Monday, October 18, 2010

The Final Five for SOFA Chicago 2010

Faternus & Packardi
Wood/metal/inner tubes/found objects
28" x 18" x 21"

I have started walking on a trail by the local college that my daughter is attending. It goes through high prairie, with a mixture of desert grasses, arroyos and pinon and juniper trees.

The other day I went for a walk out there, hoping that I would stumble on my next inspiration for a sculpture. Unexpectedly, out of the high grass, a huge raven flew up. He circled around me, then perched on an old dead pinon tree, watching me as I walked by. I can tell you he was BIG and DARK, a blue-black shimmery presence...a bird not easily forgotten.

During that walk, I saw about a dozen ravens and crows. I also realized that I wanted to make some of these intense birds myself. The natural material to cover them in seemed to be inner tubes. By the time I got back to my studio,I had planned this piece in my head.

The two birds are wrapped in tubing, giving them an intense mummy-like 'look' but also a feeling that their bursting energy is contained inside the forms...but not for long.

Wood/metal/cloth/found objects
32" x 29" x 11"

Pelicans are amazing birds, flying like WWII bombers, skimming the water in perfect formation. Throwing their heads back to swallow their catch, their flappy gullets act like garbage disposals, consuming everything. I've never heard the sound that pelicans make, but I better it is expressive.

Earlier this summer I made a pelican head, in honor of all the birds caught in the oil spill in the gulf. This is the first full body pelican that I have built. His legs are old croquet mallet handles and his chest is covered in a child's white bicycle tire. His 'feathers' are a combination of dead branches, old metal pipes, pieces of tire rims and a rusted bicycle chain. His gullet is made from an old screen door. I painted his feet blue.

There is quite an assortment of old tools, bits of wood and metal, and found objects hanging off of him. His wooden neck had rusted nails and screws attached to it.

Wood/metal/lead/stone/found objects
26" x 19" x 9"

Otters are so expressive and energetic. This fellow had kept the rock that he uses to break clam shells with him as he peers around. I found that rock on a beach outside of Sitka, Alaska, where I saw both sea and river otters.

His body is wrapped in a layer of lead sheeting, giving him a nautical look. An old mountain bike tire is attached to his chest and his back. Odds and ends are hanging off his body.

His tail is made up of old sticks and pieces of rusted metal and banded with a couple of pipe clamps and his hands and feel are made from wrapped wire.

Wood/metal/cloth/found objects
33" x 12"x 12"

I continue to make a variety of rabbits--sitting, standing, and, of course, running.
This fellow carries a small (sharp) saw blade. Mischief seems to be on his mind!

Wood/cloth/metal/found objects
20" x 6" x 36"

Rabbits are incredibly graceful when they are running.(I bet that's not what they are worried about when they run.) This rabbit is in mid-stride, jumping over a small chamisa bush.

He is built from a combination of mountain bike tires, old tin cans, rivets, and a lot of found objects.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Thyanta's Treasure
Wood/cloth/metal/found objects
29" x 23" x 8"

This monkey was created for a wonderful collector from Texas. She commissioned me to make the monkey for her son.

I think of this creature coming in the box that he stands on, kind of like a kit that you could buy to build animals. His hair and tail are made from steel wool. He is holding a glass door knob, which gives the piece an almost Victorian feel.