26 July 2009

New Obsession: Candle Chimnies

The way my brain works, I like to know which objects fit together in the world. I don't know why, exactly, but it is somehow satisfying when a thing fits another thing. I can pick out the right wrench or socket just from looking at the bolt head, and I love assembling things like furniture because the parts fit together just so.

Like many people, our bathroom has some candles in it, and also toilet paper. Toilet paper comes on little cardboard tubes. And one day my Tab A/Slot A, Tab B/Slot B oriented brain decided that tea light candles fit exactly inside toilet paper tubes. I tried it, and sure enough. Just so. Sweet.

Ever since then, it has been bugging me that I should be able to Do Something with that little nugget of information. I figured a TP tube would make a good candle chimney, except for that pesky 'fire + paper = bad' business. And most of the ways I could think of to fireproof a cardboard tube weren't very conducive to decorative quality (since I tend to favor delicate filigree styles).

I decided plaster might be a good way to go, but plaster tends to saturate the tube because the process of setting plaster is very efficient at making water go away. For this same reason, the plaster tends to fall off, because it becomes rigid long before the water comes back out of the cardboard, so there is no longer a stable support structure for the thing plaster. Been trying to work this out for a while now, how to preserve the structural integrity, the design options, and the not-burning-down-the-house.

Last weekend, I knocked over a full glass of wine, and it sprayed all over the wall, because our glasses are optimally designed for liquid launching. Annnnnyway: this necessitates a fresh coat of whitewash on the wall, and then the lightbulb went on. Whitewash is slaked lime, which is to say, plaster that has already absorbed all the water it is going to, and when the water that keeps it fluid evaporates, it will be just as sturdy as plaster, but without soaking the cardboard.


What you see here is my very first attempt at this method of making the thing I want to make, and it gives me a lot of hope that this is a worthwhile effort. I have delusions of making these things regularly ('cause, you know, we get re-supplied with empty TP rolls pretty regularly), and selling them online or at the flea market. The materials are cheap, the production will be easy, and the designs can be pretty much endlessly varied. And if I can sell these, I can maybe fund some of my other activities. Which would be awesome. Also, since they won't exactly be heirloom quality objects, I should be able to sell them for cheap, which everyone loves. Cheap, fancy things. I am pretty sure I can paint them and otherwise ornament them, as well.

22 July 2009

Blame Your Friends, Part 2

This is the final result of the input from Joc, combined with something Leesa mentioned (her instructor being fond of masking fluid). I probably need to find a way to put masking fluid more precisely, but this isn't bad at all. At least, not to my taste.

Blame Your Friends, Part 1

This is a sketch I did after Maia Joc* said my last finished piece looked a bit like a sacred lotus. This one is more lotus-y, and also more insectoid, somehow. Go figure.

I spent hours on this drawing, and then decided I wasn't happy with it, and had a small, but very satisfying revelation: I could just start over! This isn't news, exactly, but it is the kind of thing I have to re-know every once in a while. Anyway, it led to the next piece...

* sorry, both of you. I'll find something to blame on Maia eventually.

These aren't new, but...

These 5 paintings aren't new, but I just framed them last night. Framing them has revealed to me that I will be painting at least 2, and probably 3 new components for this set, because what's there either doesn't fit, or doesn't please me. That's just how it goes, I guess.

I've been stalling on framing these for 3 or 4 months, probably because I already knew I wasn't going to be happy, and didn't want to deal with it. Guess it's time to own up and finish it.

In which I spam you again.

First, 3 pages from my sketchbook:

16 July 2009

Take 2.

Artist Betsabeé Romero carves tires (among other auto-related art and installations). Some of the tires get inked and leave a pattern print, which is very, very nifty. Do a Google image search on her name--that's what the last link was, but it expired or something. Her actual web site seems to be out of commission at the moment; I'm guessing this picture or others like it are what brought it down. A-frickin'-mazing stuff.

14 July 2009

Just finished...

Just sprayed sealer on this. it's not bad, but it's not 100% what I wanted, either. The good news is, I think I know how to get what I wanted. Had a thought about that just as I was putting the last touches on this.

In case you were wondering, I'm pretty sure both the painting and the photograph are a little tilted, but when I mat this, I should be able to (mostly) correct that. I guess I'll find out...

05 July 2009

If you have not done so...

You probably need to watch this. It is 26 minutes, but worth every second.

04 July 2009

Until That Day, I Make My Home Down Here

Patrick Gannon continuing to make with the holycrapawesome. I highly recommend you browse his Flickr stream if you're just in it for the visuals. His web site has a lot more to it than that.

More Kickassery: Patrick Gannon

Making art and illustration from cut up bits of paper... sweet. You'll have to browse around Gannon's website a bit to get the full effect, but I find it to be both charming and delightful.

Patrick Gannon - cut paper art and illustration

03 July 2009

Serendipitous Glimpses

Maybe this falls in the category of shoe-gazing, perhaps literally, but I love making pictures of little things I see on the ground when I'm out and about. They are invariably tiny details of the life of the sidewalk, but they please me a great deal.

Dunno if they are Art, except in the sense that they are capable of bringing to visibility that which only a few people ever apprehend directly.

01 July 2009

This makes me very wanty.

Not because I actually want a knife of this kind, but because I crave this level of awesomeness.