Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Chancey" - 2013

I had done a couple of spinning wheels before but never with a motor. I couldn't be happier with the way this piece turned out. (In my line of work, I always try to create that perfect piece I have in my head. It doesn't always hit the mark, but in this case it did.)

Click on images for larger views.

Push the button on the right and Chancey spins his wheel 3 times. (As you can see, your chances don't look good.) The base is an old handmade wooden toolbox I found at a flea market. I didn't do a thing to it except remove the handle.
The piece measures 19" x 19" x 7".

His shoulder has a special pivot on it, which enables him to lift his arm past the wheel on the way up, and contact the wheel on the downstroke.

He always has his eye out for the next sucker.......

I love the way his face turned out. Incidentally, I'm beginning to explore these seedier kind of characters in my work.
 

A shady character for sure. 
I'm thrilled to be able to create characters like this. When I started out sculpting heads they were much more primitive. As I have been teaching myself, each one gets better and better.


In-progress shots ---

The arm needed to pivot towards his body so his hand can clear the wheel on the upstroke. On the downstroke, he reaches out to contact the wheel. This mechanism had to be figured out before I carved anything. And as always, I tried to make everything as strong as possible; in this case his hand was carved from poplar, which is much stronger than basswood.

His body and clothes, ready to be assembled.


His arm's pivot point.


Here I'm figuring out the critical position of the figure relative to the wheel, and visa versa. The piece is mounted on an old handmade tool box I found a few years back.

Another shot.

The mechanism, with two switches - one turns on the motor and the other automatically shuts it off after 3 strokes of the arm. The mechanism turned out to be simpler than what I initially thought it needed to be - love when that happens - so rare when building mechanisms from scratch. I added a lead weight to help with his arm pulling down on the wheel.

I'm working on putting together a short movie for this piece.

tom