Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Undercurrent" - 2012

Another piece for my Obsolete show which opens on September 8th, 2012. And runs until October 13th.

This piece consist of a figure and a bird/plane with movable wings. The figures pulls down on the rope about 6", and because of the way the 4 pulleys are rigged, he makes the bird/plane move about 18" up and down. The wings move with the motion because they are perfectly balanced. It's was hard to get them in the same shot because the bird/plane could be rigged anywhere.

The base with figure. The base is an old telephone box. The base and figure measures 11" x 22" x 8".

The figure about to yank down on the line. 

My drawing, and the body of the figure in progress.

In the middle of carving his hand. I discovered this clamp thingy about 2 years ago - it's the best way to securely hold my hands while carving.

Here I'm testing out the arm and it's mechanism. He really only pulls with his left arm, the other arm just holds the slack.

The body before paint. You can see the brass tube that the line goes through.

The body before final assembly. (For some reason, the legs are switched in this shot.)


Here you can see the line which turns the wheel that enables the figure to pull down on the rope. In this picture the line is a 30 lb.polyester fishing line. Later, I replaced it with a miniature high-tech stainless steel cable. I added a removable brass cover to conceal all of this, and then stitched his shirt closed.


His carved hand. The arms and hands are really doing the work in this piece - instead of appearing to - as in many of my other pieces.

His head - he is looking up at the bird/plane, of course.

Building the wings. I tried to make these as light as possible to reduce the amount of weight the figure had to lift. Balsa wood and tissue paper seemed to fit the bill.

The bird/plane, (I didn't want to specify which one it was). As it rises and falls, the wings gently move up and down. The wingspan is 32".

A closer shot showing the counterbalances. The wings are as close to perfectly balanced as is humanly possible.

The mechanism, which has to be pretty heavy duty - the arm has a lot of weight to pull because of the reverse mechanical advantage (disadvantage?) of the way the pulleys are rigged.

I will post a movie soon.....


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