Quail on a Unicycle

The past few trips to the Montana ranch I’ve been gathering bits of farming machinery from old wrecks that have spent generations marooned in the high alpine hayfields. For this idea to really get legs I’ll need to invest in a gas cutting torch, as I’ve made do with a rechargable sawzall, hammers, prybars, and wrenches so far. The blood tatoo on my left thumbnail is almost grown out from the July harvest of parts.

I started off with parts from a seed drill, using a steel wheel and creating an axel for it from steel rod to hold an arm of the seed drill. (A seed drill is pulled behind a tractor, it is about 14 feet wide with many “drills” that drive seeds from a shaker box into the ground).

The other “found” objects are 3 of the 5 chicks that were recovered from the vandalized Quail commission. I scrounged up some copper disks and stainless steel disks and rectangles at the magical everything store -NPS- here in SLC. These non-ferrous metals were formed into a little wheel that the bottom chick is riding on, on top of a disk welded to a spinning bearing, that is in turn welded to a heavy spring, which is welded to the reassembled farm machinery. The chicks can spin and bounce- I may add some sort of wind tail to the bearing so it acts as a weather vane. I also am still playing with ideas for the central high axel housing, and am keeping an eye out for some sort of headlight that I could rig with a solar powered LED.

The original intent was to create wheeled machine hybrid forms as bases for the many half-life size cast bronze and aluminum figures that lurk about the yard and studio. Some may still wind up coming together for that purpose, but I liked the crazy balance of the quail on the wheel- so they got dibs.


The unicycle before the quail found it.


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