Monday, February 23, 2009

Jewelry and Bowie

Here's a bit of a mini-update; a couple necklaces I made and a scratchboard I did last semester.

For this first one, I went to a thrift store, found a baby doll, chopped her hand off, "zombified" it with paint and clay (plus a little glossy action to make that blood really pop...), and stuck it on a chain. It's only about an inch and a half long, but it's quite the conversation piece (I regret not getting better pictures of the bones sticking out the top).

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For this necklace, I make a giant shrinky dink and shrunk it down to be reasonable necklace size. The colored pencils worked out well!

OK, so this has nothing to do with jewelry, but I love me some David Bowie. This is one of those craft project scratchboard things you can pick up at Michaels (mine came with instructions on how to scratch out, I shit you not, a kitten.) You take a sharp instrument and scratch out your design, and I went with Emperor Bowie. He looks a little wonky, but hey, there's no sketching and you can't make mistakes! Give me a break!

First Woodcut Print

Hello! So over the weekend I finished my first woodcut print. The wood was more difficult to carve than linoleum (big splinters kept breaking off when I was trying to work on details) but I suppose I'm generally pleased with how it turned out. I carved into the same piece of wood four times and print them all on top of each other, and I took a picture of each step so you can see how the print is put together. First of all, here's the final print:

OK, so here are all four layers in the order I printed them in:

The print is of Camden Town in of the coolest places I've visited. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and hopefully I'll post again soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wire Boot

Here's another one from last semester; I had to take one of my shoes and translate it as closely as possible into wire. After lots of painstaking bending of wire and clenching of pliers, I got this metal version of one of my favorite pairs of boots:

Or, with different lighting (I'm still trying to figure out how to best photograph things):

Part of the assignment was to hand in a simple line drawing of the shoe as well, but when I asked what medium it needed to be in, the response was "be creative." And so arose the challenge between my awesome friend Patrick and I to come up with the most bizarre medium; I ended up giving him a henna tattoo of mine on his back (what a trooper):

He ended up painting his with mud (and one unfortunate earthworm.) I wish I had a picture! Ahh, well.

So anyway, today I printed my third layer of color on the woodblock print I've been working on; I'll probably print the final layer on Saturday and post it up here; I've been taking pictures of the process so you can see how I did each layer; I've been making lots of mistakes with carving, but otherwise, I'm ok with how it's turning out. Hope you all have a good Friday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

First Video Blog and some Assorted Crap

Have you ever wanted to see me rambling sleepily right when I wake up? Of course you have! Well, now's your chance, in my (stylistically obvious) first ever video blog (or vlog as you crazy kids are calling it these days).

So here is the aforementioned ATC I did yesterday...I'm OK with how it turned out, although it doesn't really seem that original or anything. It starts out as the standard card shape and unfolds to reveal some sort of rock angel monster:

And, as a bit of a bonus, last semester I had a sculpture class and our first project was to make four sculptures out of paper. The guidelines were we had to use one big sheet of cardstock, and we could cut it, but we couldn't cut any piece off of it or use any sort of adhesive. So when our piece was taken apart, it would fold back into a full piece of paper. Then, we had to incorporate a black letter (from any alphabet) into our design. I've long since cannabalized the first three of mine for other projects, but here's number four, which has been lying under my bed for awhile. See if you can figure out how I did it without cutting anything off or using adhesive (hahaha, don't worry, it's not that hard.) Oh, and the letter I used was lower-case I.

Yep, not overly interesting, but hey, all I had was a sheet of paper and a knife. I hope everyone had a good Valentine's day...expect to hear from me again soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Painted Cell Phone (Again)

Here's a little mini-update: my current cell phone, that I painted up a little while ago:

I tried to copy the Japanese off of an Ando Hiroshige print (his signature, of course), but I'm sure I butchered it somehow! Ah well, few people will ever know. This has been riding around in my pocket since I painted it a couple weeks ago, so it's a little dirty, but still holding in there!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Steampunk Robot Arm

Hello everyone! Well, it's time for another post. There comes a time in everyone's life where they realize that something's missing...and that something is usually, but not always, a giant robotic steampunk arm. I don't usually delve into the more mechanical realm of art, but I think I might start getting more into it. I'm definitely making a steampunk ipod case, so look out for that in the future. But for now, if I ever need to become a Bond villian or just reach something that's a few feet away without moving, I've got this:

The armory shell bit and the ratchet system are wood, which is bolted to the frame (chickenwire). There are brass hinges on the elbow and tiny ones on each joint in the fingers so they can move. Each finger is attached to a leathery cord that runs on the inside of the arm and connects to your real hand, so you can move the fingers and make them grab (although they aren't really done yet; I need to add a spring to every joint like I did with the knuckle part.) Here are some closeups of the hand part:

And here's the racheting system (it makes delightful clicking noises as you bend the elbow up, and it makes it so your wrist doesn't have to support the whole weight of the arm):

And (sigh) the obligatory picture to prove that I can indeed use it:

I guess the caption for this photo would be "Holy balls! How will I ever type out lame blog captions now?"

So, as soon as I obtain a) a very small ipod speaker and b) an old miniature (maybe dollhouse?) gramophone, I'll get to work on my steampunk ipod! Until then, the only wood-related project I'll be doing is the wood-cut print that I'll start designing tomorrow.

In other news, I seem to be getting a lot of visitors from a site called I had never heard of it, and the site has no description or anything, but I assumed it was My Little Pony-related, so I tried to make an account on the board, but was rejected by a moderator! Oh, the shame! Oh, the heightened mystery! Who are you guys? I must know!

Friday, February 6, 2009

First Two-Color Print, Valentines ATCs, and a Failed Dorodango

Finally, new projects! Here are some things I've been doing this week. First of all, I finished my first two-color linoleum cut print; woohoo! I made a bunch of these babies; I decided to go with the theme of "myself punching an octopus in the face." Which is strange, because I actually love octopi; I just wouldn't hold back in a cagematch. Here are some super exclusive behind the scenes shots. This first one is what the print looks like with just the layer of blue put down:

And here's the final print!

Here's a (somewhat blurry) closeup:

And here are a bunch of them on the drying rack!

This was really exciting for me as I've always loved the way relief prints turn out. Hopefully I have the patience to churn out a few more before I get tired of this medium (which I think hours of working in the print studio might do to me soon).

In other news, Valentine's Day (and thus my birthday) is coming up! And you know what that means...valentines! This year I made my own special breed in a series of two ATC's for a swap on craftster (so if you came from there, maybe you should wait for the surprise!). Here's number one, tentatively titled "I Give You My Heart":

And this one, called "Too Much Candy":

So there you have it! Now, unfortunately, I have a failed project to report. Last weekend I tried to make a dorodango, or shiny ball of mud. Sounds strange, I know; you can check it out in more detail here. It's basically a Japanese art of rolling up a ball of dirt until you get a perfectly shiny orb like this:

Sigh...unfortunately, my dorodango ended up like this:

I'm pretty sure that my problem was the dirt wasn't producing any really fine, dusty particles to do the final layer with, but who knows.

Now a couple things about this blog itself: first of all, thanks so much to everybody who's been reading and commenting; it really means a lot (which sounds cheesy, but it's true.) I'd love any advice, comments, or criticism that you guys have to offer. Second of all, this post has made me realize that this blog is really image-heavy. Is this crashing anybody's browser or making it load horribly slowly? Would it be better if I displayed fewer posts per page? And third of all, I know I said this would be a video post but since then I've gotten horribly sick...from the feel of things, a small colony of fire ants has taken up residence in my throat. I feel so crappy I had to miss my best friend's birthday party (happy birthday, Ali!). So worry not, videos will come soon, but not today. Thanks for the support and expect more fun soon!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Create or Die Backpatch

Hello everyone! So this is a bit of a filler post until my next one (which will most likely be Saturday, but I may try to get it in a little sooner.) This is a kind of day-of-the-dead inspired overshirt kind of thing I painted. CREATE OR DIE!

Anyway, I've been up to a lot, so next post will hopefully be my first video post. Look out for new projects soon!