Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The upper beak of parrots is hinged while the lower one has a sliding pivot from a short arm joined to the skull. Both are connected by a complex process of the palate and the result gives these birds an incredibly dexterous beak, capable of doing a lot of damage with great co-ordination.
To do a lost wax casting like this is very painstaking - a rubber mold cannot be made of the whole thing because it couldn't be removed. So the skull is trepanned and dissected, very thin sections are built up and molds made of the components. The whole is then easily assembled from the resulting injected wax parts and investment cast.
Three different versions of a hollow cast slip-on cuff. The whole thing is a refinement of a lobster's tail with diminishing segments. The one with the stone was a request -another lab ruby. The steam punk version rivets are just droplets of wax size-matched, scraped off a metal plate and welded to the wax model.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
At dusk these introduced South African dung beetles leave their dung pats and zoom around looking for a better one. They are lousy pilots and they are regularly seen to have impaled themselves on fence barbs. They are a scarab, black and irridescent blue. This is all in sterling silver, the beetles are hollow cast and blackened. Its very punk, dangerous to wear - for a dangerous woman who has ended at least four relationships.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
An automaton in welded steel and machined brass workings. It is hand operated and represents a paradigm that has come to the end of its useful life. Even though it's flesh and many bones have fallen away it has a life of its own, and when the crank is turned the jaw flaps, making a bleating noise.
Preliminary for a bronze copy, this sculpture is 50 cm. high in welded steel. In the tantric visualizations of Kali she is portrayed with a necklace of severed heads representing victory over various temptations. She dances on a dead body symbolizing the renunciation of rebirth. The sword cuts off disturbing thought processes and the skull cup in her other hand is filled with inexhaustible bliss.
This lady is much sexier than the usual fat and demonic figure, has in fact no triumphs to declare and her skull cup is upside down and thereby empty.
Casting tree with a number of silver duck pendants all marching side by side. The little blobs are where air bubbles in the investment plaster were trapped against the wax models.
And the final product with a big colour change alexandrite (this one is a synthetic as you may have guessed, if it was natural it would be a museum piece.)
The trouble with these things is that they are so effulgent they are hard to use without making the work look cheap or pretentious. Manic or exuberant seems to work.
This is an agitator type system that catalyses, washes and dries old vegetable oil into motor fuel (biodiesel, all in the one vessel. It is made entirely from metal and other items I picked up at the scrap dealers I wanted it to be a work of art. On the left is a magnetic level indicator, on the right a heat exchanger for methanol recovery, and a thick glass viewing window in the bottom centre to ascertain if there are problems during any part of the process. The methoxide mixer is not visible.
Or "Honey, we are a-leavin this vale of tears."
Friday, August 7, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
An automaton about the ascent of technological man. The triumph of civilization is exponential population growth. That's the mathematical expression of the reasonable certainty that your children will live which is a hard proposition to reject. But the price is their future - because carrying capacity margins shrink with resource depletion and complexity becomes ever more difficult to maintain. So we are trapped in a global Nintendo game and it will end perhaps by global warming - or cooling; another Krakatoa or smallish nuclear war would be enough. Add the end of big oil and that's all she wrote.
So the hybrid one track engine perches on a precipice with the small figures of our glorious leaders in the rotating crow's nest, pointing the way forward. The crocodilian dog figure in the bow is Satan who knows the way.
The Stock Market Engine was my 1998 prediction for the tech boom. As you see the bear is in ascendency. When you turn the crank it runs at full gallop while the little bull occasionally comes out to the trough. But he doesn't stay for long. So prescience isn't all that it's cracked up to be - I went short while the bull market went on until 2001. Stupid would have been better.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Cast sterling silver mutton bird skull: The young fledglings are still removed from their burrows here in Tasmania and killed commercially. The survivors do a round trip flight to summer in Siberia and return to mate the next southern spring.
100 x 35 mm
Limited edition of 20 numbered and signed by the artist.
Price $850 US includes postage and handling.