The process of creating this work is the doppleganger of Pollock. On a fusion of alcohol & nicotene Pollock tuned in and allowed his media of paint on canvas an active life that he responded to with complete immediacy; encapsulated in his famouse quote “I am nature”. His attrition was high, but the creative rate ensured a high rate of keepers. Just invert all of that for the Danger process of near A.D.D. fussing required for this process. On a fusion of caffeine and sugar every shape on the composition and many more are individually created, these shapes are placed/removed/replaced/rejected/accepted in lenghts of groupings of hours and days with concentration that wanes/focuses/drifts/epiphanizes/bores/drudges/accelerates; encapsulated in a complete anonymity where any urge toward declarative statements regarding the artist’s views of himself in relation to art or the universe are muted out by the vast world-eating expanse of time.
This documents the zillion-hour process of starting up my little sculptural color explorations. The L diptych panel began resolving out today, as E sat about with me through the heat of the day helping out by cutting shapes for me to play around with. Without her help it takes more than twice as long to get anywhere, as I pre-cut many shapes/colors then try them out, then pre-cut alternates, then try them out, then glue a bit on, then go back and forth again. With her help I don’t have to switch gears so much, and can just focus on composition.It has been about 2 years since the last time I played around with this.
I am part of a local group of artists that have bought and restored an old British phone booth, and we each are making some form of art to fit in the window triptych patterns. I removed all the windows and stripped out the inside of the booth years ago, and now others are restoring it up to act as an alternative gallery space. The phone box will be bright red, so I’m creating a complementary color scheme with a background of greens played on by reds (w/ orange and purples in the diptych panels).
While sitting in the back yard watching hummingbirds zoom around, it finally occurd to me how to link to youtube vids- I went and logged on and sure enough, it is idiot-proof-easy. So here is a vid from months back on the Bells Canyon hike, from this vid-link hit the youtube logo at the bottom of the video and it takes you to see the rest of the vids at youtube tagged with my address there: “the42the”.
The hens fit easily into the back of the truck and stayed quiet til they saw the rooster, then it was barnyard escapades. They were easy enough to herd into the garage, as it was pretty hot for chickens out on the concrete pad. I waited to wash & treat them til this morning, and they came back to life by early afternoon.
I discovered that the failed nuts for all the pieces had been stainless steel after all- the issue was that the foundry had welded them in too hot, and they would cool, shrink, and the welds would crack. The trick is to begin the weld on the sculpture, then feather the molten metal quickly to the nut to keep them from absorbing too much heat. Now the nuts are all either replaced or re-welded and all four corners of each piece are secure.
Look who flew into the yard! It’s ol’ Gallus Gallus, the super-rooster from the Draper Libray. He brought his Polish hen and a passel of chicks and a few houses to perch on as well. This was originally comissioned back in 2005, now the Library is re-structuring the grounds and some sidewalk, curbing, parking, book drop-off; so they asked me if I could come out and remove the pieces and store them while they work the grounds. Of course they need a lot of triage, and of course there is no funding to help cover the expenses. The good thing is I can fix them up a bit, and they will have nice digs when they return. This is just the first pair (all I could fit in the truck at once), I’ll pick up the second pair tomorrow.
The first concern was the fading and corrosion from hard water from the sprinklers, dirt, and 6 years of hard Utah living without any maintenance. Once reinstalled they will all be on concrete pads and the sprinklers will be traded out for drip lines, so I set about bringing them back from the faded sorrow they had degraded to. First was a scrub down with a big floor brush and mild detergent in water (I didn’t take any picts of them til after their bath). Then I mixed in a different detergent and went back to the hard water areas with a soft brass brush hitting only the worst spots this aggressively. Next I let them bake out in the sun til good and hot, then used a sealing wax that has a bit more solvent, and really scrubbed it in with a natural bristle chip brush cut down to the ferrule. This ate away the hard water stains- if done too long it will begin to lift the patina as well so you gotta be quick and keep from going back into areas already worked.
It worked out really well. The critters have a nice maturity about their coloration, and the areas that were etched down to a dull gray picked up some color and things blended back to an even finish.
The next issue is structural for basing. The foundry welded in steel nuts and used steel allthread. The nuts were popping loose from the bronze way back in 2005 and I had to have them come back for re-do’s twice. Of the two at home, the Polish hen has only ever had two allthread connections- so it could have been pushed over really easily as only one side was anchored. The allthread came loose from the nuts easily enough. The Rooster had all four of four allthread&nuts, but I pulled one nut off at the weld with a pair of pliers. All the nuts&allthread had rust-fused so hard that I welded a bar to the end of the allthread to gain leverage to turn it. The allthread sheared at the nut rather than turn (yes I sprayed lube on them first, and even left them overnight): so I just fired up the air compressor and cut the allthread out with a small wheel. This leaves me with a dilemma: I need to weld in new stainless steel nuts for matching stainless steel allthread- this will weld with the bronze as the regular steel could not, and not corrode over time in the concrete / but / welding on the inside will create such heat at the weld that the outside patina will flare off and be replaced by heat colorations that often need sandblasting to neutralize. I will try putting a heavy wet cloth on the outside to pull heat from the weld, and the welds will be low on the houses below any important detail so touch-up should be pretty easy. Still. I’ll likely have to cut all the steel nuts out of every sculpture, grind the inside walls, and weld in stainless nuts. Big fun.