Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cannibalizing a Clock

Sometimes I make work that just doesn't sell.  Not only does it not sell, nobody comments on it while in my booth.  And I kind of don't love the thing, either.  That's what happened with this little guy:

Goodbye, tiger-like experiment.  I didn't even sign you!

So I decided to do what any heartless creator would do: cannibalize that thing!  It's really more of a transformation, caterpillar to butterfly, if you will.  Instead of just flipping it over and using the back (why didn't I do that this time? I could have!), I decided to document the destruction and rebirth of a 5 x 5 clock.


I had to work way too hard to get enough material up on the corner to
actually pull with my fingers, but I managed.  I nibbled away with my X-Acto knife.

Pull it!  (The opposite of what Salt n Pepa did.)

One little bit almost always hangs on at the end.  Jerk.

I then let some rubbing alcohol soak on any left over sticky residue from
the pulled vinyl and buff it with a very special piece of cloth (a paper towel).

New identity!  I went with my most popular design because I had all the parts
close by and some poppies already cut.  Efficient!

Ahh...That's better.  It's poppy time! 
So, if you ever see one of my clocks with stuff on the back, don't be surprised.  It's my way of recycling and learning from my mistakes.  Sometimes the vinyl doesn't come off that easily, or at all, but I got lucky this time. 

I just put clocks and frameables up at my favorite Kansas City ice cream shop, Miami Ice!  It's the fourth time I've had work there, and dare I say that my clocks go PERFECTLY with sugary-sweet desserts.  If you're a Kansas Citian, check it out at W 39th Street and Genessee.  (They sell Lawrence's wonderful Sylas & Maddy's ice cream there!)

I'll have the poppy clock at my next show in Ottawa, Kansas, on Nov. 9th. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Made It: From things I found

Too many things in my brain and at my sculpture background has been barking at me lately and I thought, well...let's try out some stuff.

There are plenty of doodads out at the farm that aren't really sellable (boxes of rusty nails, bolts, washers, etc.) but the idea of just chucking them is painful.  So I thought I'd try to make something using these "trash" items.

Here's my thesis piece:

Piece of wood from my basement.

Page from a French textbook, 1921.  The verb seemed too perfect.

Piece of wood found in the shed, cut up and pieced together.

Found a way for it to fit together without much effort.

Perfect frame!

Turn it over and nail that sucker!  This way no nail heads show.

Proof that the nails worked.  Nothing falling off!

Junk to choose from for added flair.

Funky, rustic tacks.

Laying it out.  I thought about using the washers and nuts but decided against it.

Uh oh, unfinished side!  Naked edges are a no-no.

Cadmium Red Light Nova Color mural paint left over from a former job.

Blue and green mixed with white for a  "folksy" addition to the top layer.

Day two: I sprayed the whole thing (except the paper) with a few
coats of lacquer.  I don't want any more old lead paint flaking off than
 is necessary, plus I like the shiny look.

After adding the tacks.

I rather like the shadow play here.

Super close-up!

I have it now leaning on a shelf above my computer in the studio.
Looks like it fits right in.

For the work I make in this vein going forward, I think I'd A) use glue in addition to the nails, and B) put a hanger on the back in the early stages.  There are many options to hang anything, and if I eventually want to sell these, this is a big consideration.  I had to actually sit and think about my process while making this, which is different from my normal brain activity when making clocks (I did all my thinking about that process years ago).

I'm really excited about going forward with the found objects, but right now I need to focus on my upcoming shows! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Making It: Dot Clock

Lately multitudes of scraps have been piling up in my studio, so I've gone back to hand cutting some designs.  Using just the bits frees my brain for a while, until I get enough shapes cut out, at which time I have to figure out just what I'm going to do with them. 

Here's a good old dot clock in the making:

Making sure there's a variety of sizes.

Spacing out design.

Stick that stuff down.

Colors sure seem different in natural light...

Throw in a flying pig and we're good to go!
This is a bold color choice, but I've been making a lot of yellow/grey/black/white combo clocks because that is THE COLOR COMBO of THE COOL PEOPLE, and I thought I should change it up a little.  Maybe this will be the next color wave to sweep the country.

This is up on my Etsy site, and I'll have it in my booth (while supplies last!) this fall.  I'll be in Baldwin, Kansas, for the Maple Leaf Festival this weekend.  Undoubtedly I'll see thousands of people I know because this small city is directly between my hometown and my college town, and it's a bit of an event for us country folks.  Three words: APPLE CIDER DONUTS.

Here's a few more hand cut clocks of late:
8 x 8 Black and every-other-color clock

9 x 12 Brown-Black clock with hand cut rectangles

Friday, October 4, 2013

In the Middle of the Night: October Edition

Because sleeping is something I'm great at doing when I am procrastinating, stressed out (one begets the other, usually), and during daytime I am.  I'm lucky enough not to be forced to wake up this early for work, get on regular clothes and hit the road while it's still dark outside, so I get to mope about it a little.

Three o'clock in the morning + scans of old magazines/fabrics + mad off-brand Photoshop skillz (uhhh...) = this stuff:
Lady dots

There's a joke in here somewhere...

From a Reader's Digest cover

From a 1940's romance novel

Reader's Digest again

Fabric rainbow circle goodness

Curtain fabric stacked circles
I didn't do any actual aligning per se when making these, and it's funny to see that the centers tend to float to the right a bit.  Makes sense, since I'm using my right hand.  But these feel good to me and I'd like to explore this technique more, maybe make some "digital art" as the peeps say. It's not a "print" because it's not printmaking (got schooled on that one this spring in Oklahoma) but it's not a "reproduction" either.  It's made on a computer, which is the last thing I ever thought I'd do, but I'm not cutting up that fabric and most of it has sold now anyway.  I like the crisp lines. 

It also reminds me a little of the opening to the long-cancelled soap opera Santa Barbara...ah, nostalgia!

Look at me, trying new stuff.  In the middle of the night.