Wednesday, April 13, 2005

DENIAL


I worked on puppets for a piece in my head. I sat at the band sander and ground their little faces off, one after the other. The noise of the sander and the mask drown out sound but draw in memories. I am suddenly in possession of a day spent with my brother in his laboratory, when he was working on his doctorate at Clemson U. I watched rain pound against the mottled old panes while behind me my brother cut off the heads of baby mice with scissors. Snip. Snip. Snip, through the rain. "God, Gene, doesn't that bother you?" They were so tiny and so...pink. "Of course it does,"he said, "but I need them to finish my thesis." He went on with his Doctorate and eventually created a remarkable place from a doomed one. Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy I'd forgotten completely about that day until just now, as I ground the faces off these little puppets. Gzzz, gzzz, gzzz.
I'm not sure why. But it's bothered me, just a little. I call the sculpture "Denial. "
I think about it a bit more, and begin hollowing out some of the faces.

8 comments:

Miss Bliss said...

What are the little guys made out of? What kind of sander do you use? I guess by that I mean what size...one of those small drummell thingys? This is so dang cool...love it!

Miss Bliss said...

OH wait...I just looked at that photo again...that's a dang belt sander...nevermind. So cool...

Anonymous said...

hmm, yes - inquiring minds would like to know - they look like they're cast using a resin/cold cast compound as they are small yet hold detail well - i suppose some plaster products would work , but wouldn't necessitate the type of sander being used or be strong enough to handle hollowing the faces. One piece molds? silicon? rubber? I like them painted but see alot of potential for a piece in monochromatic state

lisa said...

We have a very large belt sander, which we refer to as 'the belt sander' and this little one, which we call "the band sander" so as to distinguish between them. Weird, maybe, but works for us. We tried giving them names, but we could never remember which was Herald and which was Arthur. Not to mention that anthropomorphizing tools stimulates my gag reflex.
The puppets are cast from resin. I cast 30 puppets at a time, from molds made from my original ten masters. When a mold dies, I bring out the masters (covered with rude grafitti, no doubt) and we make a new mold. I've learned (the hard way)to keep a set masters on file. Molds can die unexpectedly and spectacularly, generally two days before a deadline. I'd really like to have the puppets cast, but would rather not support another contry's abuse of it's uneducated. I tried in the US and got ridiculous quotes. I'm thinking of taking on a student aprentice. Someone who can do some of the casting in exchange for learning how to do, well, anything that is done at SlaughterHouse. And, of course, lunch.

Anonymous said...

Community colleges are a great place to advertise for apprentices - you tend to get very interested students who are just beginning, or maybe not quite committed to potential careers in the arts, and also some "non-traditional" (what a euphemism), returning adults. It's nice as they are truly more interested at this point in the process, than in making their own art, and will work quite hard. Usually now is the time to advertise, as many students don't sign up for spring/summer classes, and would like to continue to expand their knowledge. If you decide to try, good luck, and lunch is always a lovely idea....

Carl V. said...

Good idea about the college students. College students are generally poor and would kill for a good lunch once in awhile! Plus young people in college, especially those of an artistic bent, are usually aching to learn all that they can.

lisa said...

anonymous: I dream of doing an all monochromatic exhibit. I see it, now it's just to schedule time to make it, between other art. I will try the local college first.

Anonymous said...

I see a real power in a monochromatic theme - one is free to concentrate on texture and subtleties that is difficult to achieve with the use of color - plus there is a real beauty in the objects you make that color makes it difficult to see. I do like the puppets painted as well - but the themes shift and change when they are monochromatic. Wishing you luck with an apprentice!