Tuesday, July 5, 2016

First Summer 2016 Sculpture(s) in Progress (1 of 3)

finished wiggly rim selfie
Last week I was finally able to begin my first serious sculpture of 2016, after completing commission work and glazing through most of June.

one not-very-exciting thrown piece of the eventual sculpture

I threw some pieces on Tuesday and started putting them together over the next couple days. I had a fairly good idea of the basic structure of the one piece and the top of another, but the form of the pieces developed further while the thrown parts were pieced together. 

the basic form in progress

I wanted to build a piece that had a large bulb-like shape on the bottom rather than a simple round base. I was thinking of the form of the piece I did for the SRAM Bike Project, way back in 2012. However, now that I look back at that piece, the forms are less directly similar than they were in my head. Regardless, I wanted to explore this bulbous base for a bike-part form again.

texture, sprigs, and chain track in progress

I wanted to incorporate bike parts into this piece as well, but I didn't want the bottom part to be plain or all bike-part-y, so I incorporated some sprigs from a mold I've had for quite a while. The mold is off a bell pepper. It's one of the biggest sprig molds I have and it allowed me to make sprigs of different sizes for this piece.

part of the chain in its track

One issue that came up in building this form is that the chain doesn't really want to bend the way I'd like to use it. I decided to put the chain "track" where I want the chain to go and manually adjust the chain later, after firing. I want the chain to curve in both dimensions. I haven't altered the chain much previously, aside from length, so this will be a new challenge...to deal with later.

texture, sprigs, and chain track

As often happens, while I am building, I got so carried away with the surface texture on this piece (and two others I was working on concurrently), that the project surface took up the bulk of my time compared to the relatively fast building of the form.

the base, formed and mostly textured

I didn't work on the projects over the long weekend, though I was a little worried about them drying too much in that time. When I came back to them today, some parts for a different piece were a little dry, but this form was fine to build on.

the opening with gear stack (left) and the neck more completely textured (right)

Today I spent my time working mostly on the neck and the top opening of this form, but I am not finished. I want the gear cassette to be prominent in the opening at the top of the form, so I plan to cut the rim a little shorter than it is in these pictures and wave the edges.

the form and texture nearly complete for the day
When I finished working on this piece today, the rim was a little too dry to move how I wanted it too, so I wet it, compressed it, and wrapped it up in plastic. Then I started on the other larger sculpture I was working on and never got back to the first one. If all goes well, I should finish building this form tomorrow. Edit: I finished building this form Wednesday.

finished wiggly rim

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