Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The larger assemblage and other logistical nightmares

Welcome to my logistical nightmare.
And yes its a bowl full of skulls and bones. 
But let me digress just a little.  Some time ago an art buddy of mine purchased a spoon from me dripping with skulls.  You can see it below. 

This piece consists of a vintage silver spoon, with skulls and beads epoxied to it. Over this I used a two part metallic paint and green patina. I really like the way this piece came together and called it " Serving Death." My art buddy liked it so well that she commissioned a larger piece to go with it-a bowl in the same vein. A large bowl.
No problem-right? 
First finding just the right bowl was not that easy.  But I finally purchased the silver bowl above at the Alemany flea market.  For some reason it just screamed "bowl full of skulls!" to me.  I also really liked the shell shape and the ornament on top that turned the entire shape into a tear drop rather than a circle.
The next problem with the piece? Getting a skeleton and skulls large enough to fit the scale.  And yes I am missing one large articulated Halloween skeleton these days. That skeleton has sacrificed some of its parts for the greater good-art that is.
Now that I had all the parts and the bowl most of my time was spent just preparing the metal surface.
Yikes!  just creating the tooth by sanding took two days!   then there was the rustable metal primer and three coats of metallic surfacer. I also drilled some holes and inserted metal wire through the bowl. The wire serves two functions: to keep the epoxy and parts from succumbing to gravity and it would also add a decorative effect.
After all the prep I spent another week just composing and positioning the skeletal parts into a pleasing composition. This was not easy because I was determined to use that wonderful ribcage and I wanted the skull to "smile".  Since the bowl is rounded fitting everything in together was impossible so I resorted to hacking off skull and ribcage parts using a cutoff wheel and my dremel. Ladies with power tools baby!
After the hacking was completed it was now time to epoxy all the parts in the bowl. Note to self: Epoxy doesn't go very far and is expensive. I wanted this composition to look almost archaeological-
like the bones were being dug up. So needless to say I used alot of extra epoxy in and around the composition.  And I was pleased with the end result if not with the $50.00 I spent to get it.
After the epoxy was totally cured it was time to add two to three more coats of metallic surfacer and then the part that really made me nervous-the green patina. Since I had to match the original piece I was forced to use a green patina that is very tempermental and a color I would never use on a larger piece of art.  (the blue patina is much easier to use by the way)  
When the green patina was on and dried I was devastated.  True to its tempermental nature the green patina was mottled and the color uneven. As my panic increased all I could think of was that I just spent 6 weeks on this piece and now it was ruined!   Yikes!  I have no idea how to fix this moldy looking mess!  
But there must be a way!   Think!
Wait I just gave myself the key to maybe fixing this piece "moldy looking". That's it!  This piece is just too green.  Too much green!
Ok Connie-take a deep breath! Have some faith in your artistic vision. 
Find your courage.
Its time to add some rust! Keep your fingers crossed guys and say a little prayer for me-I think I need it.
Come back in a couple of days to see if my idea works and some rust can save this piece.

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