EDIT: OMG!!! A DD!!! I was totally not expecting to see that when I opened up my internet today.
Thank you everyone for the congratulations, the favs, the following, and the llama badges! I can't respond to everyone who's sent me messages, but I've read all of them and wanted to say thank you! You guys are awesome.
Lately I've been very busy preparing for a lot of art events. Which means I've been making a lot of small, simple, 'cookie-cutter-ish' designs. And frankly... I was getting kinda sick of it. I really wanted to do something big. Something cool. Something I could put up and display that said "LOOK HOW AWESOME I AM!!"
....I also happened to have way too much scrap metal piling up in my shop that I needed to get rid of. As well as a bucket of silverware that's been sitting around for months going "Please, use meh!"
So this last weekend, I strapped on my Creativity Hood and went to work!
I'd had this idea of a large Sea Dragon wall sculpture bouncing around my head for quite a while. It was the sole reason I bought all that silverware... and with an art festival coming up, as well as a local exhibit, this seemed the perfect time to throw down with my inner sea monster.
This bad boy measures 8ft long x 3ft tall, and weighs somewhere in the range of 50lbs-ish. So not terribly heavy, just very unwieldy to transport.
The frame is crafted from rebar and 1/8in + 1/4in round bar, which is used to make ribbing (a frame for the curve of the body) and supports (so it doesn't flop and bend when you move it).
I had a lot of large scrap chunks that needed to go. I can't use them on my smaller scrap animals, so they've been accumulating for quite a while and were becoming a real nuisance. Since this is so large, I used up just about all of it on this (hurray!).
I had originally planned on using silverware to form the majority of the body. But since this thing is so huge, I just didn't have enough silverware, nor did I have time to go and buy more. So I had to improvise a bit and figure out how to use what I had to the most benefit.
Knives make great spines and fins. All these knives are butter knives, so while they may be a bit pokey, none of them have sharpened edges or points.
Spoons make fabulous scales. But I wanted to do as little modifying of the silverware as possible (aka-didn't wanna chop off all the handles). Since I had all these spoons with really long handles, and laying them flat didn't really look good, I instead turned them into a bristling mane to accent the spines. If you've ever spent time looking at sea life, there's a lot of creatures out there with tendril-like cilia, and that's what I wanted to go for.
The tail fin I wanted to look distinctly different, so I used forks along with knives, giving the tail more of a spiny brush look. I didn't want to keep with the silverware handles on the tail. They would obscure the forks too much, and I felt that it would add too much clutter to the overall sculpture. So off went the handles, and I laid down a simple line of spoon scales to edge the fin and keep it in-theme with the rest of the design.
The copper tubing was an experiment. I haven't used copper in anything before. I don't have the tools to solder it anyway. But that doesn't mean I couldn't find a creative use for it! Being that its naturally shiny, I figured the copper would make for a pretty, distinctive accent I could use to edge my design. I bent it so that it would follow the natural curve of the body, like stripes on a fish. Since I couldn't solder it, I cut 3in lengths of round bar, and inserted it into the pipe, then welded the rod to the frame. This way the pipe will stay in place, but is still removable/replaceable. I'm really pleased with the copper tubing on this. With the body being painted, if there was nothing on it, it would be... too solid a blue, and would lose some of its impact. But the copper tubing breaks up the uniformity of the color, and draws the eye down the serpents body with its contrasting color.
The serpent looked really good in just plain metal. But I wanted to paint it. I've recently been playing with an automotive dual-color paint that turns blue and purple depending on the angle you look at it. And what is more fitting for a sea monster then shimmery scales right??
You can't see it very well in the picture unfortunately... and you need decent lighting to really get the best effect of the paint. But the body shifts colors when you move to different angles! Its really pretty, and accents the grey and silver tones of the steel very nicely. I tipped the tendrils in a coppery gold paint to add further visual contrast and draw the eye down the body. Living them silver caused the scales/cilia/spines to all blend together into this patch if silvery lump. Like... it looked good... but there wasn't really any notable, eye catching contrast. Tipping it in gold added more color to the overall piece, and helped tie in with the copper tubing to everything felt more naturally connected.
The face I left plain steel for visual contrast. I ran stripes of weld bead for texture decoration, and darkened the metal. The teeth were a lot of fun. They were a bit of an experiment, since before this, when I made teeth, they were just simple triangular cut-outs. That wasn't going to work for this. I wanted some seriously nasty chompers on this guy, and I wanted them to look like actual teeth. Not retarded, ghetto flat cut-outs.
The eye I purposely made large and very bright and flat, to give it that 'big-eyed' fish look. I really wanted it to pop and stand out so when you look at this up on the wall, you've got this baleful eye gazing down on you.
I'm really hoping I can sell this big fella somewhere. If not... I guess he'll have to decorate my wall for a while... oh darn!
Check out some of the other places where you can find me online! Facebook [link]
Wow, thanks for the DD! Never actually expected to get another DD in my lifetime Anyways, thank you DA, and thanks for all the great comments, guys! Things like that help me to keep going on with the craftwork!
Named for my Wife whose middle name, Lai Won, means "pretty clouds". It was a gift for her and took 18 months to make. The Mother of Pearl used for Scales was given to me by her Father, Henry, who captured the Abalone in California, South of HalfMoon Bay (back when it was still legal). It's important to employ the use of respiratory protection when working with Mother of Pearl. Even with a mask on it smells strongly like a serious visit to the Dentist when it's being ground on the wheel. It smells like teeth being ground to dust.
The Ninth Knife of my apprenticeship to KnifeMaker, Larry Detloff of Santa Cruz, California.
Blade length: 2.5" Overall length (open): 6"
Damascus Steel folded by Mike Norris.
Blade: Stainless Vortex Damascus Scale: Mother of Pearl Liners: Titanium Bolsters: 440c Stainless Steel
Custom solid brass buckle casting for fancy baldric. Steampunk Gear Heart theme 5.7 inches wide a bajillion hammer strokes for texture. Antiqued. Next step will be to add centerbar with mounting pillars and tongue.
More in my gallery [link] and at PrinceArmory.com [link] WIPs
18g Nickelsilver, all done with a jeweler's saw. The chain is a stainless steel dog chain that was originally significantly longer but I cut it down to size. Not quite sure what the actual keychain end is.
The thing isn't polished yet, but it is more or less filed to perfection. I don't have a drill, so if you look closely you can see where I cut into the bael to empty it out, I'm actually sort've proud that worked so well when I expected it to go horribly. It's MOSTLY sanded well enough, but could certainly use some time with a powered polishing machine. Sadly, I don't have one to get my hands on, nor do I have a polisher with steel shot and burnishing fluid. Ahh well, priorities...
This is eventually going to go on the end of a Keyblade I intend to make for my girlfriend's little sister, who is aptly nicknamed Roxas (But I sure as hell wasn't going to try making an Oblivion Keyblade).
The Tree Of Life is derived from old Celtic customs, forests of the old world were vast covering whole countries. When a tribe would clear land for a settlement they would always leave one tree in the center, to them this was called in irish "crann bethadh" Tree Of Life. Trees touch all three realms of existence, the heavens with branches, the underworld or spirit world with roots and the mortal world with their trunks.
The metal is Shibuichi 75% copper 25% silver, I won't be casting in this metal again though, the silver absorbed O2 and the copper turns that into oxides. Plus it looks almost the same as tin bronze. I used a clear specialty lacquer for preserving the patina on bronzes and other metals it is exterior grade so it should wear well. You can visit my Etsy shop @ www.bronzesmithdesigns.etsy.com I have the same item but in a different better wearing metal here this item is currently listed on my shop for sale! (not in Shibuichi)
The piece weighs 120 grams, 11cm wide by 6cm tall.