Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sculpture and Architectural Ornament

A quick submersion in a wide tub is the simplest way to glaze these high relief tiles .

Face up, so that no air bubbles are trapped. One coat gives good coverage without obliterating detail.

Letting the glaze dry and then into the kiln!
Keep your fingers crossed that both right and left reliefs fire ok and match!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sculpture and Architectural Ornament

Good thing I made a back-up pair of tiles,

because now I've got scrap parts to test glazes. Shiny white on the left, matt white on the right.

There's always a learning curve. 
On the first cracked pair, I let the packed clay dry too long before I reinforced the back.
The second set was packed all at once and bisque-fired just fine. 

Now everyone, please pray to the glaze-firing gods because my back-up pair 
is now my only pair and time is running out.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sculpture and Models, Truth of Materials.

In theater, the sooner you can rehearse in your costume the better the performance. With sculpture, models serve as rehearsals. You learn and improve your ideas with each one.

I made the clay model quickly to show my client. It showed them my idea and worked in the video.
Now it's time to go further and discover what it's really going to look like in wood.

The drawback with clay is that it can be any shape. The clay model is meaningless when the actual sculpture will be in wood. A successful wood carving requires forms unique to wood.

Carving this model helps me plan my moves on the big log,
but instead of a knife, it will begin with a chainsaw.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sculpture and Models. Old Growth Doug Fir

Douglas Fir is a horrible wood to carve.
It's rock hard and smells sour, but I'm making an exception for this model for the big sculpture.

This block is an old house corbel and wanted a life other than the fireplace or the dumpster.

It's been on a house for almost a hundred years and is rotten look in the upper right corner of the photo.
I'm leaving that as a visible part of its history.

Most Doug Fir is now an awful combination of hard and soft. This old growth grain is so dense that it's workable. Workable with a razor sharp tool. And somehow the only tool that feels right is a small skew knife...... Would you rather work slowly and get it right or faster and get it done?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sculpture and Promotion

When do you realize that your definition of art isn't big enough?
Administration and Promotion are required.

I decided to make a video showing the inspiration and process of creating a public art sculpture.

Artist meet your Producer, Creative Director, Writer, Storyboard Artist, Chief Financial Officer, Accountant, Wardrobe and Hair, and talent. Here's your Actor. ("Oh, god, not him again!")

I'm looking in the mirror at a full board meeting of ONE. 
Panic or Excitement?

I hired an excellent videographer who took care of the actual filming and editing.
But to make his work efficient, I had to do my job.  JOBS.

Making this video took several months. Not of actual work. That took three days.
What took so long was being able to define and perform all those different tasks.

Q: Do I like seeing myself on camera? 
A:"No. Get over it. This isn't about you, it's about your work."

That was the understanding that made the video possible, and eventually, fun.
Believing in my work allowed me and the art to grow in many ways.
Isn't that what Art is really about?

"To Grandmother's House," a new public art sculpture by Patrick Gracewood. from patrick gracewood on Vimeo.

Anyone not make the original meeting?
Fact Checker, Public Relations, and Damage Control came on board later.

When I sent the completed video to my client, they suggested several changes.
In making those changes, I made a larger error, miss-peaking the number of artists and art involved.
When you put yourself out there, it's possible to make mistakes on a much larger scale.

After all the good work, I felt so stupid.
"Get over it. This isn't about you, it's about your art. Correct it and make it work."

Re-record voice, re-re-edit the work. And call it Done with a Capital D and in writing.

Then other errors were pointed out,  like misspelling of the City of Milwaukie.
That's a big one.
This episode seemed like an endless loop of errors, large and small. Blame doesn't matter. Responsibility does. I'm responsible for this whole production.
More feeling stupid, but a faster recovery to being functional again.
"Get over it. This isn't about you, it's about your art. Correct it. Make it work."

Call my client, Apologize with a Capital A
Call my videographer, tell him the necessary changes.
Follow call immediately with email to videographer with written cut and paste correction.
(He's dyslexic, I'm half way there myself..            .....or is that apoplectic?)

Re-post re-re-re-re-edited video to Vimeo and social media sites.
I think it's finally done. Hope so.

I really want to go back to my day job: Artist carving in my studio.
Except that my definition of what it means to be an artist keeps expanding.
Isn't that what Art's about?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sculpture and Celebrations

Figurative sculptors are secret animists.
We love the raw nature of our materials: the malleability of clay, the smell of wood, the weight of stone.
We do our best to breath life into our creations.

And then we get to dress them up for parties.

The Balinese stone Buddha wears a garland of Perle d'Or roses and heuchera blossoms

to greet guests arriving for Mr David's 60th Birthday Party!

A kiss for and from the Buddha for good luck!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sculpture and the Neo Lucida

David Hockney's book Secret Knowledge is a joy and delight. There's a good video on it as well.
So when I saw that Pablo Garcia and Golen Levin created a Kickstarter campaign to create an authentic, inexpensive portable Camera Lucida, I wanted to support their plan and get one for myself.
I'm in for $40.00. Such a deal....

How about you?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sculpture and Isamu Noguchi

"I like to think of gardens as sculpturing of space: a beginning and a groping to another level of sculptural experience and use: a total sculpture space experience beyond individual sculptures" Noguchi

Sculptures by Isamu Noguchi are on view at Portland's Japanese Garden. 
The show is called We are the Landscape of All We Know, and runs from May 3 to July 21, 2013.
Odalisque Basalt carving  by Noguchi 1962

                        Cross Beam, Granite 1970 and Re-Entry Cone Granite 1972
There are 5 works installed outside in the gravel courtyard. A perfect setting to view the art. The rest of the 21 works are inside the pavilion. Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sculpture and Paper Cuts

Is Northern Oregon the new Southern California?
We love the sun and spring warmth here in Portland, but this is ominously early. 

This street sign shadow has an interesting silhouette.
See how it flattens the actual depth of the curb and look at all the great negative spaces.
Paying attention to flat shapes can made your sculpture stronger.