Sculpture I Tin Horse Mask

Requirements:  to create a wearable mask using tin and soldering.

Materials:  Tin, soldering kit (iron, flux, cleaning block, brush, solder and various metalworking tools).  I also used copper, brass and jewelry wire for the face decoration and knitting wool for the mane

I chose to do a stylistic horse head using primarily the tin cut into flat shapes.  I then used the bender, cutting tool, roller and the ripple edge machines to bend and texturize the shapes.  I had problems with the ears not setting up on the top of head as I had planned. So they wound up going out to either side.  I also had difficulty with the upper cheeks of the horse.  I had planned for them to go as more of a connection between the neck and face.  That became problematic as the metal did not want to bend the way I wanted.  This created a bit more void and empty area between the neck and the face and also aloud the neck to flex more than I planned.  It did make wearing the mask a bit more stable though.

My order for assembly after cutting out the pattern from paper and transferring it to the tin with a felt tip marker was as follows.   1. Do all folds and creases in tin.  I discovered that if you use a strip of blue painter tape on the edge of the tin then you can line up the bender edge to get a more even bend and fold.   2.  Attach with solder the cheeks to the mane face using the flux and heat to cause the solder to flow under the two pieces.  I discovered later that I should have ‘tinned’ both sections of the tin before putting them together. 3.  I used a jig to start the bends of the decorative wire and finished by soldering them to the face front.  Some metals use much more heat than I was able to apply to get them to solder easily.   4. I punched the holes for the mane in the center neck strip of tin, then connected the neck to head.  5.  I inserted the wool yarn in the center strip thru the holes using a loop method.   6.  Mane strip and ears were then attached to the face.

This project was a challenge but a lot of fun.  I am already planning to use the method in part of another sculpture in 3 D design this semester. Thanks to my son-in-law, Jef, I learned a lot more than was taught in the class. I think I have a long way to go to be proficient in this type of metalwork, but next fall I get to play with welding and such! If I had access to all the big benders, little benders, cutters and such from the class, I know I would make better and more interesting sculptures.

3 D Design Mass project March 23, 2021

“Life as a Beach… Or constant change.”

Mass is represented as the earth and its mass of sand and water.  The palm tree’s top also has mass to help balance the design, yet the slanted trunk gives a motion and direction leading the eye to the tag in the upper corner.  The open area under the tree on the right side represents a house and home stable and solid. The left side open area is of fractured and broken material as life is often fractured but heading to the solid tree of life.  The water with one specific wave is on the left side, directing the wind and tilt of the tree. The pebbly base of sand is the roughness of life, with tiny seashells representing signs of life and new beginnings.   The tree trunk of glass beads showing the fragile, breakable glass of life and the roughness of the world.  The tree itself – a bendable, flexible base with flowing fronds – shows the desire to be flexible, flowing yet anchored to the sandy earth even as the wind blows and tosses the fronds about.  Although most of the shells are of subdued colors, there is a bright spot in the lower right corner giving hope for life.  The two coconuts are symbolic of the two lives reaching for the sky, yet eventually, both will fall to the earth and wash out to the sea.  Sharp edges speak of shattered dreams and cracking spaces, and smooth ones around the “home” space show a calm, secure space.  Tiny scratches on the water are the bits of turbulence in the world and how they erode the earthly base’s mass.  As the earthly beach is eroded by the rough water of life, small, some bright shells of life appear to delight the eye.

  Rough and smooth shells, some shinny, some dull, some bright, some circles and lines, pointy and not. Flat and round, oval and spiral such as life.

I enjoyed doing this project once I figured out how to cast the negative spaces with the foam.  Being able to carve on the material. What I would do differently next time, and there will be the next time, would be not to use as much glue when putting layers of foam together.  Also to make sure to smooth the foam edges and perhaps even put a bit of angle, so they are more easily removed.  I do think the thickness I chose worked well with the project.  The plaster should have been thicker to start with so the pebbles on the bottom of the project did not slide around so much.   I am happy with not using any paint and keeping the white material as part of the main design element.

Project:  To create a 12 in by 12 in by 4 to 6 inches deep sculpture from plaster of Paris.  This should show mass and open-air with found objects and have meaning to the builder/artist.

Materials used:  plywood for the form for casting, hot glue, screws, foam board and other plastic,  Murphy’s oil soap for release agent, Plaster of Paris and found objects.

Procedure:  formulate an idea to be able to reproduce negative space areas in the final casting.  Cut plywood for a 12 in by 12 in base and 4 sides 12 in long by 6 in wide and make a box.  Using purple foam cut with the band saw to form the negative areas and hot glue to the bottom of the box (or sides if wanted) also hot glue all box seams.  Slather the interior of the box with Murphy’s oil soap. Prepare to cast material by gently sifting it into a bucket of water until small island forms in the center of the water, mix, and apply to the interior of the box.  Attach any items as the material sets up. Let dry for at least 48 hours. Finish with found objects, paint, resin, or in whatever manner you wish.

“That’s a Nice Box” Sculpture I

The box is a sewing box featuring thread spindles on the front porch along with magnets to hold needles.  The inside has two compartments.  The top is well padded to use as a pin holder and is totally removable so it can be set on table closer to the stitching being done.

I used a basic square box design but put it on a longer base to accommodate the thread spindles.  The cuts used were rip, cross cut, miter and dado. I used table saw, drill press, router, air compressor nail (brad) gun and angle bracts to form corners at 45 degrees.  I used wood glue and small staples to secure box parts.  The exterior was covered with quilt pieces, quilt batting and paint.  I put a base of heavy core poster board on bottom to protect furniture. 

The hardest part of this project was learning to use the Tinkercad program.  I used graph paper also to figure out layout of shapes for cutting MSD board.  TinkerCad is a challenge since I didn’t realize I could not size the project to actual size, the TinkerCad base would only go to 39.9 inches and I needed 48 inches.  The only other part I had an issue with was the brad gun since I was not as perfect with using it as I could have been, spacing of brads was not even.  Also the holes for the thread spindles should have been deeper.  The wooden dowels were ½ in diameter and were a bit small for holes I used.

All in all, this was a fun project once I relaxed about working in a crowded room and having to wait on equipment. (I am used to working in my own shop and building much larger things.)

Completion date Feb. 2021

Garden Tower project

Wow, I actually won a discount on a garden tower. We managed to get it together and planted it with a bunch of transplants. Yes, I know it is mid-Feb and by mid-May, they will be roast veggies! But Joanne sacrificed her umbrella for temp. shade. (I am designing a better shade/trellis for it but not as pretty) The back yard now has working drip irrigation, except for this planter and a few others. In two weeks we will get the rest of the plants and have the peach tree replaced with an Orange Tree. The Mexican (Key) Lime is loaded with blossoms. Slowly but surely we are getting settled into our new space and looking forward to whatever comes next… I guess!!! (Thanks to New Moon Nursery for all the great plants)

ART 115 3-D Design Project 1

Well, I am off and running and having fun. Here is project 1. Relief.

This project was to be made as topographical style of some area that had meaning to you. Made out of 1/8 in cardboard, it really spoke to me to do part of Wyoming. Although it is not of the exact part of the search area, I chose the one of Johnson Creek Reservoir road for the feeling of depth. Reflecting back on a search we did for a 62 year old male, I keep remembering how scary some of the area was. I literally crawled part of it on my knees and elbows! The thought of why an old lady like me, I was around 60 at the time, should be doing this search still wanders thru my mind. Never think you cant challenge yourself and come out better for it, I learned a lot about myself up there on the Bluegrass creek. And I have learned something else about me in doing this sculpture, I love sculpture… not just seeing it but doing it! Yep, changing my major, partly thanks to encouragement from my Sculpture 1 instructor.

As to the actual nuts and bolts, or cardboard and glue, work: Use of the internet to find the USGS map, and thanks to Staples for enlarging the section I decided to use. Careful tracing on layers of cardboard then cutting with Excato knives and polishing edges with the Dremel sander discs. Lots of alignment and layer by layer glue (Elmer’s) and adding a touch of water in the form of Rainbow Gallery braid.

Chicken Legs I Experimental stitchery

This was an attempt to use artist canvas to incorporate stitchery (embroidery) onto a painted canvas. This is the first of a series I am working on.

Photo 1. Painted with acrylic paint and stitched with Rainbow Gallery Bravo cotton thread using a # 20 needle. Multiple stitches mostly of woven types (better view of stitches in next photo) Art canvas 9.5 in X 7..5 in.

Photo 2. Close view showing L. to R. half hitch, twisted half hitch, long couching, over under weaving over 3 threads, couching, bullion and long stitches.

Photo 3. Back view showing canvas stapled to frame (commercial purchase already on frame) and threads pulled thru to back.

Lessons learned: Let paint dry at least a week. Use sharp needle and try not to pierce canvas until you are sure of the location, small white spots in canvas will peak thru. I would have been better off using a table clamp to secure the canvas but since it was small it was not too bad to work with. (All projects in this series will be on the 9.5 by 7.5 inch canvas) Tension can be tricky and doing the bullion was not great. I had forgotten how to do the stitch then the cotton thread with the wrong twist (S twist) did not like to behave! I learned the bullion stitch using Brazilian method. I will attempt this stitch again using Brazilian rayon thread and correct “Z” twist.

NOTE: just as in many types of stitchery around the world, Bullion stitch is done in different fibers and methods depending upon the country. Brazilian is the raised embroidery done with the “Z” twist rayon threads. In Australia, the more common “S” twist and everything from cotton to wool to silk is used with beautiful results. At a later point in my experimenting I will do a sampler of each type.

Cold good morning from Arizona

A chill in the air out here in my office/garage. Joanne grumbled this morning… “they said move to Arizona, it’s warm, ha!” At 45 degrees with high expected of 55, it is cold after having triple digit heat for over 100 days this past summer! I think our blood has thinned. Still, I am glad not to have to scrape windshields, shovel snow and break ice on the water tank for livestock.

Have a good day what ever your weather is and remember, we are to tiptoe into 2021 and hope not to disturb that bunch of evil elves, perhaps they will leave us alone this new year!

A new year, a new website

As 2020 draws to a close, thank goodness! I have decided to also redo my website and blog… oh, and portfolio!

This will be an ongoing shift of life as all life is. My art, needlework (also part of my art), and writings will be the majority of this new website. I need to focus on what I enjoy and that is NOT selling, but creating. Feel free to comment at any point in this journey. Life is but a journey with smooth paths and very rough trails. I have traversed so many trails and some good paths. I hope the next part of my life is filled with more smooth and less rough. We learn through the rough and we rest in the smooth. To be continued…