Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I need this like a hole in the . . .

Whoops! I guess there *is* a hole in his head. For the first time THIS particular hole was intentional. Since he's meant to be a baby unicorn, he needs a horn. . . but something sticking out like that on a public art piece needs to be sturdy. Fortunately, Dad is a whiz on this sort of thing
and he quickly put my concerns to rest by fashioning this creative little bolt reinforcement.
You can see the washer and nut on the outside. . . there is another washer and nut on the inside. The washer took some fancy maneuvering to get through the hole! Once it was properly seated on the inside, the outside nut could be tightened and . . . Voila! The bolt is being firmly held onto it's little forehead between the two washers! Nifty huh?
So, now he's taken his first step toward being a proper unicorn. The horn won't be very long (he is just a baby after all!) and once it has the epoxy packed into the hole and around the bolt, it should be solid as a rock! This is a good view of his new butch haircut too. More holes. *grumble* Not to mention the ears, which are headed toward having fuzzy texture put in them. . .but first, some stuff had to come out and. . .you guessed it! MORE HOLES!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Destruction, devastation and general mayham

Well, it was bound to happen. . . after a week of seeing the mass produced fiberglass horse sitting in his basement, my Father decided it had some "issues" that needed fixing. I could see all the issues too, but I was having an easier time ignoring them. I just wanted to paint it and be done. After all, it was Saturday, and the colt needed to be finished and delivered back to Lake Geneva by Friday at 3 p.m. But, we hauled it outside. . . and started talking about it. . . pretty soon somebody was brandishing a grinding tool . . . and then a larger grinding tool. . . before we knew it, we discovered that certain areas of this fiberglass critter weren't very thick!

So, we had holes to patch. . . and then there were more holes. . . and a few more. EEK! Holes everywhere, and grinding marks. . . lots of grinding marks! Hahahahahahaha! But we kept going because the overall silhouette looked better with each alteration. The tail looked a bit like some sort of exotic cucumber so one challenge would be to try and make it look a bit more like hair without grinding the whole thing off and starting over.

Can you see the fellow disappearing into the basement there? That's my Dad. . . he didn't want to be seen participating in this. But I can't remember if he was avoiding a photo. . . or if he was going in for a bigger tool. . . or if he was simply escaping from me saying something like "wait a minute! *somebody* is going to have to patch all of these holes, you know?" Another issue our fiberglass friend had was seriously curved rear cannon bones. I never did get a good shot of that before I did my best to camouflage them. They were sort of hook shaped from the hock to the tip of the hooves. Yikes! Another area that could use some improvement was the mane. It had the same sort of texture as the tail but with little short grooves instead of loooong ones. Again, of course, more holes in that thin surface. No wonder he's so light! He weighs about 40 pounds even though he's 55" to the tips of his ears.

The ground off area on the left side of the pic was the location of a good sized lump. . which proved to have something to do with the fact that the neck/head was attached separately instead of being cast all in one piece. See the straight line running through the gray area? Interesting. Also, probably best to avoid that area from here on since I can probably patch all of the small holes without much trouble, but having the head fall off would be *just* a bit more than I could handle so close to the deadline!

Just to prove that I am, indeed, working on this project, my Mother insisted that I pose for this photo. It was the end of a long day and, as you can see, my thumb is not actually on the throttle because I couldn't bear the idea of making any more holes that might need patching! The mask was a MUST! UGH That stuff produced such a thick cloud of stinky dust every time it was ground, filed, or sanded. Take my word for it. . . wear a mask if you ever need to work with fiberglass. . .even if it's going to be "just for a second" it isn't worth risking your health. Ear protection too. . . power tools and ear protection should always go hand in hand. I haven't always felt that way. . . but. . . what? Did you say something? You'll have to speak up! I should have had on some sort of approved eye protection but I honestly couldn't bear the thought of strapping yet another item to my already aching head. Looking at the pic though, I guess I *could* have removed the ever so fashionable head band. DOH! O.k. I should have another installment on here soon. I am juggling some house sitting duties along with taking care of my own house and trying to produce some new work while simultaneously writing about old work. Ahhhh! A procrastinator's work is never done. . . before it absolutely HAS to be! Haha!

P.S. Oops. . . I found another pic that sort of belonged in this section even though it hints at what comes next. This does show some of the re-textured areas on the mane though. Originally, the mane was a continuous, stiff looking mass. . .more like a zebra mane, so yet more holes were created by grinding off the fore top and breaking up all of the straight lines. The tips of the ears have also been worked on here. . .although one of the ears was about 1/2 inch shorter than the other. . .so I'll address that later once the putty comes out!

Friday, June 20, 2008

And now for something completely different. . .well, sort of.

Whew! It's been a bumpy year so far and I haven't had much time for blogging. . .although I *want* to do this regularily because it keeps me thinking and I honestly believe it will encourage me to work more consistently. Something which I am terrible at. Blah!
Anyhow, I am going to prove to you all what a hopeless procrastinator I am by putting up an in-progress diary for a project that was completed almost three weeks ago. Pretty impressive, huh? To be fair to myself, I should probably give some background.
My Father-In-Law was very ill for three months at the end of last year and the beginning of this one. He was in and out of intesive care units at three different hospitals. From day to day we never knew what to expect. Because his condition was very serious, we spent many hours and many days there at the hospital, just *being* there for him and for each other. In the course of conversation my Sister-In-Law mentioned that there was going to be a public art project in Lake Geneva, WI like the ones they've done here in Racine for many years. She has a clothing store downtown there called Strawberry Fields, and she was wondering if I would be interested in painting one of the fiberglass colts that could be displayed in her store. I looked at the information online and thought, "what the heck, it'll be fun." Surprisingly enough, as it turned out, I didn't even have the opportunity to procrastinate on it since the proposals were due the next day! Haha! It was pre-procrastinated for my convenience!

I sent the forms with my proposed design drawn over their supplied outline. . .

and then I promptly forgot about it. Sadly, my Father-In-Law passed away in Mid March about a week before I needed to drive to Lake Geneva to pick up the life-size fiberglass form. We drove down to get it and fortunately it *just* fit in the back of the pick-up. My first thought, upon seeing it in person was. . .oh boy, it's *really* big. My second thought was. . . I don't think I feel like doing this now. *sigh* Indeed, my heart wasn't in it. . .and the big critter sat and stared blankly at my garage walls for the next 2 months. Eventually though, the deadline loomed. (my deadlines never "approach" like they do for normal people. . . for me they "loom" and they "creep up" and "threaten" and, worst of all, "rush" up to meet me and "barrel down on me." *shudder* ) So, I had to put on my big girl panties, get over it, and start working. . . as fast as humanly possible! O.K so I *did* take it to my Parent's house and let it sit for another week. . .but then, by golly, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and DO IT! Hahahahahahahah!