Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Here I am caught, with two blogs, one general, one in relation to my immediate outdoors... embarking on a sculptural garden feature, it has to be in this blog... but my head is not divided!

When driving to Sydney airport last month, we were early and took a back road. There we found a burnt out car. We collected and took along what used to be two alloy wheels and an alloy or aluminium engine head. Here they were on a table this morning. I knew these would have scuptural value but the question was what? In fact the big piece seemed to be a human figure (upside down in photo) but my thought was that it was best to use them in a horizontal manner, like clouds.

I had a large slab of paulownia, from the property down the coast sold not long ago.

My first step today has been to place the metal objects, outline them and using a router, provide beds for them to be fixed to. The paulownia is very soft, easy to work on with the router. My idea is to stand this slab on posts in a horizontal manner, like a railway station name sign, across a recreational space from a window at the back of the house, to bring focus into the foreground and screen off the view of the windows of the house on the next block. And to add a 'room' to the garden design, to make the garden larger in mind by defining a smaller space—that's what happens in the brain.

These photos show this beginning work today. I was interrupted by two friendly visits, one of whom is in fact a great wood craftsman. I asked his thoughts on fixing the metal to the wood. He offered the sage advice that the difficulty was that the metal would expand with heat while the wood will expand when wet. This led me away from consideration of rigid water based putty towards flexible silicon material, plus plugs of two-part 'metal putty' to connect the metal pieces to fixing at the back. That is for another day; meanwhile here are photos of today's work.

This photo below, with the metal loosely in place, gives more of a view of how the cloud picture will be—or how it will be as looked up at by a very small dog! 

Questions arise as to how to deal with the rough chainsawn timber. It has interesting stains now, perhaps I should leave it uncoloured, unfinished, to weather? Perhaps just coloured silicon grout around the 'clouds'. Perhaps earthy pigments rubbed into the wood? My inclination right now, after many ideas through the day, is to avoid adding complexity.

I had another thought... what about some indigo coloured pigment, to accentuate the metal.
This is a very rough representation using the Photoshop airbrush.
"Night sky"...  click on photo to enlarge.

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Looking forward to your thoughts, write as much as you wish, ask questions. Comments do not appear until moderated. I will try to do that quickly. Thanks for looking and thinking!!