Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Departure" 2012

I've had this idea in my sketchbook for a while. It's a piece where the figure has an impossible load on his back. In an attempt to balance and secure his cargo - the figure pulls on the ropes, and his load up top shifts from side to side. The piece measures 7" x 31" x 10".

Click on the images for a close look.

A closer shot. His arms pull on the ropes.

view from the back . The motor is hidden in one of the small boxes. It took a while to come up with the configuration of all the elements, and even more time figuring out how to secure them all together.

The top part that rocks from side to side. I used a lot of my favorite found objects here.

So many possibilities - these are the found objects that made the initial cut for this piece.

Here I'm working out the puzzle that is the assemblage of found objects - a very complicated puzzle.

I added lead to the arms, which makes the pulling motion more realistic. After that, I covered up the lead with a homemade mixture of sawdust and wood glue.

Ready for paint. You can see the wires that run up inside his legs up to the motor.

His body after painting and aging - ready to be assembled.

I really like this shot. It shows the 3/16" metal rods and the wires that run up through his legs.

Close up shot of his head. I love his expression.

Adding the figure to the base.

All the weight rests on this found chair, held on with 2 screws.

A detail shot of his shoes. I used an old telephone box as the base. It was already painted black, but I added the metal pieces.

Here's the video - I just edited it together - I never thought it would take 6 years....

Thanks for looking!



  1. Love your work Tom. Thanks for being so generous with your time explaining how you bring your creations to life.

  2. So great! Going to look for the video

    1. The video is here -