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Still Life / Still Death Photos

 

One day I’ll put on a show with these – printed out and set into nice black frames.  The originals are all around 2500px square – so not a terrible size to print.  I’m quite happy with the Vivid Collapse – taken about a week apart – this tulip still had a brilliance even long beyond its prime.

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Sculptural robots and future plans

More robot photos…

Robbie the RobotSpace Explorer Robot

There’s been a lot of ups and downs in my life over the past year. A lot to do with an aging family, and whatnot. I’m currently on “hiatus” with the job so I’m able to do a lot of other work.  I found setting goals each day really helps – even if it’s with fun stuff like the robot sculptures.  These two fellows are quite different.  “Robby the Robot” (I always thought it was Robbie.. ops)… really doesn’t look too much like the original Forbidden Planet icon except for the head.  It is the head that makes it.  The other little fellow – has a great antenna set – the coil imho looks more like a bouffant.  Bouffant bot? I actually think of this robot more as Cool Bot.  Must be the hair.

 

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New Works in Progress: The Robot Army

cute hat robot impact Dark gridbot

Well after a long hiatus I’m returning to working on art, jewelry and sculpture.  Last year I spent 6 months cleaning up my Uncle’s house and what a treasure trove of scrap material it proved to be.  One of the nicest finds was a few dusty, filthy boxes of vacuum tubes.  They were / are so old many of the cardboard boxes were deteriorating and crumbling to dust.

So what to do? I’ve had some problems with my vision so I needed to look at a few options – and one day I thought: these vacuum tubes look like little robots.  I was on chat with a friend and suddenly said, “ROBOTS”.  It was literally one of those inspired moments.

On the weekend I had an inspiration on how to photograph them on various backgrounds.  It took ages to figure out the lighting and backdrops, but I am quite pleased.

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Craft Show: Frost Bite Report

This weekend I did a new craft show put on by the kind folk who organized the Bazaar of the Bizarre!  The new winter show, “Frost Bite”, was in a new location – at The Great Hall on Queen Street.  For me it was a great show – lots of vendors who have wonderful work – artists, jewelers, clothing designers and more.

The venue was a lot of fun – well spaced out – with enough room to move for the crowds (and yes, there were crowds), and enough space for the vendors too.  It almost felt roomy!  The lighting was quite good – though the 2nd room had better day-lighting.  Unfortunately I didn’t get more then 2 minutes to check it out.  Most of my time was spent behind my table talking about the work, and sometimes explaining the Materials.

What makes a successful craft show is, for me, a delicate combination of vendors and the general public. The Bazaar of the Bizarre people really seem to have found a good niche – appealing to alternative folk, artists, goths, geeks, punks and anyone who appreciates the unusual.  They seem to have selected a good group of vendors.  I was parked beside another jeweler – which often happens – since there are so many jewelry makers around.  The woman beside me though had a lot of silver jewelry, so it was a good contrast to my own “mixed media” work. I was quite impressed with some of the jewelry at the show – after  a while I’ve started to recognize people and their work.

The jewelry selection in any craft show is really critical.  Often people seem to think that jewelry is something that is “easy” to make and sell, but there are so very many vendors, some shows will refuse to take more then 25-35% jewelry.  There are just so many of us!  It makes it very difficult to get into these shows, though I’ve been quite fortunate with my steampunk jewelry, I’ve gotten into every show I’ve applied to – but then I don’t do a lot of shows.  It helps to take good photos and really strive to create something different.  So many of my pieces are meant to tell a story – even the simple ones.  I also tend to recycle a lot of materials – pocket watches, watches, scrap metal, bits of broken jewelry, glass – well okay, just about anything I can find.  🙂

The biggest thrill this weekend for me personally was quite unexpected.  My art piece, “Collapse”, – a  wall sculpture was purchased.  I honestly was quite unprepared – mostly I had thought people might come and be curious about it – but I didn’t think anyone would actually buy it.  I know, silly, but true.  I am .. .just thrilled… that it will now be in someone’s home.  It was a very personal piece, and I’m so happy someone owns it now.

There were a few special pieces too that were sold.  I’ve a good memory for some work – one, the customer named, “Bee on time” was a small woman’s wrist watch case with a partial movement inside, and a tiny bee.  Another had a lovely brass stamped angel who arched around a mother-of-pearl button, placed on a movement.  Two of my Vacuum tubes went – one a very masculine piece – with a thick copper chain.  A U-tube necklace made from a stop-motion flash has found a new home.  Sometimes I’m amazed some things have Not sold – and sometimes I instantly wish I’d hung on to some just a bit longer.

I always love it when a fellow is buying something for his partner at these shows.  Often they will circle back and whisper, “psst… that necklace my wife liked….” and I’ll slip it into a box.  These are always fun little moments of connection.  I think i just enjoy the .. sneakiness of it.

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Designs and Photos

What to do with photos?  I was an addict for a while – with macro photos in particular.  I’ve taken hundreds, thousands.  Lately, I’ve been working with Zazzle products – so at least I’ve now got a way to share some of my work – beside the usual posting.  

I opened a steampunk phone store on Zazzle recently – and it’s been so much fun designing steampunk-related photos and putting them on iphones and whatever other phones catch my fancy.  Some of them are photos of gears that I’ve taken from clocks, pocket watches, wrist watches etc.  Some of them are just pure creations – again based off photographs – like the industrial iphone skins.

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Relic – Wall Sculpture: found objects & bone

found art wall sculpture – bone, clockwork, glass

Relic – a found object and recycled art plate is based on the idea of religious relics.  Bones of saints were often kept inside churches, preserved and worshipped, tokens of powerful healing, signifiers of the spiritual nature, objects of passion.

 
Central in the piece, Relic, is the bone of an animal place upon a bed of rusted metal.  The piece can be interpreted in 3 sections.  Topmost we find the industrial “heaven” where a propellor “drives” the gear below.  This large gear was taken from a clock I dismantled.   The central section has the Relic.  In this industrial detrius world the bone of an animal (hip bone of a mink I believe) has taken on a religious signifigance – everything else is metal, scrap, and hard. The bone is a reminder of the Natural World.
 
At the bottom is the “church” of technology.  A brass plate forms the central section, and two spires flank each side.   The Rose Window – is windshield glass taken from the streets and mounted.  Behind it is a very rare watch movement made of copper.  I have taken apart hundreds of watches for my steampunk jewelry – but I have only ever found 3 copper movements.   This is the inner heart of the “church” – a special movement – indicator of technology – and yet relic of the past.  We no longer manufacture such movements – only expensive watches are now driven by mechanical, steel and brass workings.
 
clockwork and bone detail
Relic is part of the series of “wall sculptures” – these are on these fantastic ceramic tiles that someone threw out here in Toronto.  No new parts were used in this – bits and fragments were taken from various machines.  I carried home 6 of these wonderful tiles – and my hands ached for days afterwards – it was the middle of summer and the weight of them was difficult.
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Fun Graphics: Octopi, Kraken t-shirts

Kraken attack!

So, when I’ve got a few spare minutes and feel creative I play with images – some steampunk graphics, some abstracts, some graphics based on scanned/reworked images from the late 1800s.   

Originally I wanted a Kraken t-shirt for myself and couldn’t find one.  So of course there was nothing left to do but to design it myself – based on a print from a book on sea monsters that was printed in the late 1800s.  The original print was a woodblock print – which meant of course it was not so great an image without a lot of “clean up”.  This design took a while – but I’m so happy with it.  Over on Zazzle.com I’ve sold a number of these Kraken Attack t-shirts over the years.  I imagine a few pirates out there are wearing them now. heh.   Just to keep things simple, the t-shirt store is here: http://www.zazzle.com/clockworkzero

a great t-shirt design on my clockworkzero zazzle store

The octopus is one of my favorites – and wow, did it take a while to design as a graphic!  It was based on the drawings from the research vessels in the mid-1800s.   I took the image and cleaned it up, added some little flourishes, and added a lot of texture.  The suction cups are just awesome… and they took even longer to recreate.  

I’ve kept a Zazzle.com store for years now – first so that I could get some personal t-shirts made, and then later as people asked me to create a few images, and finally because it’s quite cool to think that someone out there is wearing my tshirt!  I don’t sell a lot of them – they are pretty much specialized (i suspect Cthulu lovers buy them too!).   I ended up doing a few different Deep Sea Creature designs… some of them are over here: http://www.zazzle.com/deepseacreatures

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Auxilary Magazine: “Identity Warrior” shoot

http://auxiliarymagazine.com/

Special thanks to Tasha Farrington – the incredible stylist who did the shoot for Auxillary Magazine this spring.  She’s awesome – and full of fun too.  She organizes the shoots, chooses the models, clothes – she’s got the Vision.  She always supports local artists and designers whenever she can – and she’s an editor at Auxiliary Magazine too. 
Pretty Deadly Stylz – my Tasha darling. ! http://www.modelmayhem.com/708099 
MODEL: Rama Lucksiarto http://www.modelmayhem.com/633478
 
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Collapse

Collapse

Collapse applies in so many ways – to this delicate bee trapped behind the magnifying dome of glass, to the critical state of “hive collapse” and then sometimes to my own driven state when I have worked myself into exhaustion.  Where to find the time to do all the things I love, and still satisfy the demands of family and work?  I end up sacrificing something and sometimes my brain shuts down at the end of the day.  You, perhaps, know this well.  Busy as a bee, so busy that you are trapped, under scrutiny, frozen in time.

This sculpture lept to my mind when I found the “hive” shaped piece of metal – a trowel (?) when walking down one of the city streets.  As I picked it up the image of a hive came to mind.  Two days later I found a dead bee outside my house and then spent a few months slowly accumulating one bit after another.  The bee is magnified by a lens taken from an old movie projector I found about a year ago. Some sculptures are works in progress – and don’t come together until all the elements have been found.. in this case it took a year or more.   The actual time to assemble it was only a few days.

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Sculptures

Beached – found object, rust, broken windshield glass, wood

The free standing sculptures are works in progress.  Well, so is a lot of my work – but these even more so.  Each one has taken ages to make – and each one will be quite different.  Currently, there is a series of small sculptures that were designed to be “held in two hands”. 

I love recycling – and found objects.  I never really understood the term “found objects” when I first started exploring art years ago.  I thought it would have to be found… by me… not purchased.  I am certain there is a debate about what should be/ is / could be considered a “found object”.  🙂

My own personal work does involve many object that I have found myself.  BEACHED – was once I think, a child’s toy ship – made of lovely metal.  Quite the discarded treasure.  The wood comes from the Leslie Spit in Toronto – a rough beach where all the detrius of the summer piles on the shore.  The glass comes from various windshields – found and picked off the Toronto streets.   It is quite a heavy piece because of the layers of glass.   Finally, the “shore” is rusted metal – and little bits of pocket watch pieces as well.