Archive

Monthly Archives: April 2011

A few steel circles, a bit of pipe, some grinding & welding & drilling, and Hecate finally has a base that works for her. She is so tall and heavy that I need to pick up an extra large circle of a bit thicker steel to stabalize the bottom. It started snowing durning the last few welds, so I brought her outside to cool down- you can see the snowflakes zipping around.

This base helps accentuate the open/partial figure. The prior base was just a big slab of mdf with veneer that I cranked out while finishing the wooden forms of Pythagoras back in 2005. I cast Hecate along with the bronze pieces for Orpheus & Eurydice, back in 2003. I sculpted her from the live model and pulled the mold durning my MFA in 2000. It was that life-study that inspired my grad professor to forbid me from sculpting the figure as I “had obviously been well trained”. She considered my figure work to be the lackey work of a performing monkey. I pulled a mold from the figure, then cast a wax and had it in my studio as I created Orpheus & Eurydice. I carved into the wax creating complex patters that both pierced the form and incised the surface. When I cast the figure there was an issue with the big bronze “gate” for air to flow out and bronze to flow up- she poured as one piece and is the only figure I’ve ever come close to losing. Instead of a wax gate, I had used a hard foam trim panel for better structure. I had used these before and they had been great, but over the span of years between using them the manufacturer had make them fireproof. I didn’t burn out with the wax- but it did burn when the molten bronze hit it. This is why nearly half of the figure is missing. I really liked the effect and cast an extra face to go with the partial foot to complete the piece. It was so nice being able to pour my own work back then. Now that I have my own shop I can finally get her finished out.

I have 9 other figures that could use a re-examination of basing as well. Most of them are in these picts leaning against the wall, or surrounding the pond.

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The trout came home last Friday in three pieces and waited out the blustery snow splattered weekend. Today’s shop session brought the long stainless steel rod into the head section of the fish, passing through the belly and welded top and bottom for stability. I worked quickly as I could go, as the welder is nearly out of gas- and surprised myself by getting it all together before the tank ran out. I either drank too much coffee before starting out, or it was from grinding the seams and sprews- but my hands were a bit shaky for the last bit of welding. After the months of “carpenter’s elbow” in both arms from finishing out the Herriman Mobile, I decided I would call it a day.

The weld lines disappeared without too much trouble. I’m still fiddling around with matching textures, and will need to take them to the foundry for a sandblast to make sure the chasing is seamless- sanblast takes the whole form to a matt surface, and any discrepency shows up. They even have stainless steel nuts welded under their bases to connect to wooden turntables that I’ll make some day.