Mon, Dec 10 2012 11:20
After a long summer of making some experimentally large and ambitious projects, I have been feeling like it is time to look back and reflect on what I have learned from those very time consuming and resource intensive pieces and make some smaller more subtle works.... at least for a little while anyway.
So in that spirit, here is my first attempt. I tried to keep the color more muted in this piece so I only let the colored parts soak in the die for a fraction of the time I usually do, the result is a color that is close to pastel (close, but not quite). I think it worked out well.
On the base the piece measures 3" in Diameter and is 11" tall.
As with all works around this size, I like to make them completely removable from their bases so that you can properly hold and appreciate the work from all angles. The two mounting pins have a slightly reduced taper to allow them to slip into the rods on the base.
One final shot of me holding it so you can get a feel for the scale. I am starting work on a new small edition of works next, I am hoping to complete them by the end of December so check back before the new year.
December exhibition and New work
Sat, Nov 17 2012 11:53
New Work, New Show..
Introducing my newest sculptural experiment. This piece, along with a number of my other more recent works, will be on display at the Ranter Museum this December in the D.C. Area. Details below.
The Dennis and Phillip Ratner Museum
Show Dates: November 29th-December 30
Reception is Sunday December 2nd from 1:30- 3:30
Gallery Location: 10001 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
This work sort of follows what I learned from my last black and orange experiment. I had been thinking of using a number of different color combinations before starting work, but felt like none of them would be as effective as what I ended up with here.
This composition has sort of been floating around in my head for quite some time, but it was always a bit of a ghost in that I could never really see it well enough in my mind to put it down on paper. Then one evening when I was just doodling in bed (possibly with a glass of bourbon) half awake and not thinking quite so hard, it kind of finally just fell out onto the page. Only one drawing was made by hand and I pretty much nailed the whole thing down in one shot looking back on the sketch. Funny how that works some times.
This is what a bedtime doodle looks like, Its not much, but its enough to work with in the morning. (see the final CAD drawing below)
The geometry for this work was very challenging however. All of the elements are comprised of offset cylindrical shapes with multiple center axis's as well as lots of unusual angles and details. So the machine work and work holding in general, were exceptionally complicated and required some on the fly innovation. I learned a lot from constructing this piece for sure.
I think I counted two dozen operations to machine the larger leg elements alone. One of them involved fabricating this custom arbor to hold the blank at the proper center distance so I could turn the profile along its entire length. There is a video on my FaceBook Page Here
The other thing that made producing this particular work so time consuming was how elaborate the anodizing details have become. Nearly every part has been anodized and re-machined to create the two tone details in the work, which was also challenging and quite labor intensive.
The completed drawing. I am hoping to finish one more small work before the year is out in addition to starting a new commission that I am very excited about. I will keep the details to myself until I have something to show for it. But it is a an interesting tangent for my work, so stay tuned.
K442214313124 and SS 522216433313 (1 and 2)
Tue, Sep 25 2012 09:47
For this months entry, I want to start out by thanking everyone who came to the opening at the BMA earlier this month. The official head count from the Museum was 781 people, which for an art opening, is an incredible reception. I hope a good time was had by all who attended.
Above is my first attempt at incorporating black into my palette. It would seem easy enough, but this one little change forced me to approach the work quite a bit differently and led to a number of atypical design decisions. One of the more practical effects of this was to force me to shoot against a white background instead of my traditional black back drop. I am still mentally adjusting to this new look, so let me know if you think it is an improvement or not.
I've actually wanted to do a black sculpture for some time, but was waiting for the right composition to come along, and after working up multiple sketches, I finally hit upon this design. One interesting aspect to this piece is that I designed the main body to rotate freely along its axle after assembling. I thought it could would work well as both a wall mounted piece or a desk top piece. So I wanted to make sure it could be adjusted to just the right angle for each installation. The result is that it rotates freely by hand. However I made sure it does not roll like it was on a bearing, mostly because I am still averse to the kitsch that most kinetic art brings with it, but its still quite a tactile joy to rotate it in your hand.
One last table top shot for scale
Also while I was working out the detail for the center section, I decided it was an attractive enough element to experiment with some other color combinations. So I made a few extra and this led to the two works here.
Due to the Anodizing process I use to color the aluminum, and the small number of alternative colored metals in general, I am fairly limited on the number of colors I can use and the way I can apply them, but I think its those types of limitations that lead to creative solutions so I try to experiment where I can.
Milling the offset sockets to create the helical leg arrangement.
This is the concept sketch for my next project, It is still evolving so I can't say for certain that the color scheme above will remain, but it is where the design currently stands. Comments are always welcome.
After 3 long months, ML622254434732323
Mon, Aug 13 2012 06:38
Another large work completed just in time to be unveiled at a major show I am participating in at the Baltimore Museum of Art next month, the details of which are below. The overall dimensions of this piece are 64.5"x67"x10.5"
The Show: Baker Artist Awards 2012 September 5, 2012 - October 7, 2012
@The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, 443-573-1700
The reception is on Friday, September 7, 2012, from 6:30 to 10:00pm. Smooth Kentucky and Nathan Bell will perform in the auditorium at 7:00. The auditorium only holds 363 people, so if you want to see them, you should get there on time. After they perform, the galleries will be open.
As you can see I designed this work to be displayed in multiple configurations. I liked the idea, and since I was going to be using interlocking multiples, I thought maintaining some sort of flexibility in how I arrange the composition was sort of a nod to the utility of the pieces design. Naturally the top image would be what I consider the definitive arrangement. But I also had a lot of fun assembling and shooting the piece in its multiple Phases. All of which I find to be fascinating in different ways.
The completed drawing above was also quite an undertaking, I had to break format a little (never a bad thing for an artist to do) in order to get everything to fit in a reasonable space, I had to populate around the assembly drawing rather than giving it its own space, I think it turned out rather well. I am not sure how many prints I will make of this, but I will at least do a few, even one for myself this time.
Naturally this is a complicated piece so many details are to follow
This is sort of my first stab at doing multiples within a single composition and since my natural inclination is biased toward symmetry. I thought it would be a good twist to sort of set up this highly symmetrical system of parts, with repeating shapes and components, then arrange them in this predictable and logical sort of way that, in the end, yielded an asymmetric composition.
It gives the piece an interesting dissonance and creates a great negative space that keeps the eye looking and moving, like there is something there to be solved.
On a more technical note, I am experimenting with a new fastening system on this piece. Since I needed to be able to take the work apart in order to transport and install it. The center protrusions are attached using a pin and magnet system, which is just as it sounds, it is held together using strong magnets and alignment pins. It gives me some ideas for new works that might be completely disassembled and rearranged using only magnetic fasteners. (I'll keep thinking on that one but perhaps it will yield some novel new design)
each of the 3 finished assembly weighs approximately 90lbs. for a total combined weight of 270. I had to build an apparatus to help me hold these works precisely at the correct height in order to get these on the wall. As holding them in place freehand while messing with all of the fasteners would not have been practical nor safe.
One of the more nail biting parts of the construction process was making the 3 center bodies of the piece. They were each turned and milled out of solid pieces of 10" Diameter by 6" thick solid aluminum. They each weighed about 50lbs at the start and required dozens of operations over the course of many weeks. The money and time lost if I would have made a mistake on one of them was something that I was constantly aware of and I was quite relieved when they were finally complete polished and resting comfortably on the finished parts shelf.
Before and after a series of milling operations shows just how much work had to be performed on each part. Naturally there were many operations leading up to this point as well. (there is at least one video on my Facebook page of this)
The images can only show so much, so I hope many of you will come to see the work in person next month.
One more image for scale, (I am shy so I dont like to post many pictures of myself, but this serves a purpose) I HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE SHOW!
Fri, May 4 2012 02:11
I am Pleased to announce the Publishing of my first Official Art BookIt covers a good bit of my catalogue and incudes many of the drawings that up until now, have only appeared sporadically throughout this blog. It also has a number of process photo's and even some actual word's....written by me. I tried to make it very reasonably priced so as many people as possible could own one. So please buy a copy if you are so inclined, every little bit helps to keep the lights on and the metal chips flying in the studio. There is a link to it in the Nav bar of my website or just click the link below.
(also available on Amazon.com)
Also I Just completed another piece in what is becoming my Blue and Orange series.
This is kind of the culmination of my earlier experiment with the Hexaptych using these sort of ribbed spherical shapes. But using anodizing to much greater effect.
The top view gives a good sense of the twist I built into the design.
The work measures roughly 7" in diameter and is almost entirely aluminum.
The feet, seen here are made of Stainless,
And finally just an assembly shot.
This is my next big adventure. This wall mounted piece is going to be by far the largest thing I have ever attempted to construct. I expect it will take me a good 3 months to build and weigh in around 300 lbs.
And this is the pallet with the 600 lbs of Aluminum on it I will use to build it (gives you an idea of how much material is removed during machining).
I am also going to attempt a few smaller projects alongside this work to make sure I dont disappear from the world for the next 12 weeks so look for at least a few little things over the duration.