Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Crescendo" Construction Continued...

Continuing with my piano piece..... I painted the head and gave him a bit of a 5 o'clock shadow.

Here's his body ready for final assembly. I assembled the arms and legs as I dressed him - sometimes it's like solving a puzzle, I have to do it in the right order.

Half dressed. I sewed the sleeves on last. BTW - The fabric for his jacket came from an old pair of my favorite shorts - yes, really.

I wanted to something different for the floor this time. In the past I've done nice finished wood floors - this time I wanted it to be darker with more texture, like in an old dive somewhere.
I nailed all the planks down and took my propane torch and burnt it down about a 1/16" to 1/8". Here it is after I burned it.

After it cooled I "sanded" it down with a Scotchbrite pad. This brought out a lot of texture, with high and low spots. Also because I burned away some of the wood, the nail heads were a little raised. This was exactly the look I was going for.

After a coat of sanding sealer it got a lot darker - very rich!

I picked out of my stash, potential pieces to be used for the embellishment of the piano. You will see, some of the pieces made the cut and some didn't.

The 3 horns that go on top of the case.

I painted the case red but left some parts black and added the "nameplate".

The case after painting, aging and finishing. I also glued the keyboard in and decoupaged the inside.

The "inner workings" of the "piano".
At this point I'm trying to get away from the idea that this is just a piano. Now I'm thinking it's some sort of fantastical, musical piece of wonderment. And who really knows how it works?
I like how these workings could be their own little sculpture. One sad thing is you don't see a lot of this because of the front window.

The workings assembled.

This shows how I had to place the piano and the"chair" in their exact place according to my drawing. I actually put the drawing on the base to locate the feet of the piano, etc. I had to be dead-on because of where the mechanism were located below. No guessing here.

Detail of the area below the keys. I put pipes in behind the board.

The mechanisms finished and ready for assembly.

The 3 cams, one for the head and 2 for the arms.

Everything is assembled and wired underneath.

A sneak peek of the finished product. I will post better images when my show opens on November 13th. (I can't give away the surprise now, can I?)


  1. It's coming along wonderfully Tom. I can't wait to see the video of how it all works. I also love the fact that the piano has all these weird parts inside that don't really operate together but look cool...I think it's steamfunky :)

  2. ok, I'm in love with this one... no, all of them. great work... and thanks for showing all the details..