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Another mystery material.


Guest Clive

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Thats OK Janel.. it was pretty straight forward.. just a fun way to introduce pictures of materials that I think a lot of members are unfamiliar with in their raw state.

 

Maybe we could create a database of material pictures?

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It's interesting how different the inner structures are for each. I wonder what purpose the difference serves. Presumably the narwhal would need a lighter tusk, judging its length and from where it's attached to the head, while the denser structure of the other is more suitable for crushing/hammering puposes.

 

It's a day for speculation, it seems.

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There's a little piece I've started.. (very early days, just a couple of hours in.. but when I get an idea I like to get basic jist done quickly and then I can come back to it sometime in the future) where I'm using the internal structure of the walrus for a specific expressive effect.. here using the burl-like inner quality to give the impression of the blur of this hummingbirds wings. The greatest challenge was cutting the material to just the right depth so as to expose the interstructure in just the right place... it must be like doing brain surgery in the dark. :P

post-2059-1257433983.jpg

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I've worked some more on it in the last few hours.. any bloody distractions from carving more fungus eagerly seized.. but maybe you can see what I described better in this pic.

 

post-2059-1257442290.jpg

 

I've cut the end off to expose another subtle change in the material.. giving it a distinct front and back.. the front having a more translucent quality

 

post-2059-1257443027.jpg

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Clive-

So, in effect you work directly on material with a sort of sketch-book mentality, getting down the energy of the first impression or idea. Once down, it'll serve as an earmark to come back to at a later date for the hard labor? If so, this is a different approach than working from start to finish on a single item at a time. I've thought about this a bit... does one way favor the directness of inspiration, does the other allow interest to remain steady?... just some rhetorical questions.

 

I'm seeing that you respond to the uniqueness of each individual piece of tusk, antler, wood (rather than just their broad categories) and allow a dialog to ensue. For me at this point, I think I'm resisting that and prefer materials to be as homogenous as possible (like a white sheet of paper, rather than one which is soiled, torn, etc). So often I get asked "Does the material speak to you?" in a New Age-y sort of way and maybe that's why I'm resistant to capitulating.

 

How do you feel about Turner's watercolors?

 

-Doug

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Yes Doug, I initially work in a very sketch-book kind of way.. I seldom do any graphic prep at all.. I just start shaping material to hear essentially what voice it sings with and that usually suggests the subject matter and direction. I suppose it is more of a challenge than the conventional "Michelangelo see the figure in the marble" approach, but one I find best suited for the inhomogeneous materials that I primarily use. With this Humming-bird that process is just one step further along.. while working (playing) a piece of walrus I saw the wing idea and so just started again on a new piece of similiar material.. gently bringing the idea to the fore but still being very much in a dialogue.. like whats happened this afternoon with the end section, it wanted to show more of itself while up until then I kinda liked the long tapering section of the first picture.. so a little bit of me.. little bit of it.. and so on.. when I've get it to the point where I don't think I'll lose any of the freshness of this initial dialogue, I can put it down until a later date when I'll approach it with a slightly more predetermined mind-set... although my rather large box of "later dates" suggest that I'd just leave it at that if finishing stuff wasn't such a big deal with most collectors.

I have however recently started working on ways to bridge this gap.. working slighly more within an already established overall structure.. the fungus piece I'm currently working on started with a prepared piece of material in the form of a log, my blank canvas as it where.. but one I've then allow be enveloped using multiple inlay techniques utitlized in the same organic process as described above... so when I'm finished playing the piece should be done... hopefully.. Hope that makes sense?

 

What I'm looking for its to carve nature in very much the way I perceived nature to be created. I am afterall part of nature and not an outsider looking at it.

 

Its perceptive that you mention Turner.. Years ago I spent a long time studying his watercolour technique and approach.. his and Klee's, both proved very influential.

 

Thanks Leon.

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Lovely piece, Clive

 

I really like this approach, or at least I would like to be able to approach my work more like this. I tend to visualize what I want to do in my head first. Not necessarily to the point of completion, but in basic forms, then work it out in the material. This requires that my materials be completely homogenous. But this is the nature of most of the work that I do. It tends to be more driven by the subject than by the materials, or the experience of working with them.

 

Phil

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I think I can see the years of experience and skill behind knowing how to explore - and choose - different materials. I think I'd better acquire some more materials sharpish.

I think you're saying this a bit tongue in cheek, but I'd be careful in wishing for more materials... it's akin to saying 'I wish I had fancier tools'... :wacko:

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although my rather large box of "later dates" suggest that I'd just leave it at that if finishing stuff wasn't such a big deal with most collectors.

Those collectors are always getting in the way!

 

I'm reminded of Klee's remark (paraphrased) of a line being created by taking a dot for a walk. Seems to me like you're taking the material for a walk too.

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