Lately I have been foiled in my attempts to display my Fat Baby Bird in a couple of locations, so I turned to digitally foiling my fat baby birds here. And as you can see, I have gone into a little “mass production”. I make and sell a limited number of cement casts of my limestone carving. The stone original is the unpainted bird shown above, which I display on a cement “honeycomb” base I designed. The painted birds are two of my limited edition casts. So far I have made my original carving plus eight cast cement birds, each painted differently. I plan to limit the edition to 25 or less.
Numbering the Edition
I want to keep track of the order of these casts, and where these baby birds go, but I may be confused already. I failed to note the order and the location of their new homes as I worked. The numbered list below is my best reconstruction of the sequence of my cast birds.
I hand chiseled my fat baby bird from a small block of limestone. You can see it in the first photo above. I cast the original, making a silicone mold with a plaster mother mold, and it is my very first stone carving. I plan to keep the original carved bird for myself!
The “Numbered Edition”:
Fat Baby Bird #1 sits on an inverted flower pot, since I had not yet come up with a good default base. I donated #1 to the local animal shelter to adorn their dog walking trail.
Fat Baby Bird #2 has my chosen base, for use when a bird does not find a unique home perch. It visited the Pettygrove ROW for a while, then moved to a home with a friend & neighbor.
Baby Glitter Bird is out on the town: for now she nestles on a stump along the Spruce St. public trail near the Ft. Worden back gate.
Dark Bird will stay home with me for now, as I am fond of the darker colors and his golden tears.
Quiet Fat Baby Bird moved a few blocks away, to a sheltered garden on Olympic Ave, to be at home with someone who needs her.
Iridescent Baby Bird perches a bit aslant on a rock, very much at home in the lovely garden of friends who live nearby.
And Buff-breasted Baby Bird, the most quizzical of the lot somehow, is trying out perches in the garden of another friendly home almost next to me on 33rd St. B4 may settle on a spot soon, or maybe not!
Just painted: Baby Bird with Bill, pun intended, will move to the home of another immediate neighbor! BBwB has a stacked log perch already and waiting…
Not yet finished, Yellow-Breasted Baby Bird expects to have a new home soon, across the street in a rockery.
The final step, just completed yesterday, was to decide and permanently install the glass and LED Lights at the top of this work. These are installed in a circular hole I cut through the wood, with the glass pieces secured with 2-part epoxy.
I embedded a small string of (tiny battery) operated rice lights between the glass pieces at the top, with one bare “bulb” dangling down inside. The whole creates a light fixture that evokes a miner’s lantern of some sort, at least for me! The lights don’t bother or distract when switched off (from the back); they are very inconspicuous. And I do like the effect in the “lantern” when the LEDs are switched on. Also they are just bright enough to dimly light the scene in a dark room, for an interesting effect. If you tuck the dangling LED up into the “miner’s lantern” space, you can make it disappear!
Now this piece really is finished, unless I decide to add a wire on the back for hanging. For now it is free standing piece.
Forest Lights: trees, moon, and spirit installed in backlit found drawer
This work depicts an enchanted forest, softly lit and safely contained. There is no risk or danger in enjoying evening fall in these woods, with a sunset soft sky. When this work is lit with the installed LED rice lights, the woods are suffused by a diffused glow and mysterious soft lights that you can imagine moving through the trees. A benign forest spirit lives in these woods, and a gentle green hued full moon rises above the trees.
Dimensions: 17.5″ x 10.2″ x 3″
Mixed media relief installed into found drawer: wood, acrylic, resin, paper, pigments, LED lights (12volt plugin transformer for std. U.S. residential power).
This work is freestanding, or add D-rings & wire to hang on a wall.
Two ambiguous barefoot figures interact in a serious dreamlike activity using a soft frayed rope. This dream game may or may not include the pearl in the “shell” or the floating leaf. The glowing translucent figure at right is all light, poised on a vibrant gold background. The flatter clear figure at left is the darker twin, a ghostly mirror image on a dark copper and black ground.
I am quite in love with my variations of this sturdy bas relief figure, although I will soon find a new theme for art projects! My barefoot draped figure is so sincere and so intent on the work or play at hand. These figures are clearly focused on an important activity!
Look at some of my other artworks to find this figure in other roles in my recent work!
This is a multi-media multi-layer work. I attached each figure to a separate panel, then mounted these securely to a thinner black panel and a sheet of sealed brown fiber board using strong adhesive. I used screws on the back to secure the panels together.
Note the dual panels are more or less flush with the face of the frame. The relief figures protrude, sitting proud of the flat black frame included with this work. A heavier thicker frame would protect the artwork better, but is not in my budget currently.
Two Dark and Light Twin Figures with Rope. Mounted panels dimensions: 22″x18″, Frame dimensions: 24″x20″.
I have a history of using old found drawers as containers for art. Sometimes I have been lucky enough to find handsome well made drawers, and it is great to get a matched pair of drawers!
Old drawers tend to be best: all wood, or at least sturdy plywood rather than junky pressed boards. And a little or even quite a bit of damage can lend character! I am not overly fond of new & pristine for my artwork. I have come to love a bit of wear & tear of the just the right sort…
So drawers as containers for art generally become an intrinsic part of the work: I build on the style of the drawer, and choose elements that fit the piece. The elements will be permanently attached in the final artwork. And sometimes the drawers actually inspire me to a new work.
These are some more alternatives for a new work. I am struggling with this collage / assemblage. This will “go somewhere”, I think. I plan to complete a finished piece incorporating the print and one of the two angels, but it may not look like much this.
The parts that I am considering include the burn sienna colored paperclay angel, a tinted but transparent resin angel, a small low relief resin tree, leaves or scans of leaves, and a shellac coated poly-lithograph print of trees. The conceptual title is “Reason to Worry”.
I have a sheet of copper that could become a good background for this piece (instead of the chipboard used above). And if I stay with a background & use a mat, I will not use this poorly cut & tinted cardboard, this is merely a temporary stand in for something better!
However the print and angel fit into another possibility entirely, some variation of this drawer piece:
Sometimes less is better! I rather wish that I did not have so many more alternatives for a new work!