Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Installation and finished pieces/elements -details of the three flying machines:

The fabric is a loose weave dacron finished with a water-base polyurethane floor varnish (same finish on all the huon pine animals).

The theme of the balloon is conservation of native animals, hence
the stencilled (eliminated) feral rabbits and cats.

Native timbers are huon pine mostly, the stringers on the balloon and the ornithopter are King William pine from the Lake Margaret pipeline.
The native cat is blackwood with huon pine spots made with plug cutters.

The pop gun stock is carved with the initials HAS on one side, 1945 on the obverse. When I was making it I thought it looked a little bit like a WW 2 rifle and so I made this item a tribute to my father who fought on Leyte and Okinawa with the 7th Division. He was wounded/decorated several times for ' gallantry in action'. That era is nearly forgotten now with the passage of time and diplomacy, hence the impotent little gun, but his platoon of thirty men turned over more than 5 times in a few months which is about the same as Australia's total casualties in Afghanistan to date.

The book held by the possum is titled 'The Path of Glory' and the visible title on the bottom book of the ballast parcel hanging underneath is 'Wombat's Nasty Secret.' If you want to know what it is (just look at the wombat, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth) you will have to buy the book or wait for the movie because it may be some time before the mouse gnaws through the cable.

The frame of the lunar module is welded aluminium with 1 mm. sheet wrapped around, glued and pop-riveted. The rivet heads are a steam punk touch and are glued over the pop rivets. They were made with a jewellers' punch and doming tool. The illuminated earth hemisphere is blown acrylic, the map of the South Pacific airbrushed on the inside with transparent 2-pack automotive paint, cyclone Yasi coming in from the east and a ferocious line of fronts heading for Tasmania. , Interestingly the grey features on the white clouds (sandblasted) are opaque white and illumination throughout is done with circular fluorescent lights. The heads in the lunar module are hollow cast polyurethane with a metallic spray finish. The three faces have the eyes of wolves and coyotes from a taxidermy supply and the hard part was casting them in place. The geese in hatchway with the fox are a pair of old drench guns from the recycler. This is in the leavers module, grade 6's heading off to grade 7. So there are inumerable disasters converging on the nation - I have taught grade 7 and this is my revenge.