Friday, November 28, 2014

"Wasted & Wounded" - 2014

I know I seem to say this a lot but...... I've had this idea for a while - at least 5 years. Maybe that's how long some ideas need to steep. I think this idea, of doing a drunken figure with a swaying unsteady motion, came after seeing Keith Newstead's piece here. I love how the 2 women on the right move. After asking Keith how he obtained the motion, I knew it would work well for a figure who, after a rough night out drinking, may not be so steady on his feet. Thanks Keith!

The final shot. 
The piece measures 13" x 27" x 7". Besides the figure, the lamp post and base were also made from scratch.

A closer shot showing some detail in his clothing.


I've never done a figure with an injury before. I've done a few with bandages, but never attempted contusions. I'm pretty happy with the results - and the effect. (Note - I had a similar look a few weeks back, but mine was caused by a bad cold, not a blow to the eye.)


Here's where I started. I had to figure out the shoe, leg and torso before carving anything. The two precision bearings in the left shoe hold an 1/8" rod in place, which holds the figure up.

The piece is powered by a 6 RPM motor that slowly spins the metal rod inside the body. The rod goes up through one leg, into his chest, and up into his head. Here I'm experimenting with the amount of bend I need to have on the rod. I made a wooden head to stand in for the polymer clay head I would later sculpt.

The torso and two legs carved. Here you can see the bent rod that goes inside. It's fairly simple but very effective. Also, the left leg is held on to the torso by 3 springs - they allow movement in all directions.

Here I'm working out the position of the right hand on the lamp post. I made the lamp post from a broom handle, a block of wood, and various found objects.

The blank for the left hand. I drilled the hole first to make sure it was the right size for the bottle.

His arms. There's not a lot of movement in his arms, but it's there.

The figure all carved, sculpted, and finalized. I made his neck out of basswood because it needed to stand up to the motion of the spinning rod. His head is held on with a spring that enables his head to pivot in all directions.

The left shoe is the most essential part of the figure. It has the two bearings in it - which holds the rod that holds up the figure - and will be securely attached to the base. The right shoe is attached to the base, but does not function to hold up the figure.

All painted, aged, and ready to be assembled. I had to attach the left shoe to the base first and build up the figure from there.


Some detail shots.......



I like this image - shot during the making of the movie.


The movie.......

Again, thanks for looking!

tom

PS A friend of a friend recently emailed me after seeing the movie on YouTube. I was touched by her comment, and her impression of the piece - "You captured the depth of suffering that is the human condition, and in such a compassionate way.  The man is so vulnerable and damaged yet somehow so pure and innocent. The piece is magnificent."
Thanks Audrey, I appreciate your nice note.



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