Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bruce, Imogen, and me

If you do not know him, Bruce Beasley is an internationally exhibited sculptor who lives in Oakland. The picture shows him standing by one of his smaller bronze sculptures. Awhile ago I heard him speak at a retrospective exhibit at the art museum in Oakland.

He wandered through the exhibit which was arranged more or less chronologically talking about what he was thinking when he made various pieces. The amazing thing I discovered was we think alike about the creative process; how a stray thought or image comes to awareness, gets developed, changed, and finally manifested. How the resulting piece of sculpture triggers others that refine, develop, and take the original impulse into new directions.

Now to Imogen Heap, a more or less pop singer and music creator from the UK. I like her voice and, even more, I like the way she creates most of the accompaniment by playing bits and pieces on a piano and using sampling to create a larger sound.

Last week I came across her web site filled with video blogs. In this vblog she rambles on about a song on an album she is creating and talks in almost exactly the same way about creating music as the way I think about sculpture. I know nothing about music but there was instant communication about the creative process. I felt that if I were working in music that I would be working in exactly the same way that she does.

Does this pretty random sample of three make a trend?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pouring again

What a relief to get back to casting and art! The first photo shows three castings right out of the furnace. One is a shallow round bowl and the other two are pieces of art. To be more precise, a blob and a piece of art. I also cast a rectangular bowl which is not in this photo. The blob in the middle actually came out the way I designed it but now, I can not imagine why I thought it was any good! The nice thing about aluminum is you can always melt down and recycle your failures.

The next photo shows the rectangular bowl in the mill. I like the contrast of highly machined surfaces with the rough surface that results from sand casting. Those long lines at the bottom of the bowl are caused by the end mill and are variations of, perhaps, several millionths of an inch. You can not feel them - the bottom is perfectly smooth to the touch.

The last photo shows the finished rectangular bowl and the bottom of the round bowl. There is a tremendous joy in using all the machines; saw, lathe, mill, grinder, and wire brush and having them all work in a harmonious way to make the pieces that I envisioned.