it’s back to work. xmas is over and i can finally concentrate on my dolphins again. and a good thing, too, because there’s just 2 weeks left until the deadline, which seems to be rather soft, thank god.
but i love deadlines, because they sharpen your resolve, your attention, your creativity, everything. so i’m up at midnight working on my sculptures.
my home depot dolphin is chillin in the corner, helping me out – home depot people are so helpful – with the mckenney’s dolphin, which is as problematic as any engineering project. frustrating, tear your hair out. but i’ll be proud of it in the end for all the blood i’ve shed building it. i’m being literal. one of the things that i think of as a feature in my art, and others no doubt look upon with horror, is that my sweat and blood ends up in my art, especially my fabric work (pinpricks on the fingers), and my sculptures (mat knives). i can wipe the blood off the sculptures.
i spent three hours in home depot today. in the plumbing section, mainly. getting connectors that fit the model the aquarium guys gave me. it’s not pvc pipe they used, but quick connect tube fittings. so i had to get several elbows and adapters, and needed to make sure these adapters fit my smallest 1/2″ pipe. and i got a few stopcocks, or ballcocks, for fun, because it’s exciting to see a handle or a wheel, because it makes you want to reach out and turn it, which of course you’re not allowed to do, but your spirit is reaching out, and that engages you in the art.
i’m getting to know my local home depot. it was sunday after xmas, and there wasn’t anybody in there except associates. and they were all relaxed, and several of them came up an asked if i needed anything.
i warned them off. i’m an artist. you don’t want me asking you for things. really.
i was in my artist head. i was in my sculptor head, more particularly. i was in my found object sculptor head that looks at everything with an eye toward picking it apart and using the component pieces in a mashup.
doing business is not easy when you look at the coins in your hand and all you can think of is how they’d look as car wheels or buttons or eyes.
so i’ve gone to the parts store four times now, with four different plastic bags and 4 different receipts, and a lot of bar codes to read when i have to return most of them. so i got out four milk crates and separated them out into 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″ and 1.5″, with a bag of cpvc 1/2″ pipes on the side. whew. no more rummaging, sort of. not the horrible toss everything onto the floor kind of rummaging i was fixing to do with everything in the bags as i bought them.
and i’ve got my plastoline and my bamboo sticks, my coping saw and my pencil, and i’m marking away on the dolphin as i’m sticking sticks and connectors together. i’m starting with the model so kindly donated by the aquarium’s life support system staff (sparing me endless hours of work – it took them two days, and they’re experts), connecting that to the next level of pipe, and working up from there. at least at the moment. the thing is to not commit myself until the whole thing is settled, because there are many ways to attempt to construct this pipe medley, but only one or two ways to actually make it work. i’m working on an uneven 3d surface, with 4, no 5, sizes of pipe and the legs of a dolphin (not to mention his shoes) to work with. it’s going to take several complete rebuilds, so i’m going to start with what i have and figure it out.
i also went around doing more things with two-part epoxy. i put a band of epoxy around the hardhat of the mckenney’s dolphin, because there’s an unsightly gap there, and i may have to put another one, which would in effect alter the shape of his head as it meets the hat, which i don’t know…
and i’ve got a real problem with the home depot dolphin hat, which is a nice quality cotton baseball cap. the problem is the brim. to retain any kind of hat-like profile – the brim jutting out over the forehead and shading the eyes – i’ve got to leave some space free under the brim. but it lifts right up and starts to pull away from the epoxy. so it’s got to be better held down.
i was looking at some bulletin board discussion about the difference between auto bondo and the expensive apoxie sculpt i’m using, because bondo is cheaper and i wonder if it’s because the art stuff is expensive only because it’s marketed as art stuff… i found a reference to using a roller on the epoxy before it sets, rolling out a nice thin sheet of it and using it to line both the underneath and the top of the brim, which should make a cast-iron coating and solve my problem. should.
so we’ll see.
it’s really fun to be indulging my autistic side doing sculpture. by autistic i mean the part of my head that looks at an object and doesn’t see what everybody else sees, and doesn’t know what it’s actually for, but sees something wonderful and strange, and invents meaning for it, and uses for it. that’s what i get to do when i do a sculpture. i was going thru the shelves in slow motion at home depot today, not reading anything, just looking at shapes. in this frame of mind, the size of a shape doesn’t matter, because i am trying to reproduce 56″ pipes at the 1/2″ level so why do i care about size? in my frame of mind, if it looks right it can be way out of scale and it will still work. after all, i’m planning on making some of the actual wave forms into pumps and pipes, and that’ll be almost cartoonish. but since it’ll all be uniformly painted, and on one single sculpture, the differences in scale won’t matter.
it’ll read. that’s all that matters. people will get the joke. and that’s the whole idea.