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Golden Retriever

A few weeks ago, I was commissioned to make a sculpture of a Golden Retriever.  I had never tried this breed of dog before, so it made for an interesting challenge.  The curled tail, the deep chest, the square-ish muzzle…it was a lot of fun!  Now that my client has received the sculpture, I can share it here with you, dear readers.

Penny – Golden Retriever

– Measures approximately 8 inches long by 5 inches tall by 2 & 1/4 inches wide.

– She’s made primarily with paddle wire, though there is some fencing wire in there, too.  The wire sizes range from 17 to 26 gauge.  The ears are metal leaf pendants, and the nose is a black glass bead.  The collar is real leather from an old purse strap, and the metal tag was a piece from a necklace.  I punched the tag with the letter P for the dog’s name, Penny.

Thank you for looking!

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2016 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Bay

Here’s a little bay-colored horse that I made for my show last month.  He’s a lot like my other horse, Checotah, which sold quickly before I even got him to the show.  I wanted to have another similar sculpture available, so here it is.  I am happy to say that this little bay horse was one of the first things to sell at my show.  Colored wire seems to be popular!

Bay

– Measures a small 3 & 1/4 inches long by 2 & 1/2 inches tall by 1 inch wide.

– If I’m remembering correctly, I used some 19 gauge dark annealed wire for the “bones” of the horse, and then I added layers of finer black wire for the legs and muzzle, and orange wire for the body.  The tail is a bit of very fine chain.  The mane is a piece of an old earring.  Those black and silver spear-like pieces on the earring looked like an interesting horse’s mane to me, so I went with it.  This horse has an almost bulldog-like pose, which was just how he turned out.  I kind of liked that, though…he looks strong and muscular, don’t you think?

Thank you for looking! 🙂

 

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The Basset Case

Hi there,

Here is another of my recent sculptures.  I came across a pair of glitzy, sparkling earrings that were soft and dangly.  They made me think of the giant, supple ears of a basset hound.  So here is what I came up with.

The Basset Case

– Measures 8 inches long by 4 & 1/4 inches tall (at the tail) by 2 inches wide.

– Made with some 17 gauge steel fencing wire, as well as paddle wire of various sizes from 22 – 30 gauge.  The ears are those big, soft, fake-diamond-encrusted earrings. The nose is a rectangle/square-shaped glass bead that I had in my stash.  I debated using that bead as it looked so enormous, but what good is a hound dog without his giant nose? 🙂  I pulled wire through the hole in the center of the bead and “sewed” it onto the end of the dog’s face, wrapping wire until the bead was nested tightly in the wire and the head looked like that of a dog.  The tail is a white glass pendant in the shape of a tusk or tooth.

I hope you like this sculpture.  Thank you for looking!

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Squirrel

If you were to explore my embellishment boxes, you would find many feather-esque pieces.  I’ve used them for “doo-dads” in horse’s manes, I’ve used them for animal ears, I’ve even used them for – you guessed it – feathers on my bird sculptures.

Last fall at Junk Bonanza, I spotted a feather-shaped pin.  This was no ordinary pin.  Picture a feather that you might see being used for a quill pen.  Large and a bit droopy in its shape.  The very moment I spotted this feather, I saw a squirrel tail.  A perfect, bushy squirrel tail.  So I bought it.

Here is the result.

Squirrel

– Measures 5 inches long by 3 & 1/2 inches tall by 2 inches wide.

– This piece is made with…I believe it was some 19 gauge, 22 gauge, 26 gauge, and 30 gauge steel wire.  I’m not completely certain, as it’s been a little while since I made this piece.  The tail is that cool feather pin, and the ears are tiny leaf-shaped pieces that I had on hand.  The squirrel is holding tightly to an acorn, which is an embellishment I purchased at a card-making shop.

I am happy to say that this little fellow sold at my art show earlier this month. 🙂

Thank you for looking!

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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The King’s Horse

Dear readers, brace yourselves for a lengthy post!  I’m sharing my latest sculpture, though I have several other new ones to post in the next couple of weeks as well, so stay tuned.

Late one night, I was unable to sleep.  When it’s late and I cannot sleep, my mind tends to wander…often to the topics of art or writing.  It was a night like this that got me thinking.  With all of my broken jewelry, found items, and metal junk, what if I made a horse decked out in elaborate medieval armor?

I was so excited by the idea that I nearly got up right then to start sifting through my collection of found items.  But it was 3:00 AM and I hadn’t slept at all, so I stayed put and eventually got to sleep…probably with a smile on my face.

The very next day, I got to work looking through my embellishments, picking out pieces and items that struck a chord with me.  Within a couple of days, I was building the horse itself.  The horse is among my larger pieces, and with all the embellishments, it took me quite a while to complete this piece.

The King’s Horse

– Measures 10 & 1/2 inches long by 9 inches tall by 3 & 3/4 inches wide.

– Made with some 16 gauge dark annealed wire, but primarily with 18 gauge dark annealed wire.  The 18 gauge is just the right balance of sturdiness and softness.  I can bend and shape it pretty easily, yet it’s strong enough to hold up.  I also used very fine black wire for attaching embellishments.  The process of attaching my found items is somewhat like sewing.  Take the thin wire, weave it into the bands of heavier wire numerous times until everything holds tightly.  This is my favorite part of building sculptures.

– Embellishments.  Oh, where to begin?  I guess it all started with the stirrups.  I found a pair of sort of square-shaped earrings at a flea market last year, and I knew from the moment I saw them that I wanted them to be stirrups for a horse sculpture.  And here we are.  The “straps” of the stirrups are a matched pair of earrings, too, I believe.  Put together, these two pairs of earrings made ideal stirrups.  The band of looped chains/coins around the entire body of the horse is, in fact, part of a belt.  You know how it is…you’re out shopping with some friends, you’re a teenager, you see a weird, jangling, unusual belt and buy it, convinced that you will wear it all the time.  You will.

…That was me back in my teens.  I never wore the belt once in my life, but I have never regretted buying it, because it made for some priceless embellishments for my wire sculptures.  You might also remember pieces of this very belt from my Aluminum Horse a few years ago, https://thecozyred.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/the-aluminum-horse/ .  The King’s Horse took up all but a few scraps of this belt, and what I had left happened to be just the right amount to wrap around the horse’s body.  It was meant to be.  Of course, I had to repair some parts of the belt and rebuilt it a little to get it to look like a complete loop and not just a scrap length of chain.  The saddle is an ornate necklace part that has five hinged sections.  I loved that because it drapes so nicely across the horse’s back.  It was bright gold when I bought it, but I painted it with metallic acrylic paints until the piece had the same patina and feel of the rest of the embellishments.  The rump of the horse is draped with a necklace piece, also hinged, that I found at a thrift store.  That, too, had to be painted to suit the rest of the sculpture.  The horse’s tail is a thick cluster of various chains.  The horse’s mane is part of a necklace.  The ears were fun to construct.  I had found small metal embellishments at an art store that reminded me of a tiny phonograph or gramophone horns in their shape.  I couldn’t resist the strange shape.  But for this sculpture, I ended up turning these pieces upside down so the wide, ruffled ends were against the horse’s head.  The pointed ends of these embellishments were a great suggestion of armored pieces the shape of a horse’s ears.  So I wired two of these embellishments together and reshaped the open ends to set nicely on the horse’s head, and then wired them down.  The face shield is a pendant I had on hand, which also needed to be painted.  And finally, the reins are a simple chain, held by the mouth of the horse with jump rings, which are wired in place.

If you’re still reading this, thank you.  I appreciate your interest.  Let’s look at the photos at last. 🙂

There will be a lot of photos, too, so bear with me.

Thank you very much for looking!  Please feel free to leave comments if you wish – I love hearing from you! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Checotah

With an art show coming up in less than a month, things have been busy around here!  This will be my first indoor art show, and I am really looking forward to it!  It’s called the Banbury Art Crawl, and you can read up on it at banburyartcrawl.org if you’re curious.  It sounds like a fun show.  I attended it once just as a visitor and I was so inspired by the fresh, unique artwork that was on display by many talented artists.  I am so looking forward to being a part of the show!

So aside from working on my drawing of Norman, I’ve also been trying to get more sculptures going.  Here is one of my recent pieces.  Last fall, there was a clearance sale with all sorts of fall-colored items, including wire.  I snatched up some spools of orange wire (it is not copper…just orange colored).  When I bought them, I was thinking of bird legs and beaks, but the more I looked at it, the more I saw a bay colored horse.  So this is my result.

I am pleased to say that even though I was working on my inventory for the art show, this little guy has already sold.  At our family Christmas party, my aunt saw him and couldn’t resist, so she bought him as a Christmas gift to herself.  She promptly named him Checotah.  She and her husband once drove through Checotah, Oklahoma and she decided that if she ever had a horse, she’d call him Checotah.  Thanks, Jurine! 🙂

Checotah

-Made with some 19 gauge dark annealed wire and some 22 gauge paddle wire just for the “bones” of the horse.  Once the piece was secure with heavier wire, I added layers of finer black wire for the legs and muzzle, and the orange wire for the body.  Though the wire looked bright orange on the spool, it looks quite convincing as a bay color on the horse, don’t you think?  The tail is a tiny bit of very fine chain.  The mane is a piece of an old earring.  Those black and silver spear-like pieces on the earring looked like an interesting horse’s mane to me, so I went with it.

-I did not have a chance to measure this piece before it sold, so I’m guessing on the size.  It is approximately 3 inches long x 2 3/4 inches tall x 1 inch wide.  Yes, this guy is pretty tiny.  I wanted him to have the heavy build of a draft horse, so he’s pretty stocky.

I photographed him in a hurry on the day of our Christmas party, so the photos are not the greatest quality.  But here they are, anyway.

Thank you for looking. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2016 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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Pelican

I have to admit that I like water birds.  We have a long-running joke in my family that any time we’re on a vacation by the Great Lakes, someone has to take a picture of a seagull.  My dad thinks seagulls are bothersome and homely, and he’s right.  However, I love their call and their presence when we visit Duluth.  Duluth, MN is one of my favorite places in the world to visit.  My parents honeymooned in that area, and they took us kids there when we were very little, and it’s been a favorite place ever since.  I’ve never seen any ocean, so Lake Superior is as close as I’ve been to such big water, and I must say, I don’t mind.  It’s such a majestic place to be.

Ah, but I’m getting all nostalgic now.  Let’s get back to the topic of this post, shall we? 🙂

This is a sculpture I created for Ashley for the Arts.  The inspiration for this piece started at a “barn sale” I went to back in May.  It was essentially a thrift sale that was held in a shed.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find too much, but I did find a massive bag full of vintage hair pins and curlers.  Among them, there were dozens of these old hair rollers.  In other words, beaks!

I don’t usually put my sculptures on any sort of base or stand, but this guy is pretty front-heavy, and his feet were not sufficient to hold his weight, so I had to think outside the box to make him sturdy.

Pelican

-Measures (with wooden base) 8 1/4 inches tall x 5 inches long (this is the length of the bird from beak to rump) x 3 inches wide (this is the wooden base).  The bird, itself, measures 5 1/2 inches tall.

-Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire (some silver wire again, at last!), some 20 gauge steel wire, and some 22 gauge steel wire, I believe.  It has been some time since I made this guy, so I’m not positive about the wire gauges anymore.  The beak is an old hair roller, and is even marked with the brand name Goody, which is cute, don’t you think?  He has caught a fish, as you can see.  It’s a small metal charm of some sort, which I wired into the pelican’s beak.  Oh, and his beak is workable, by the way.  You can open it like a clothespin.  The neck and body are solid wire, and the spindly legs are made of metal pieces I harvested from a necklace.  They’re ridged and shiny, and I liked that they were so slender, because those water birds seem to walk on toothpicks!  The feet are antique metal pieces I purchased in a lot online.  The feet are screwed to the wooden base so that they’ll stay put.  The base, by the way, is a furniture “foot” that I had on hand, which was painted it with a turquois paint.  Despite having the feet screwed down, the pelican still wanted to sag forward from his weight (it must be that giant fish), so I had to figure out a way to stabilize him.  In the end, a hole needed to be drilled into the wooden base, and a thick wire inserted into it, covered in strong glue. I clipped off the wire so it reached the base of the pelican’s neck.  I then wired the stabilizing wire and the neck together so the pelican could rest its weight there.  To disguise the wire, I then went all-out nautical and wrapped that stabilizing wire in jute so that it looked like rope.  And finally, I hung a little sign on the post advertising fresh fish.  Very fresh, in this pelican’s opinion.  I found a free-use fish illustration and typed the Fresh Fish sign, and printed it on a natural, sandy background, cut it out, and put it into this glass window frame that I bought at an art store.  Ah, at last, I think I’ve covered all the materials for this sculpture.

Finally, I have to share this photo.  As I was doing my photo shoot of the pelican, this dainty little fly landed on its head.  I thought it made for an interesting shot.

Pelican 1 CR

Thank you for looking!

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2015 in All Artwork, Sculpture & Mixed Media

 

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