. I guess somehow I should be doing both.

So here’s a couple of catch up posts.

Sheep Checkerboard with 3d sheeps.

Sheep Checkerboard with 3d sheeps.

Here’s something fun I did with a little spare laser cutter time. The sheep are made from 5-6 flat .187 or .125 thick pieces and glued together. I am making a box for this too. It’s a finger jointed box and will store the 8 white and 8 black sheep. It will also store 4 white and 4 black king sheep.

King sheeps.

King sheeps.

This is going to be a limited edition of 10 hand made and hand signed units. It’s coming soon on the store website, which is harder to set up than it seems.

 

 

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Multiples and production.

Last week I made bunny molds. Happy to report they work like they are supposed to. I am casting wax in them to then make ceramic shell molds for pouring them in bronze. That’s right, I am making a mold to then make a mold to make a thing. Think about that the next time you see a sculpture. Not only are you looking at an artwork, you are looking at a long process.  Here’s 40 or so little bunnies, in wax, waiting to be cleaned up and have their ears sculpted. I’m doing the ears separate to make each one slightly individual.

Little wax bunnies

Little wax bunnies

 

Slightly blurry bunnies. It's fun to say.

Slightly blurry bunnies. It’s fun to say.

So along with multiple bunnies, we are also enjoying multiple sheep. For my good friends at Art Pulse, I’m doing a piece with 144 hand drawn serialized sheeps. Yes I know the plural of sheep is, well, sheep.  For this I had to go all over north county and go to every Dollar tree store to get 150 frames. I have to say, a few high end stores could learn from Dollar tree, every store I went into they looked all over to help me find frames. It really was a nice experience.

Taking apart the frames

Taking apart the frames

This is what things will look like, Actually this sheep is a placeholder sheep to see how I like the color combos. There were many sheep and many colors put in the frame.

Sheep in frame

Sheep in frame

Practicing drawing sheeps

Practicing drawing sheeps

 

 

 

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Fun with bunnies…

A while ago I did a series of pieces with animals acting out various familiar sayings. One of these pieces was called Idle Hands. In it I had several cute little bunnies staring up at you. At first glance, they are meant to be cute, but upon investigation, they are meant to disarm you, by showing their subversion. Well, I am also of the opinion if one thing is scary or disturbing, then a lot of is waaayy worse. Clowns come to mind for me, sorry if you like them. Not that I am sorry about what I said, I’m sorry that you like them. They are scary to me.

So. Instead of hand making 50 of the little devils, I am making molds. Here’s how that goes.

Pouring silicon for mold.

Pouring silicone for mold.

It’s like cooking, but with out using heat, maybe it’s like bartending. Without the tip part, that is. Here I am mixing the catalyst in.

Added purple catalyst

Added purple catalyst

The silicone I am using I got locally at AeroMarine which has a lot of fun stuff. This silicone doesn’t require you to vacuum it to remove the bubbles. Which is nice since I am a vigorous mixer.

So where does this mixed molding material go? Into the molds. I made little wood forms, then mounted the bunnies inside with some plastelene clay and that’s about all there. When the silicone is cured, I will z-cut the silicone apart and get the mold ready for filling. Silicone works great for this method since it cuts so nice and seems to sort of act self healing.

 

Bunnies in boxes

Bunnies in boxes

Pouring silicone into mold

Pouring silicone into mold during this time, you can add your own little bunny voices as needed. I did

Now we wait....

Now we wait….

Sort of, we do have some fun popping the bubbles on the surface.  Next we cut the bunnies out and begin the odyssey that is lost wax bronze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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