Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stop Action Video of Studio China

Just playing around with the camera...hey I have a little time on my hands waiting for the fiberglass work, so...I'm thinking let's make a movie. If you look closely, you will see me in the picture waving back at you through out the movie...Can you find me?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Walk Through the Studio (Video)

This will give some idea of the activity that is occurring on a day to day bases in the studio. Bringing together this number of artists, translators, assistants and others is really quite an amazing feat.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Opening Piece Molds

8/19/08 Tuesday
Wow! Today was rainy and cold, low 70’s and windy, so when I arrived at the studio I found out that the metal workers didn’t show. This was a bit of a disappointment, I wanted to try out the new tools, but, no matter, inside the main studio it was action in full swing (see image above). My plaster molds were getting some wood reinforcing and one had already been opened (see image), while I waited, having some time, I shot some pics of the progress of various artist’s works. It was a kick bobbing and weaving through all the sculptures and workers, under scaffolds and sliding passed twisted steel armatures.
After lunch all the molds had been opened and all the clay removed from inside (see pics of empty molds) all I needed to do was check the work and ok the piece molds, they basically look good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Totem-Standing Together (is standing)!!!

8/18/08 Monday
The sun rises at 4:00am and blasts in the window, I remember when I used to have retinas. I managed to write some in the journal before breakfast at 7 o’clock. I felt some excitement while riding in the bus to the studio, I would be able to see the stainless steel piece standing once I constructed the temporary base. Right off the bus I headed to the wood pile to pick out the proper 6x6 oak timbers needed for the task. I made sort work of this task with the use of the chainsaw and nailed it together, and then gathered some helping hands to stand the sculpture. Sliding the base pins down into the wood base was a tight fit and presto…there it was Wasai!! This is the first time I have ever seen the piece fully constructed, it is b-e-a-utiful, and it relates on a human scale. Other artists began to gather with positive comments and wanting to take photos. The overcast day softened all the shadows and I really want to see it on a sunny day, maybe tomorrow.
One thing is apparent, it needs some finishing detail work and I needed to go shopping for some grinding burrs and polishing pads, Chun Hua was ready after lunch and we headed out in search of another group of streets loaded with small shops crammed together with hardware. There were a lot of different types, so I picked a sampling to take back to the studio, we’ll find out what works and get more. On the way back I saw a Wal-mart and we had to check it out. It was packed with so many shoppers and I did not recognize many of the products.

Victory Park and Mold Making... Finally!!

Movie of plaster mold making.

(above photos: Mao and small lake at Victory Park,Bronze relief at museum and party. also Lu the art instructor and Mold making and me and you know who.)

8/17/08 Sunday
I was certain today, as we headed to the studio, that we would be making the plaster piece mold of the sculpture, but upon arriving we heard that there was no water for the morning. Gee doesn’t this sound familiar (on Saipan, water and power outages are common), so I moved my attention to the stainless piece out in the yard. I noticed that there were a few grinder nicks in the polished surface and pointed it out along with some others problems to the assistance, and they set to work fixing them. I think that I will build a temporary base for the stainless piece so that I can stand it up and really get a closer look at the whole surface. This I will do tomorrow morning. I spent the rest of the morning talking with other artists helping with problems that they were having. Back on the bus and to the hotel for lunch…this is getting old, but the food is good and free, and it gives me time to work on the computer.
After lunch at the studio a water truck arrived and the water problem is solved. Mold making will proceed, this is important because the longer that the clay sits under the plastic wrap with the sun shining on it, there is a real risk that it will shrink and small surface cracks will appear and become large marring the surface. This has happened to other artist’s clay sculptures, and in some instances large sections of the clay have actually fallen off. Pictured are the three women assistants that are tasked with shimming and applying the plaster to the surface of the clay sculpture. The shim dividers are pressed into the moist clay making the different sections of the piece mold. The plaster is basically thrown on the surface of the clay to keep air bubbles from being trapped on the surface it goes everywhere and is by nature messy. Also check out the movie as well, it should play. The mold will stay on the clay over night to cure properly. That done I feel a real sense that the bronze sculpture project is going well.

8/16/08 Saturday
Finished the clay sculpture yeah!!! Some more very good news as well, Lu, the female Chinese art instructor at Changchun University, was instructed to offer to me a teaching position at Changchun University for a semester in the future. I felt quite pleased to know that they had selected me to participate in this, and that kind of respect and offer is something that I would very interested in.
…day off in the afternoon, so Michael and I went to Victory Park and the Puppet Government Museum (Japanese Occupation period 1930-WWII) …ended with a party back at the studio in the evening.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just Pictures of Progress

8/15/08 Friday
Today I saw a patch on the stainless pieces surface that is going to be the final finish and it’s going to look b-e-a-utiful. Today, not so much to write, so I’ll just load some photos and try to load a movie of studio life. Some times I give the camera to Chun Hua and turn her loose to shoot what ever she likes, a look through some one else’s eyes, so to speak. What a little ball of energy. That's Michael Warrick's piece, we kid him that he's got a big head since coming to the studio. Al Posimani from Niue up on the scaffold, is carving the largest wood sculpture this year. The top most photo is Etu Ndow of Gambia taking five in the shade of a block of stone viewing his work.

8/14/08 Thursday
Not enough sleep, and a long day, was ahead of us. Every morning first thing, I check the progress on the stainless steel piece, it is all assembled and now the continuous seem or joint welds need to be done. As much as I love the process of welding, I’m afraid that I will simply have to sit it out and play the white collier artist, which is not all that bad for today. I’m really feeling the previous nights festivities by lunch time, and sleeping vs. eating are weighing in my mind.
Food was the right choice and the afternoon went smoothly and lots of work was accomplished. I feel that in just a few more days I with be able to finish the clay work and move on to the mold making. We leave the studio today looking forward to watching the Olympics and writing the blog and i-chatting with Maggie and the kids (if they are home).

8/13/08 Wednesday
Today we worked half a day in the studio because there was to be a trek into the city for dinner at a cook your own food restaurant, (hot pot as our hosts refer to it). I was pissed because I left my camera in my hotel room and when I realized it in the lobby, it was too late to go back up to the eighteenth floor and get it. Anyway, pictures of that event will have to wait until I get them from others. The “hot pot” was very fun, all the food arrived in mass, from thinly sliced meats, egg, mushroom of all sort and some things we had know idea what they were…but I ate them anyway (I’m not picky about new foods). ). Afterwards back at the hotel lobby, a party and dancing ensued. Too much fun was had by all, really, I’m serious, too much fun.