July, 2018
WIP on the bench:  Banana Rodeo, the evolution of a spinning banana.

I attended a workshop at Anderson Ranch Arts Center taught by Russell Baldon of California College of the Arts.  The workshop was "Playful Mechanics"...so I decided to make a piece called Banana Rodeo, a push toy where the banana spins while the little guy goes for a ride.

Below are some process shots, to see it in action, please visit my Vimeo or YouTube channels, links above.

The first idea.  Hmmm.  Needs some fleshing out.

Going bananas.

The cardboard model.

Banana Rodeo in all it's glory.  Rubber band direct drive, finished with milk paint.  About 12" tall to top of banana.

And no push stick is complete without a banana handle.

June, 2018
WIP on the bench:  a prototype for an automaton featuring blinking eyes & making gears accurately.  Whoda thunk making gears would be so persnickity?  Nevertheless, I persevered & am jazzed that I'm starting to get the hang of it.  So, I have made this piece featuring 2 gears (with different ratios resulting in different rotational speeds), 2 snail cams (slow lift, quick drop for the eye blink), & a double-lobed cam (quick up & down movement for the twitchy hair).
Having some fun now!

May 16, 2018

Finally getting back to 3-D!  How many tools DOES it take to carve a chunk of walnut?  All of them, apparently.  Today's view of the work bench.

March, 2018

Because the studio elves won't visit my place with their shovels & brooms, I'm sketching rather than sculpting.  Oh well, I'll get back in the saddle soon enough.  In the meantime, enjoy these random drawings:

January, 2018...A new year, a new body of work is starting!  Sketches for a series of automatons I'm dying to get started on.  Gotta get the shop back in order, then it's on to these beauties!  Stay tuned.

Lidded Box.  Her lids will blink & her headdress jiggle.

My Favorite Food Pyramid.  The little root beer float will twirl & bob up & down.

Put De Lime in De Coconut.  Lid will raise & lower while De Lime jiggles.

November 21, 2017

Bee Cup goes a little further, joined by Bearded Lady Rocks Her New Cloche.  Bearded Lady will have hat decor that moves.  And yes, I'm having a ton of fun!

You can see the horizontal shaft that drives the wire up & down & in a circular movement.

Internal view of offset cam & how the mechanism works.  It's quite simple, but there's a steep learning curve to getting it correct, as you can see by my multiple holes in the wrong position.

Bearded Lady's outer "shell" started.  A happy accident occurred when I peeled the bark from this log.

November 13, 2017

WIP "Bee Cup" which will be a simple automaton.  I'm planning a series of 3 or 4 right now, & am pretty excited to get underway.


Today's WIP on the bench process:  Playing With Fire.

Last week I got a short tutorial from an artisan blacksmith friend on basic foldforming of copper sheet.  Here are the first little pieces I made & the raw material soon to be transformed.  Check out "Triplets" on my Art page to see foldforming in action...more to come soon.

A piece I made a while back as a topper for an outdoor totem pole will be getting a new life.  I recently visited the installation & found him on the ground, so I brought him home to make "something"...not sure what that will be yet.  He's been out in the elements, so his demeanor has developed a delightful weathering.  Stay tuned!

(unknown wood, about 6"x 8"x 17")

I'm starting to become really fascinated by movement & simple mechanisms.  Here are a few sketches that are starting to be realized.
The Kracken starting to take shape.  Left arm raises & lowers.

An unexpected collaboration during World Wood Day with Janice Levi who grabbed a turning scrap & made a cute little hat with pyrography & markers.  I decided to make a perch for it, resulting in this Oriental Lighthouse sculpture.
10" tall by 2.75" in diameter, inspired by nothing more than doodling.

WIP:  little lion head
A small sculpture (about 2" in diameter) that still needs color adjustment.  It will eventually get glass eyes & some sort of "presentation platform" to become a complete sculpture.
FYI, it is sitting on the color palette, so there are quite a few layers.

WIP showing the carving & burning process I use on my sculptures.  The final sculpture "Wave the Grain" is on my Art page.

Details of "Safe Harbor" in process. I was given this bowl that had developed cracks & decided to make it into a sculpture.


The detailing begins.  Photo on left shows carving with both rotary & reciprocating carvers & texturing with rotary carver & pyrography tool.  This is the part I really love.

The photo above shows a selection of the tools I like to use.  The little files to the left are called "rifflers"...a word I like to say as much as possible...just because.
Just a little further.  Soon the final color & added decor will be coming.
Very nearly complete.  It just needs its flying canoes!  FYI, the little fire is Fimo polymer clay.

When I'm waiting for the sculptural muse to arrive, I burn paper.

The View From Io:  before & after.  Before color is done with a butane torch, no other applications.

The workbench blues. 

Out of my wheelhouse:  drawing out wire to make legs for "FunHouse".  Yes, I did burn myself, but only a little.