Busy, busy again!

I know it’s been awhile, but I’ve been busy!

I’ve applied to the Louisville, Kentucky art fair. If I get in, with my mosaics, I think I can sell them and gather some commissions, too.

I’ve also gotten a new gallery that I’ll be delivering art work to, the weekend after next.
I’ve also got new artwork that I’ve been working on! I’ll post more on that in a second…

I’ve been working on the form for the orca. I was going to use expansion foam, but that stuff is expensive stuff, so I’ve been working on the cardboard form, getting it just right. Then I’ll coat it in plastic and fiberglass it.

Before I do that, I have to finish the dorsal fin and the two pectoral fins. I’ll attach them to the form and then fiberglass over them.

In the mean time, I’ve also been working on some girls. I have two very close to completion, Persephone in Bloom, and Joy.

Persephone is going to have a companion piece, I think. Persephone, after the Fall. It will involve greys, browns and a smidge of red for the pomegranate seeds. I think I’ll also make some felted pomegranate seeds, for the sides.

Pics below of Joy and Persephone in Bloom…

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Persephone in Bloom, after grouting.

 

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Joy, after grouting.

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Pictures, Pictures and MORE Pictures !!!

One big, old bear butt!

One big ole bear butt!

More pictures! These will make up for the lack of pics in the last post. In fact, it was hard as could be to get these pics up. Holy freakin’ COW! But it sure shouldn’t be as hard as it was. If this Windows 8 computer was testing me, it needs to stop. I failed the test. Miserably. I know it’s been awhile since I posted last, but check it out. I made up for it. 😉 Here’s the images I promised in the last post. Enjoy! we have 24 hours worth of work left to do, then he’s ready for delivery. I wanted to get it done before Christmas, but no luck. He will be ready for a New Year’s party, I think. I have a little more fiberglass to do, for the nose, then at the feet; some glass tile, a bit o’ grout, and this baby is DONE! The base is oak plank, with a steel structure inside, and gets it’s stain tomorrow. Then we hook him up to the base, to make sure all of the bugs are worked out before delivery, and then off to Seattle and his luxurious new home! ImageImage ImageImage                                            ImageImage      

Let There be Light in the Bear!

We spent last night and the night before, doing fabrication of the lighting armature. The lighting of the bear has to be done before the third and fourth coats of fiberglass go on the bear.

After cutting out the original door, I decided that I didn’t like it; too narrow and too high up. We’ve put the original door piece in and fiberglassed over it. It came out great. After all of the coats are done, then I’ll determine where the door is going to go and then Chuck will cut that out. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to fabricate the hinges for it, but I have an idea…

I’ll post it when the idea coalesces better in my head.

Here’s some images from last night’s work period.

As you can see, the bear is partially together; it won’t be long before I put the glass on! I’m really looking forward to that!

Putting together the armature

Putting together the armature for the internal lighting.

The armature is made up of mostly acrylic rods. I used a piece of white plastic to fabricate the “joints”, so to speak, between rod and armature. The donuts, as I call ’em, started out as solid white block. I just love the drill press! *happy sigh* It allowed me to create a part that would have been hard to find and hard to adapt. Hey, any excuse I can find to buy a new tool is a good one!

The center armature

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The LED rope lights. This is the first of them. They’ll be wound round an armature in the legs.

The first of the light fixtures is in, but not set yet. I have to get the lights set at this point in the build. There are parts of this that will be MUCH easier to do before the final three pieces go on. Then we’ll cut the door into the body.

Here’s more light pics!

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The Ghost Bear

The bear is now off of the form. It looks pretty neat, actually; a transparent bear is something one doesn’t see everyday!

I know I was short on pics the other day, but today makes up for it, I promise, loads of pictures!

Cutting the form

Cutting the form with the 4″ grinder, for the awkward areas. Note sexy assistant…That’s Chuck, my husband

Down the back of the bear head

Down the back of the bear head

Cutting the shoulder area

Cutting the shoulder area

The glass jaw set came out of the mold material today.
Fanatabulous! There was very little flashing, just around the top, where the glass frit went in. Nothing a good diamond bit can’t solve. That’s pretty much the only use I’ve ever had for diamonds; as tools for me to fabricate things out of wonderful art glass.

Cast glass upper jaw

Part of the jaw set before removing the extra glass White opal, cast glass upper jaw set

 

Most people don’t realize this, but diamonds are actually very common; the market is artificially inflated for a pretty rock. I think I need a diamond blade for my bandsaw, now that I think about it. I feel another tool frenzy coming on! Just a few more tools and I can make just about anything!

So check out these teeth. They were pretty hard to capture on camera. Getting the shape of the fangs is a challenge, but a fun one. It’s soothing to sit there with the Dremel and the diamond bits, shaping the white glass into the right shape. It becomes an abstract shape, when one works on it for awhile. The shape and the production of that shape, become consuming, time slipping away unnoticed. In the psychology field, this is referred to as “flow”; flow is a theory that when we get involved in something, to the point of losing time and becoming immersed in what we’re doing, to the exclusion of all around us.

A fancy way to explain The Zone. Athletes get it, artists get it, scientists get it. It does seem to stave off dementias and to lengthen life span. Which is fine with me; it’s a great reason to not answer the phone. Not that I hear it much; I have a GREAT sound system.

 
Part of the jaw set before removing the extra glass
The fangs, upper jaw set

DSCN2812 The fangs, upper jaw set

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Shaping the fang into the right shape

Shaping the tooth into the right shape for the bear

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This is the lower jaw of the jaw set. It’s safe to handle now. I like to work without gloves so the only safe way to do that is to wear gloves to break off the sharp stuff. I take them off as soon as the sharp stuff is gone. The sensation of touch is very important to me in my work. I need to feel the medium, to get a good grasp of how it’s going to work out.

This glass has had the worst of the sharp stuff broken off, next is the grinding and shaping of the lower fangs. Once all of that is done, I’ll use heat set glass paint to paint the gums the shade of blue grey they should be.

Right now, the tongue is in the mold material. I didn’t like the way it came out the first time.
So I broke it up in the frit maker so I can reuse it in this new and improved tongue.

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Here is the kiln, on the downward part of the casting cycle. At this point the kiln temperature was 905, Fahrenheit. The glass for the tongue is beautiful stuff. It looks just lovely cleaned and sanded to a sea glass texture and translucence.

 

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It’s been a long and very productive day. Tomorrow is finishing the chasing (clean up) of both the top and bottom of the jaw set. Then the claws. Presently there is a paw full of claw in there right now. tomorrow, if I like the claws, in goes the tongue. The eyes have to wait until the final coat of fiberglass goes on, then I’ll put clay over the eye area and make a mold of the shape I want.

It’s time to wrap this post up; I’ll be back in a day or two with more images of the process. Until then, be safe all!

 

Bear claws and I do not mean the pastry kind… ;)

Putting the bear together will go pretty quick once I get the forms finished. While I’m waiting for the form to cure, I’m working on the lost wax for the claws to cast. I started out doing the claws in a mold, a bunch at once, but that just looked too manufactured, and that is not the look I’m shooting for!

So, I melted those claws down. I’m molding each claw in wax separately so that they have no manufactured look. This way each claw has an individual look, like the claw would look on the actual bear.

I’ve also had a change of heart about the grout. I found this grout, that is made of ground glass that is translucent. I gotta have it! It looks like powder snow, which fits my vision of Ursus Maritimus!

This way the whole bear will glow, instead of having dark lines. He’ll be a beacon of light, softly glowing. I saw that stuff and I knew I had to have it for this project! It’s called StarGlass. I LOVE this stuff!

Here are some pics of the wax forms for the claws. When I get the grout, which is on back order, that stuff is so cool.

Bear claws, lost wax forms

Wax forms for the lost wax process

The bear claw I use as the model

This is the claw used to model them all on.

Finally finished!!

I finished the Milk and Honey project last night.  Not too much to post today, I’m sore as I can be. Art does that; for every one day of art, I get two days of suffering on the physical front. It’s worth it. I can’t NOT do art, so I just try to make those art making days count! Each and every moment; it puts a different perspective on art when one knows one is going to physically suffer for it. That lets me know what kind of lunatic I am…

These are not the best pics, I’ll get better ones at Gear Con, but they give an indication. I’m pretty pleased with the piece. I’m not so happy with the pictures, though. I think I may give in and get a pro to take these images. With out the chair…

OK, I live in a tiny place, so sometimes chairs show up as art holders…