Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finished Clam Shell

Clamshell Side
The Clam Shell is done, and ready for the Indiana gourd show this weekend.  Here is the side view showing the chipcarved centre insert and the outer rim.  The edges are painted in pearl-toned paint, to mimic a clam shell  The insert and rim is painted in verdigris green, like algae.
Clamshell Front
The front of the clam shell is black gesso-ed background with coloured pencil drawing of an orange fantailed goldfish.  Notice the small Inlace medallion at the base.  It is green Inlace with cut-outs on a pearl-toned background.
Back View

This is the back panel of the clam shell, depicting a chocolate brown fantailed goldfish.  It too is coloured pencil on black gesso.

Below is the view of the top of the clamshell.  It shows you the third medallion that was carved from two different colours of Inlace.  The white was carved to show the green inlace below and inset into the central insert.

Top View  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Current Project: Life in a Goldfish Bowl

Now that the Dragon's Eye is done, Gary has started work on another of his favourite
I don't know what his fascination is with dragons and fish, but they are a recurring theme in a lot of his work, and are often combined with celtic knots.  This one doesn't appear to have any knots in it, but it is far from finished.  He is planning on making a clam-shaped sculpture with chipcarving accents and two-sided coloured pencil drawings.

What he has done so far:
This is the base for the clam shell, and you can see that the sides are supported by his all-time favourite hardening agent, Bondo!    For those who aren't familiar with Bondo, it is a car-repair material that is extremely fast to set up, is very hard and can be carved, sanded or painted.  It also smells awful and makes an incredible mess when sanded!

The photo below is one of two halves of the clam shell.  Each will have a chipcarved rim, which will be painted. The centre will be gessoed and have a drawing of a gold fish done in coloured pencil.  Again, he will use Prismacolor. 

 This shows the central ring that will separate the two halves of the clam shell. It will be chipcarved and attached to the base, and the two clam shell halves will be attached to either side.

This is a sketch that Gary drew for the small Inlace medallion carvings  that will be accents for the sculpture.

When working with Inlace, he mixes it up in a small paper cup and there is always a bit left over. He saves these blanks and uses them to make medallions.  Below you can see one blank, and one finished carving.  It's hard to see the fish design but it is there.

This is one of the three medallions that he has completed.  This one was made from a blank that had green in the bottom and white poured on top.  He sanded the white down until it was thin enough to carve a relief of the fish.  It is easier to see the design in this one.

Wow!  I can't believe it's been nearly 2 years since my last post.  We have been on hiatus for a while.
I don't seem to have regained my interest in gourds, but Gary has started working again.  He has decided to produce some work for the upcoming Indiana show and is busy filling the house with gourd dust and Inlace dust.  He does like working with that stuff.

Work to date: Dragon's Eye View

A recurring theme that shows up in almost all Gary's work is Celtic knotwork.  He is fascinated by the unlimited number of patterns that can be created using intertwining lines.  Here is the base he is using for his Dragon's Eye piece.  As you can see, it is a celtic knot burned onto a gourd piece.  He originally intended to have the small egg gourd as support, but changed his mind because it affected the stability of the finished piece.

Another recurring theme is his love of dragons.  The uglier the better! The photo below shows half a canteen gourd with celtic knotwork dragons burned around the outside. The centre is done in coloured pencil, using Prismacolor. There is a rim of gold metallic foil around the drawing to separate it from the burned patterns. On the back of this half, which you can see in the photo of the finished front, is a rim of carved Inlace.  Notice the dowel in the bottom that will hold the piece together.

The front of the sculpture (below) is fully carved. It is another canteen gourd section, smaller than the first and will fit inside the larger canteen half.  The water and waves are carved from  two colours of Inlace.  The dragon hovering above the waves is carved into the gourd face and painted.  The outside rim of this canteen gourd is carved in another celtic weave.

Here is the front of the finished sculpture.  You can now see the carved Inlace rim on the larger canteen gourd that makes up the back half.  The small front fits inside the back piece and is doweled in place. 

Here is the mounted back section.


The last photo shows you the entire sculpture from the side.  Here you can see in more detail how the dragons weave in and out of each other.