Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bike Wheel, Spinning and Not Spinning

wheel piece completed in winter 2014
Last year I made a bike wheel piece that spins, but I made one big mistake. the colored bulbs on top are just set onto the spokes. When I had this piece at June Art Fest last summer, someone pointed out a bit of information I had missed: spokes can come out of the wheel rim.

new wheel bulbs with underglaze partially complete

So I had to make another piece, this time with holes in the bulbs for the spokes to go through. I also added textures to the bulbs because my mom told me to (and you should always listen to your mom).

two wet clay bases in progress

I also made some new bases, with chains like the first base, but I played around with textures and additions to these bases.

new wheel piece with bulbs being attached
I had the bases and the bulbs in place with time to spare before my show, but transporting the bike wheel piece to Seattle didn't go so well. On the first day of setup, I discovered that the wheel of the new piece wasn't staying on the base.

new wheel piece in CORE Gallery
I ended up at a hardware store that night minutes before they closed. I ran in with half the sculpture to get a bolt to attach the wheel to the base. Unfortunately, the bolt I got wasn't the best bolt. I epoxied the sculpture together that night, but in the morning it seemed to be listing dangerously to one side. 

check out the shadows under the wheel
The bulbs on the wheel are attached so that one side is a bit heavier than the other. As time ticked away and I was ready to leave the show and drive back to Yakima, I finally decided to err on the side of stability. I ended up adding epoxy so that the wheel no longer turns. 

new wheel piece and old wheel piece

Though I worried about it off and on during the days after I left Seattle until the night I returned for the Art Walk, the sculpture stayed upright. I left a sign on the pedestal instructing viewers not to touch, and the piece is visually ok and probably a bit better than last year's piece.

second base with chain being epoxied in place
But I intend to conquer this piece. I still have one more base at home that's ready to go. This weekend I threw some replacement bulbs. Since I think I need to fill the gallery again in a year, I am thinking I will need to streamline some of my forms, so no texture for these bulbs.

wet clay bulbs before the spoke holes were attached
My show continues at CORE Gallery in Seattle through February 28, 2015.

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