Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Steadfast" 2012

After seeing how well Tête-à-Tête came out, my wife suggested I do a similar piece - a couple on a teeter-totter. It took a while to figure out the mechanisms, which is basically there to keep the figures upright. The see-saw motion is pretty straightforward, but getting the figures to move correctly was a challenge.

Click on images for a larger view. The movie is at the bottom of this post......

The final shot of Steadfast.  It measures 30" x 21" x 6 1/2". 

The female figure. The handlebars, and the rest of the mechanism, keep the figures upright as they move.

The male figure. To get the legs to move realistically, I added a small amount of lead to the shoes. I also added a tiny rare earth magnet to make sure the shoes didn't move around when they hit the floor. The floor is metal by the way.

A detail shot of the center piece. I know I could have done a simple wood or metal center piece but I really wanted to make something fancier. I really like how it came out - light and airy.

The two bodies in-progress - much carving lies ahead.

The hands, carved and ready to be added to the arms. The girl's hands are slightly smaller than the guy's.

The arms finished. All the arms had to be exactly the same length, and all the pivot points the same. The girl's arms are on the left.

The bodies in progress.

The man's body. I made the bodies and all of the mechanical parts before I made the heads.

The female figure testing out the mechanism. One of the last things I did was to carve the torsos.

The center piece before adding the screen, and before antiquing and painting.

Working out the mechanism and final position of the figures.

The bodies before painting.

The arms and legs in the process of being painted. Because they're part of the mechanism, they all had to be the same size.

All painted, antiqued, and ready to be dressed.

The bodies, all dressed and ready for assembly.

The lady's head. I love how these heads came out.

The man's head.

The floor in-progress. I attached pieces of sheet metal with many small nails.

The metal after the antiquing solution was applied. I love this color - though much of the blue color went away when I applied the wax finish.

The mechanism - simple, straightforward, and made to last.

 The movie..... (watch full screen)

Thanks for looking!



  1. WOW! WOW! WOW! :) Love your work--facinating to see how you do it!

  2. Just saw this piece in Gallery in NO. Dreamt about it and went back to shop to see it again the next day. I will never be able to afford it but I will not forget it.

  3. Janis, I'm glad you like this piece; it's pretty special to me too. Love the story about the dream.

  4. Hello Tom,
    I also saw this piece in New Orleans just this past weekend and fell in love with it. I would love to someday be able to display it in my therapy office.
    Just beautiful.