An Insect

An old microphone, springs, plumbing fixtures, typewriter strikers, and a vegetable steamer all lent parts to this insect sculpture. I came up with a scientific sounding name for it at the time but I can’t remember what it was now. I do remember that an expert pointed out an error in the name. It had to do with the number of wings.

Whatever you want to call it, this piece is definitely insect-like. And while I was very happy with how it came out I found it difficult to photograph well. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m no photographer and clearly I was not shooting under anything like ideal conditions. I’m sure I took photos in our kitchen with a smartphone. Not great.

I feel like it was this piece more than any previous one that made me think an accurate 3D render would be useful. With a render I can control various aspects of the virtual camera, surroundings, and lighting that would require equipment I don’t have in real life. Also, it’s another excuse to practice 3D modelling and rendering. I enjoy the variety of switching from actual to virtual building. When I’m tired of being in the basement I move to the computer in my little home office. Eventually the computer will become tedious and it’s back to the workshop again.

Not terrible, but I’m no virtual lighting expert either!
Argyle Fine Art did a better job with their photo.

The Flying Saucer.

In 2015 I built this Flying Saucer. I like everything about it and it became one of my all-time favourite pieces. My memory on this might be wrong, but I think this may be the only junk sculpture that I started and finished on the same day.

I was so certain it would be sold quickly and I would not see it again. But it seems I was almost alone in my appreciation for this little saucer. It sat on display at Argyle Fine Art for ages. They really gave it every chance but it was just hanging around, going nowhere.

An idealized 3D render.

Eventually the saucer moved on to a group show in another town that I mentioned in an earlier post. I thought surely now after being seen by a new group of people it would finally find a home. I sold a ray gun at that show, but the little saucer came back.

I was now resigned to the idea that the saucer would just stay with me and it would be a mystery to me why no one wanted it. And that is when it sold. Apparently my brother-in-law saw it at that group show in Annapolis Royal and expressed interest in it. When I mentioned to my sister that the flying saucer had not sold, she said she wanted to buy it for her husband. Now, selling art to family members seems like… cheating… or something. But technically it was finally sold and I still get to see it when I visit them.

The real saucer sculpture with a blue light under it. I’m no photographer.

Is the point of this story that you should not give up on a piece that has not sold for years? Sure, keep trying. Maybe the point is you should be careful about your reactions to art at art shows. Someone might decide to surprise you with it as a gift later. The lesson for me was something like “make art that you like yourself. It might be yours forever. If a friend or relative gets it you don’t want to be embarrassed every time you see it”. It’s not a pithy moral, but I’m no writer.