On an absolutely beautiful day I recorded these images of my latest found materials sculpture made at the Falls of the Ohio. The morning started briskly, but warmed up enough that I felt comfortable taking my jacket off! Around here, we were wondering if winter would ever arrive and now that it’s late February…we are beginning to have our doubts. Without question, this has been the warmest winter I can recall around here. At first, I had the park to myself and I began my day scrounging the river bank for materials. After a couple of hours, I had enough river polished polystyrene assembled at one area that my latest outdoor studio was born. As long as the river doesn’t swamp this spot anytime soon…I should have enough materials to keep me busy for a while. Here is my first image of my latest Falls of the Ohio atelier.
It’s mostly Styrofoam chunks in various sizes, but you can see other stuff as well. I found an interesting sign written in black marker that looks to be quoting the price of various scrap metals. The sign is so crudely made that I wondered if some backyard entrepreneur was collecting aluminum and copper for later resale to a salvage yard? That makes it a true sign of the times as metal of all varieties becomes increasingly valuable. I also have a section of fire hose I salvaged. It’s canvas-covered rubber and it’s just the right kind of thing that one of my stone carving friends could use. When a particularly heavy piece of stone is moved, pieces of fire hose are used to protect both the stone and the ropes from abrasion as the stone is lifted by crane. I found an especially long length of fire hose after the big driftwood fire of the early summer. That fire must have caught the fire fighters by surprise because I can’t imagine why such a large length of perfectly good hose would be cut and abandoned? I also found a Styrofoam life ring and various odds and ends I may use when I make my own brand of sculpture. The following are images that show the progression of this day’s figure as it came into being. First, I started with a large section of lightweight material that I heard one old-timer call fiberglass? I’m not sure that it’s made of that, but it definitely is not polystyrene. I hammered some legs into it with a board and set it upright. I’ll let a few of the photos speak for themselves as the figure comes together.
The head is made of various found plastic fragments. The head crest is composed of a half of a frisbee and the hard bristles of a large push broom. The ears are the bottoms of aluminum cans which suggest ear spools. Here is a detail of the head.
He’s a handsome guy in a Mayan sort of way isn’t he? After assembly, I reposed the figure at different places near my studio and ran into some new friends. This is Annie and James who were at the Falls enjoying a little photography of their own. They had seen my work out here before and now they have a name and face to go with the artist.
After a nice visit with the couple, I reposed my piece to face the river and took these parting images while soaking up all the fresh air and light.
I’ll be curious to see how this figure survives until my next visit. Should he disappear…I’m not too worried. I have more materials at my outdoor studio and more arriving daily including a couple of huge Styrofoam chunks too heavy to move! Here’s one photo of what must have been a section of a boat dock. See you next time around from the Falls of the Ohio.