Saturday, November 22, 2008

Earth, Water, Wind and Fire: Installed

Finally, after months of grinding away with various bits and my handy Foredom, the piece is ready for installation in the great outdoors.  It has been securely mounted on exterior grade plywood which has been primed and painted within an inch of its life.  The final coat is a clear enamel on the copper itself to prevent oxidation.  At first I was going to just let it do its natural thing, but then I realized that gradually all that engraving would disappear.  That was when I decided to add color with the propane torch, and sure enough! Gradually, all the engraving disappeared and had to be redone.
In a few years the plants will be halfway or more up to the bottom of the installed piece.  Right now it looks like it has been installed much too high, but hopefully, in a few years it will look just right.  I'm told that the first year plants sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap.  Right now we are heavily into sleep, because nothing is doing anything.  There is a tiny tip of new growth, but that is it -- just enough for us to know they are still alive.
Earth, Water, Wind and Fire looks for all the world to be exactly where it was meant to be: and it is!  
The next project is to carve the fence posts!  I don't expect that to take near as long as this piece did. ;-)

Earth, Water, Wind and Fire

The four elements: earth, water, wind and fire seemed appropriate for a garden piece.  Of course, each of these had to be represented visually.   Water                                               Detail of fern representing earth.  The fern
was chosen because it is one of our oldest botanic specimens and it is a wonder to me how it can propagate so effectively with such a primitive and demanding reproductive process.  It seemed to demand some kind of recognition. Air/wind - my favorite to draw or paint, and
                                                        least favorite to experience. Another representation of earth simply because
    I love plants with berries and wanted to do berries. In the upper right hand corner is an 
image representing the sun and fire.  However, after
I decided to take the propane torch to the copper to
add color, the torch became the representative for fire.
This is the finished piece in the studio, mounted on primed and painted exterior plywood, ready for installation outdoors.  (To be continued...)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Working on Copper

This looks more like a Halloween costume than someone doing serious work, but under all of that gear sits a mild mannered printmaker working her little heart out. Several years ago I burned out a Dremel tool working on zinc and replaced it with a Foredom which is much more to my liking. So far, I have not managed to burn it out. This is a 2' square piece of copper intended to be installed in the yard when completed. To date I have been through 4 little burrs and have completely emptied the bin at our local Home Depot. It is slow going and I'm getting impatient! Especially impatient to get out of all of this gear! Before the piece is mounted and installed I intend to get at least one print from it.