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Raven Head sculpture

Sometimes I begin things and they don’t lead anywhere – sadly, the Big Rook sculpture is one of those projects.  I’ll drop some photos of the project behind a cut tag.   

Ravens and crows are my favourite birds – intelligent, clever and that lovely glossy black attitude. Here’s my first little sculpture.  The original (oil based clay) is still sitting around somewhere and I’ve been casting this in a variety of materials. I’ll be making these and posting them on Etsy.

So far I’ve done 3 sculptures – the one in my hand in the photo and the one behind it with the clockwork in the design – and the one I’ve yet to finish, Big Rook. I really wish my dad was around to discuss mould-creation with me. sigh.

A new cast from the Small Raven Head mould I made about a year ago.

Read and see some photos of The Big Raven sculpture ..

Continue reading Raven Head sculpture

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New Butterfly Sculptures

IMG_6232    Well, I’ve expanded The Robot Army in the past few weeks. I’ve always made insect sculptures and included insects in my jewelry too. When I was approached for the Active Surplus Art Show I decided to create a few new pieces. I wanted to give the older butterflies some new wings. I had a bunch of paper kicking around, and had been close to tossing some out. Then I decided to paint the wings… on plastic. They came out okay, but I really wanted something outstanding.

The first few experiments involved some old plastic ribbon I had – and the ideas started rolling in from there.

After several tries I now draw the wing pattern based on photos and spend time coloring each layer. Most of the wings are 2 or 3 layers of plastic, old Japanese paper (that I bought in 1992 or so), and whatever I can find. So far, I’m pretty pleased.

I’ve so far made Luna Moths, Blue Morpho, Monarch and The Ulysses Butterfly (above)


IMG_6234IMG_6237Monarch 1luna moth

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New Works in Progress: The Robot Army

cute hat robot impact Dark gridbot

Well after a long hiatus I’m returning to working on art, jewelry and sculpture.  Last year I spent 6 months cleaning up my Uncle’s house and what a treasure trove of scrap material it proved to be.  One of the nicest finds was a few dusty, filthy boxes of vacuum tubes.  They were / are so old many of the cardboard boxes were deteriorating and crumbling to dust.

So what to do? I’ve had some problems with my vision so I needed to look at a few options – and one day I thought: these vacuum tubes look like little robots.  I was on chat with a friend and suddenly said, “ROBOTS”.  It was literally one of those inspired moments.

On the weekend I had an inspiration on how to photograph them on various backgrounds.  It took ages to figure out the lighting and backdrops, but I am quite pleased.

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Relic – Wall Sculpture: found objects & bone

found art wall sculpture – bone, clockwork, glass

Relic – a found object and recycled art plate is based on the idea of religious relics.  Bones of saints were often kept inside churches, preserved and worshipped, tokens of powerful healing, signifiers of the spiritual nature, objects of passion.

Central in the piece, Relic, is the bone of an animal place upon a bed of rusted metal.  The piece can be interpreted in 3 sections.  Topmost we find the industrial “heaven” where a propellor “drives” the gear below.  This large gear was taken from a clock I dismantled.   The central section has the Relic.  In this industrial detrius world the bone of an animal (hip bone of a mink I believe) has taken on a religious signifigance – everything else is metal, scrap, and hard. The bone is a reminder of the Natural World.
At the bottom is the “church” of technology.  A brass plate forms the central section, and two spires flank each side.   The Rose Window – is windshield glass taken from the streets and mounted.  Behind it is a very rare watch movement made of copper.  I have taken apart hundreds of watches for my steampunk jewelry – but I have only ever found 3 copper movements.   This is the inner heart of the “church” – a special movement – indicator of technology – and yet relic of the past.  We no longer manufacture such movements – only expensive watches are now driven by mechanical, steel and brass workings.
clockwork and bone detail
Relic is part of the series of “wall sculptures” – these are on these fantastic ceramic tiles that someone threw out here in Toronto.  No new parts were used in this – bits and fragments were taken from various machines.  I carried home 6 of these wonderful tiles – and my hands ached for days afterwards – it was the middle of summer and the weight of them was difficult.
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Fun Graphics: Octopi, Kraken t-shirts

Kraken attack!

So, when I’ve got a few spare minutes and feel creative I play with images – some steampunk graphics, some abstracts, some graphics based on scanned/reworked images from the late 1800s.   

Originally I wanted a Kraken t-shirt for myself and couldn’t find one.  So of course there was nothing left to do but to design it myself – based on a print from a book on sea monsters that was printed in the late 1800s.  The original print was a woodblock print – which meant of course it was not so great an image without a lot of “clean up”.  This design took a while – but I’m so happy with it.  Over on I’ve sold a number of these Kraken Attack t-shirts over the years.  I imagine a few pirates out there are wearing them now. heh.   Just to keep things simple, the t-shirt store is here:

a great t-shirt design on my clockworkzero zazzle store

The octopus is one of my favorites – and wow, did it take a while to design as a graphic!  It was based on the drawings from the research vessels in the mid-1800s.   I took the image and cleaned it up, added some little flourishes, and added a lot of texture.  The suction cups are just awesome… and they took even longer to recreate.  

I’ve kept a store for years now – first so that I could get some personal t-shirts made, and then later as people asked me to create a few images, and finally because it’s quite cool to think that someone out there is wearing my tshirt!  I don’t sell a lot of them – they are pretty much specialized (i suspect Cthulu lovers buy them too!).   I ended up doing a few different Deep Sea Creature designs… some of them are over here:

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Collapse applies in so many ways – to this delicate bee trapped behind the magnifying dome of glass, to the critical state of “hive collapse” and then sometimes to my own driven state when I have worked myself into exhaustion.  Where to find the time to do all the things I love, and still satisfy the demands of family and work?  I end up sacrificing something and sometimes my brain shuts down at the end of the day.  You, perhaps, know this well.  Busy as a bee, so busy that you are trapped, under scrutiny, frozen in time.

This sculpture lept to my mind when I found the “hive” shaped piece of metal – a trowel (?) when walking down one of the city streets.  As I picked it up the image of a hive came to mind.  Two days later I found a dead bee outside my house and then spent a few months slowly accumulating one bit after another.  The bee is magnified by a lens taken from an old movie projector I found about a year ago. Some sculptures are works in progress – and don’t come together until all the elements have been found.. in this case it took a year or more.   The actual time to assemble it was only a few days.

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Beached – found object, rust, broken windshield glass, wood

The free standing sculptures are works in progress.  Well, so is a lot of my work – but these even more so.  Each one has taken ages to make – and each one will be quite different.  Currently, there is a series of small sculptures that were designed to be “held in two hands”. 

I love recycling – and found objects.  I never really understood the term “found objects” when I first started exploring art years ago.  I thought it would have to be found… by me… not purchased.  I am certain there is a debate about what should be/ is / could be considered a “found object”.  🙂

My own personal work does involve many object that I have found myself.  BEACHED – was once I think, a child’s toy ship – made of lovely metal.  Quite the discarded treasure.  The wood comes from the Leslie Spit in Toronto – a rough beach where all the detrius of the summer piles on the shore.  The glass comes from various windshields – found and picked off the Toronto streets.   It is quite a heavy piece because of the layers of glass.   Finally, the “shore” is rusted metal – and little bits of pocket watch pieces as well.