Monday, March 2, 2015

"Circuitous" - 2015

In January 2015,  I was invited to show my work at the (un)SCENE Art Show in New York City. It runs concurrently with the Armory Art Show, and it's right down the street. When I checked out the past exhibitions, I knew right away I wanted to be part of this great show. (Besides "Circuitous", I had 2 other pieces in the show.)

A little history....
Back in 2012, I made a piece called "Relocation" for a show at Obsolete in Venice, CA. It didn't operate reliably enough for my liking - it had issues. The piece was powered by a vintage Erector Set motor that ran in 2 directions - forward and reverse. When the motor switched gears, it was in neutral for a split second. This was a problem because on the other end of the line was a weight that would pull constantly. The gears would - every now and then - not engage, which sent the weight plummeting to the ground. Not good.
I disassemble the piece when it got back from the show and it sat on a shelf for a couple years. I really liked the way the motor worked in two directions and how the figure looked, so I knew it would find new life in another piece someday. I knew if I was to repurpose this part, I'd have to make it without a weight pulling on the motor. I thought a simple belt and pulley system would work well - and that's where I started with this piece. 

This piece measures 26" x 19" x 17", and is sold.

The final image of "Circuitous".

A shot of the "carousel", which is all made from scratch. The red and blue pieces are chimes I took out of an old toy xylophone. As the carousel revolves, the chimes strike the two posts, one on each side. It runs one way for a short while, then figure pulls on the lever, and reverses the direction. It took a while to figure out how to hang the chimes so they would ring clearly, and also not just swing around wildly.

The red colored rope does a lot to hold the chimes in place, which helps them from swinging around too much.  
After I added the sheet metal floor,  I patinated it with chemicals to get the color I wanted.

The figure and motor, created in 2012.

The Erector Set motor. I added the handle, the pulley, and to keep the motor cool, the fan on the side.

The fan and it's protective cover are all made from scratch. I was afraid if I didn't put a cover on it, someone would inevitably touch it and cut their finger.

Her pretty face - sculpted from polymer clay - watches the action.

Adding the paint job to the base was fun. I wanted an old weathered, peeling paint look, and was pretty happy with the way it came out.

The canopy cover was suggested my my wife. It does clean up the look a good bit. And I like how the antiquing came out too. It's hand-stitched onto the old buggy wheel that serves as the foundation of the canopy.

A few in-progress images......

The base was made from plywood,  and the 12 side pieces (one is shown here) are made from short lengths of baseboard, turned wrong-side out. Before I added all the side pieces, I had to make sure that the 2 axles lined up, and that their bearings were in the right place. The horizontal axle will drive the vertical one by the use of bevel gears.

Testing out the drive. I had that long belt sitting around - used for testing purposes only. I made a new belt for the final piece.

What the sheet metal looked like after nailing to the base, and before the patina. The buggy wheel was used to make the canopy.

The figure, right before assembling. Her arms, legs, shoes, and torso are carved from basswood.

The movie - please watch full screen.

Thanks for looking!