Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mixed Media Sculpture Finished

This last Friday I finally finished the mixed media piece I've been working on. These things always take way longer than one would think!

My first step from last week was to fit the ceramic hands into copper arms. Getting the fit and expression is always a challenge for me. I fitted the arms first so that they would screw onto the torso, then I enameled the torso via torch-firing. Curved surfaces are a bit of a challenge to torch-fire. I find that it works best for me to do it in about 3 stages, working my way around. I used a "foundation white" enamel, which I find lovely because of its pinkish hue.

Then onward to the legs. At first I thought I would use 2 more ceramic hands for the feet because I liked the oddness of that, but taking a second look I changed my mind (now it seemed too weird). I used a pair of porcelain doll legs instead. Fabricated the rest of the legs out of copper and mounted them to a disk of copper at the top. That disk will then be screwed into the brass (found) small plate that I chose for the bottom of the torso (visible in the previous photo).

Next step, I set everything in place so I can see the figure as a whole. Originally the figure was going to have a circular outside treatment, but I'm finding as I look at it that it's not working (sigh). So I try other things and eventually decide on a horizontal structure. Above is the rough layout.

Then I sit with the piece figuring out how the whole thing will attach to the wall. The figure is relatively heavy, and I know I want it to be slightly raised off the wall surface.

Here's what I end up doing. It's so simple, but it took me forever to get my head around it. The two rods are so big because the entire framework that has the branches and words on it will also connect here and only here.

Next I finish assembling and brazing the word and branch structure and then attach it to the figure. Do a couple xerox transfers onto the torso and at last, it's done!

This is a close up of the 'knowing place' in the torso. It has an image of the 'tree of life' engraved into a nickel disk. Outside the hole is a xerox transfer of  a compass.

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