In my final year in college I felt the urgency to use the metal shop as much as possible as I may not get the chance to do so for quite some time. This sense of urgency along with friends asking me to make a robot sculpture for them resulted in the process I use to create fine artwork for a client.
I start by interviewing whoever hires me. I ask them about their favorite music and artwork as well as find out what they are passionate about. This information is super valuable to determining what the sculpture will look like. I try and act as a translator of creative works by converting their favorites into a figurative form.
This initial creation was built for a friend of mine Melissa Nanny (Mel). While listening to her favorite Radiohead songs I sketched a chest piece. It was like a shallow cube with expanded metal grating on either side. Before I welded the front a back pieces together I place a piece of sheet copper that was formed into the shape of a heart.
The head being made almost entirely of wood (hardwood maple) was the most difficult part. The wood was shaped to be a small cover for a lamp I was designing and I decided to go in a different direction. I used a router to shape the tooth sockets and plasma torch to burn out the eyes. I carefully welded in 2 bit of steel to clamp on to the wood to securely hold it in place. The bottom jaw is a drain from a sink and the beard is made from steel wool.
I named the work “Old Rivet Gearson” to give it more personality and, of course, to poke fun at the naming of artwork.
Mel has taken very good care of it over the past several years. However I have it in my workshop these days. I plan to give it some improvements and reinforcements so that it can better stand the test of time.
Bellow are images of Old Rivet Gearson