Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thanks to John Books, see his web-site here, who came down from Thunder Bay to do some casting of his work and to cast a friendly but critical eye on the Duluth Project figures.
Often times when working on a piece it is really hard to see the faults in it. John was able to see that the male figure was standing too far back on his heels, among other less obvious faults. It took a few hours extra work but by shimming up the figure, basically giving him a heel lift, it improved things tremendously.
Lesson learned; Make the fastenings to the base adjustable!
According to John we must, " stay calm, be brave and wait for the sign."

cut out clay and drilled through to bolt down the armature after shimming

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chavant Plasteline Modeling Clay

This is my first experience of working on a large scale piece using Chavant Plasteline. I must say that the expense is well worth it. In the past I have used water based sculpting clay and the need to keep the clay damp and covering and uncovering the piece all the time was a real time consumer. I have also made my own plasteline. This is a mix of dry clay and used motor oil. You guessed it, a stinky mess. That material worked OK for taking up space in resin bonded sand molds but I didn't want to risk the heavy sulfur content during this project. Sulfur in clay is incompatible with the flexible rubber mold materials I will be using.

I have found the Chavant to be nice to work with especially when heated with a lamp. I have also used a heat gun on the sculptures to soften the surface. When it cools it tools well and holds texture nicely. I have a ways to go on this project till I'm ready for mold making but the material has become a partner in the process rather than an element I must struggle with.

I'll start on the shirts tomorrow, with a couple days off for Christmas I still may be finishing the clay at the first of the year. Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Duluth News Tribune

Thanks to Peter Passi for the nice article in Thursday's Duluth News Tribune. It's nice to have this kind recognition and a "good news" news article on the front page. Well, good news to me. In the article Todd Fedora, Duluth City Councilor, questions whether public art is a good value. I would like to point out that nearly every dollar I am earning is going back into the community and this commission ensures my ability to keep paying my employees. Lester has gotten fond of eating on a regular basis.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Duluth Public Art Sculpture

This is my "lovely assistant" Lester helping move the sculptures. We were able to lift the female figure up on the stand by hand but brains over-ruled brawn. I made an attachment to bolt into the ceiling making this process much easier. Brings to mind the old saying, "strong like like tractor".

Duluth Public Art sculpture

Detail of the female officer boots and some tools of the trade. We will take this figure off the sawhorses today and move the male figure up to work on the legs. Good progress now and I'm very excited with how it's coming along.