Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week 6: Assembly Work

Let the magic begin!

These past weeks I have transitioned from clay building to the assembly part of my building process.  This is the most rewarding and chaotic aspect of my work.  Rewarding, because I finally am able to bring the narrative to life and hopefully in a way that exceeds what I had envisioned.  In fact, sometimes I get so excited to see it come to life that I have to remind myself to slow down and make sure each piece is as polished and seamless as possible.
The assembly process is chaotic because my studio gets torn apart as I look for the right hardward, ephemera, prop or platform necessary for the story of each piece.  While I keep my studio organized as much as possible there are hundreds of drawers, boxes and jars that I have to search through to find the perfect fit.  At the same time I am trying to take full advantage of all of my mixed media techniques from construction and welding to felting, sewing and encaustic.

So my studio becomes a little like a war zone, followed by brief periods of clean-up and more explosions. 

Do you remember this piece I posted in Week 12: Images of What's To Come?  Well, this piece I knew would we on the horse platform, but all the other mixed media was left to decide during the assembly process (although I did have a few ideas in mind).

After the piece was fired, I started to assemble all the different elements to build the narrative.

 I had to construct how the skull and figure were going to be secured to the victorian horse piece and how the horse was going to be secured to the stand.  Since all of this is vintage mixed media nothing is never a quick fix and requires a lot of problem solving to ensure the piece is level and secure.  

I then decided to add create ribbons similar to award ribbons to either side of the horse using ribbon and vintage buttons.  I then noticed that this gallant warhorse also needed a tail.  Luckily I had some beautiful vintage millinery feathers that did the trick. 

 I then waxed the horse to bring out the patina of the wood and the spots of remaining original paint. 

The last flourish was a flag because every voyager needs a banner to symbolize their origins and intent.  The construction of this flag involved a heat gun to synthetic material, rusting, hand stitching and beadwork.  

Now she is ready for her close-up!  Photography next week!