New project - Faux bois Wedding gift ❤️❤️

January 3, 2018, our son Griffin married his soulmate, Alexandra Groome.

 After the wedding at the Houston Arboretum.  

After the wedding at the Houston Arboretum.  

As a wedding gift, Curtis and I gave them one of my early bronze sculptures “lovebirds”.

 Bronze lovebirds welded to rebar.  

Bronze lovebirds welded to rebar.  


The lovebirds are inspired by my grandparents Imogene Young Travis and Robert Francis Travis, (Granny Gene and Bob-pa). They were married in high school and remained married for 70 plus years. In their El Paso High School yearbook, their senior pictures faced each other and lovebirds were placed in the corners of each of their pictures.

 photo of copies of the yearbook pages framed in my house. 

photo of copies of the yearbook pages framed in my house. 

The second part of the gift is to make them a faux bois bench for the love birds to sit on.

I am going to make each piece of the bench thinking about the two of them and the lessons I want to pass down from my grandparents and from my own marriage. It will be a reflection of the qualities of the love Griffin and Alex committed to each other that day on January 3rd, and will be a symbol of the characteristics needed to maintain a marriage for a lifetime. My plan is to have it completed by their first anniversary. 


Design Considerations: 
1. Griffin and Alex are both environmentalists, so I will recycle as much rebar from other projects as possible.

2. No marriage is ever perfectly balanced, so I will make the bench asymmetrical.

3. It will have arm rests for support - symbols of both of their families. 

4. When things don’t work out exactly as planned, I will keep an open mind and make the best of the situation. The beauty will be in the imperfections as is life.   

5. I will listen to their wedding playlist on Spotify as I work. 

6. Griffin and Alex are very playful. The piece will reflect the joy they embrace life with. 

I started on Thursday, June 15th. Griffin and Alex are both people-people. They are always reaching out to others and welcoming them into their home and world, they love to entertain. So I decided to make the seat of the bench the shape of open arms.

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rebar welded into the shape of open arms that will eventually be the seat. 

 

Next I need to set the seat on jack’s the correct height for comfortable seating. Every couple needs a good support group. 

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Marriage should be comfortable -  The front is slightly higher than the back for comfort. 

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 equality - I use a level to make sure the seat is level from side to side.  

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Grinding the tip of a piece of rebar cut for a leg. 

 With small taps I  use a sledgehammer to make a gentle curve to a leg. 

With small taps I  use a sledgehammer to make a gentle curve to a leg. 

Next is to creat the armrest and back of the bench. 

 Four legs and two arm rest are welded to the seat.

Four legs and two arm rest are welded to the seat.

Griffin and Alex are very fun loving and not inhibited at all to have a good time. The vines/branches that make up the back will embrace this side of them. 

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A little sketch of the armature and how it will look with concrete on it so far. 

I might need to prune the crazy branch on the left side. 

“gust” building the shell

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dip 3 - wet 

 

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Ready for dip 4 

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the top of the cup is cut off and the blind vents are cut open in order to allow the wax to expand and milt out of the shell. 

 

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 In the furnace to burn out the wax and the felt 

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with the wax melted out I now blow out what is left of the felt. 

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burn out number 2 

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With an pneumatic air hose I blew out the charred debris from each hat. 

 

 

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A cure from above looking into the cup that the bronze will be poured into.  

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After blowing out the pieces for a second time I seal all the holes with sparset. 

Last Thursday we did our best to pour these but............. plan B we will pour them this this Thursday.  

“gust” patina and playing with the artist statement

10/17/2017  

 

Another Thursday night of applying the patina  to yet another hat. 

 

Woven in felt, every hat tells a story, shaped with memories, recording beliefs, and veiling sorrow, some eloquent and some twisted. Cradled in our imagination, they blow in strange, wonderful ways, spinning from generations that are inhabited by our respect to balancing our present responsibilities and fears. In generations past, in fable and in legend, hats sheltered spirits, represented people and occupations, and defended against the elements. 

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Why are some people ready, why do some people know the moment?

People ask me all the time where  do I get my ideas. And I too am fascinated by where creativity comes from. I do not believe it can be taught and for most part it is not easy to describe as creativity, it is one of the great mysteries of the brain. However the Eudora Welty quote in Glasstire this morning beautifully states how I often find inspiration, or how inspiration often finds me.

 “The title That Day underscores the viewer’s sense of being there beside the photographer and the way in which the captured moment remains ever fresh in the image, some of which were made as early as 1979. That was the year when Dallas-based Wilson began assisting Richard Avedon with his own six-year photography project, In The American West. Describing Avedon’s portraiture process in her 2004 book, Avedon At Work In The American West, Wilson noted that he would wait for what Eudora Welty called “a story teller’s truth… the moment in which people reveal themselves. You have to be ready, in yourself; you have to know the moment when you see it.” “

                                                         - gene Fowler 

-http://glasstire.com/author/gene-fowler/



 

I guess the question should be why are some people

ready, why do some people know the moment?

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a moment caught by a "gust"

“Gust” artist statement tweaking

 

I continue to tweak new versions of possible artist statements for “gust”, looking for the perfect words.  

 

How does this sound?  

“Gust”

Woven in felt, every hat tells a story, shaped with memories, recording beliefs, and veiling sorrow, some eloquent and some twisted. Cradled in our imagination, they blow in strange, wonderful ways, spinning from past generations that are inhabited by our respect to balancing our present responsibilities and fears. In generations past, in fable and in legend, hats sheltered spirits, represented people and occupations, and defended against the elements.

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“gust” In my kitchen after applying the patina.  Living with this hat for a few days making sure I am finished with the patina in it.