A butter knife wind chime pictures in the works. May 2013, complications kept me away, but here it is. Butter knives from a thrift store, copper wire hoop made by me, I'll be upgrading the striker to a metal flap instead of the plastic.
This is my first painting, I normally create things from other things so I was venturing into new territory here. Like all my creations this too is mostly second hand sources, I built the frame from scrap, covered it with pasteboard from a grocery pallet and paint too is from various sources none of it new. The only new stuff here is the glue and gesso. I'll get a better picture but for now here you go. 5/20/2012 a new picture of my painting, as promised.
I was building a bird house to donate the above mentioned organization for their June auction, then the April tornado changed everything. I've decided to make a large abstract instead. Here is the start, I made the frame from scrap, and glued a large piece of poster board to the front, I got the poster board from a local grocery store it comes in the weekly shipments.It measures 30"x30". As soon as I get it done I'll be adding a picture of it.
I didn't delete the graphic for Cop Block I just, moved it to its new home, Kilobyte Corner, I felt I needed a separation between the physical creations and the digital ones. So go to the view my profile, under my picture and you'll see it.
Little boys will pick up sticks and imagine they are guns, sword and magic wands, at heart I'm still that little boy imagining. In a pawn shop I found a gear shift for a truck and thought it looked like a ball bat, my inner child said " Oooh cool club" so I bought it. While in the process of gathering up my creations to get photographs to create this blog I rediscovered my cool club. I'm not sure what made think of a medieval mace, could have been where the lever threads to the transmission not really sure, but I went to the hardware store and found a bolt that matched the threads and was making a list of items to top it as I didn't have the money for everything at the time, and thought I'd go back later and buy them. Back at home I continued my cleaning and I was moving a box of items I had gathered for an assemblage when a timing gear caught my eye, well it looked mace like with all the teeth, but no way could the shaft hole be the same size as my bolt, I smiled when the bolt was easily wiggled through the hole in the gear. Next came removing the knob since it didn't lend itself it the concept, and by luck, no not luck more like by a case of mild hording I had a rubber grip on a broken tool that I'd not thrown out yet, I cannibalized it to finish this creation. So since most of the parts came from vehicles the whole gear head thing fit as a name. SOLD !
While attending the Wichita Earth fest and giving a showing of my creations I was approached by the Sedgwick County Animal Response Team, they go in after natural disasters and help displaced pets. They were looking for artists to decorate birdhouses for an auction to benefit their organization. I said I'd make one for them from scratch, they were interested and excited. I got the drawer from Habitat for Humanity cut it down, made it where the bottom would open for cleaning, extended the knob for a perch, used a salvaged plant hanger to suspend it , and coated it in vegetable oil and bees wax.
I was up against a deadline so I didn't get any other pictures.
I found this glass table top in the trash and being the recycler that I am I couldn't just leave it, I didn't know what I was going to do with it but sending it to the landfill was a waste in my opinion.
I learned of this wonderful place called The Cat House on the Kings it's a no kill shelter, rescue for cats in California, I'm subscribed to their newsletter and I learned of an auction they were holding to raise funds. So being a cat person I thought what could I create that I could donate to them to help? I had seen drawings like these online and thought a cat drawn in that style would be great, I looked a several possible mediums, but the glass was the coolest in my opinion, so I started painting the cat on the glass free hand it took several tries and a friends suggestion to get what you see, then the backing cut from a pallet and hand crafting the brass hardware. Sadly it did not sell, and in being shipped I discovered the mounts I made didn't hold up in shipping, so currently it is being refitted with more durable mounts.
I read a lot of news and current events, and the assault on the constitution and peoples civil liberties upsets me the most. It started with the government abusing hate crime laws to silence people, then moved into free speech zones, police arresting people under wire wiretapping for taking their picture in public, Cass Sunstein wanting to chill the first amendment,S.O.P.A , P.I.P.A , A.C.T.A and A.E.T.A . If you don't know these anachronisms, then look them up and learn where your rights are being lost.
I wanted to show in a physical manner how I felt about these infringments on peoples civil rights, how we are not only caged physically but also how our words are lock away from us by laws.
This isn't just a poster, there is an unabridged dictionary wrapped in chains on a display board on the wall of my apartment, as well as a computer file to create this poster.
Once again I was in Habitat For Humanity, but this time I found this long beautiful unfinished Oak baluster, it was the right shape for a walking stick and at the same estate sale I bought the porcelain knob I bought a set of very old bronze door knobs. So I set about creating yet another walking stick. Unlike the first connecting the wood and knob needed more than just epoxy, it required tapping the knob for a section of all thread, then a hole drilled into the baluster to accept the all thread and T nut and finally a copper coupling to cover the seam between the two and add some strength. The final step was creating a finish, I used vegetable oil and bees wax rubbed in several coats. It's a heavy well made walking stick if I do say so myself, it's about 41" in length.
This was my first walking stick made from an oak balusters from Habitat For Humanity and a black porcelain door knob from an estate sale, I found the baluster in a bin and as always my mind was saying what else could you make with this, a club my inner child said, no, not enough appeal and go sit down, a walking stick, now you might have something. But what to top it with ? Oh, I know a glass door knob, so it looks like you have a big diamond on top. So the search was on for an old glass door knob, but as you can see I found something else that I felt made for an interesting contrast. The knob was missing the brass attachment which made it easy for me to carve down the top of the baluster to fit inside the knob, which I epoxied on. It's about 35" in length and could be cut down if needed.
Have you ever found something that has been thrown away and said what could I do with that ? Ok maybe not. This is steel strapping you find around any number of items used to hold heavy cargo in shipping. As I have stated before patterns and mechanical things catch my eye, so it was only natural for me to weave it together. After seeing some abstract art I though this was as good as anything they made, so I glued cardboard to the back of it to hold it together then took one of my other pawn shop canvases, stained it with rust and pastels, and attached my weave to it, the finishing touch was banding the outside. I created a title to give you something to think about how life is order,disorder, decay, rust , hard, soft all wrapped in one package and how it sometimes goes outside the lines.
A few of my ideas for creations like this one come from surfing the web, I saw a picture of the same type of grenade totally covered in gold leaf, it was titled golden bomb, I thought to myself, that's a pretty deadly , an idea was born. Being that I'm a son of a WW2/ Korean veteran you shouldn't be shocked I had a practice hull like this lying around gathering rust, I began preparing the surface for painting since I couldn't afford gold leaf, after several fail attempt to paint the fuse assembly ( the top shiny bit ) I settled on polishing it and giving it a coat of clear. I wanted someway of hanging it on the wall, but creating a shadow box was just a bit outside my carpentry skills and living in a studio apt the thought of digging out my tool from storage and the following mess was just too much. While on a dumpster diving expedition I came across a large block of white packing foam, I realized I could make my shadow box from this with just a razor blade and ruler. I sized the block to fit an 8x10 picture frame, made the hollow, covered it in paper mache, felt and paint. Even though it's leaning in the picture there is a peg up through the hole in the bottom to hold it semi steady. This final touch was custom made dog tag that reads Pretty Deadly.
I showed this on a message board, one person encouraged me to have a serious meaning to the title an anti war, weapons message, but I'd rather go with the gallows humor that was the original concept, it's pretty being all polished and paint up for a tool of war that is designed to kill or maim. A play on words nothing deeper.
I was working a remodel job and part of it was to tear out this old yard light, the globe section was on a short post, it was coated in paint and had a fronted globe inside I asked the guy if he wanted it, he said "no" so I took it home and began the clean up, it only had one bolt holding the two halves together so I made three new bolts from new hardware. My original idea was to mount it to a wooden body and accent it with brass, but while picking through a D.A.V store I found this inexpensive imported floor lamp that had the perfect foot for my creation, in fact I was so excited I never took any pictures of it's creation. I took the wiring from the floor lamp did some modifications to it and fitted it to my lamp. This was my first creation I ever did I'm very proud of it. Not long after I showed it on a message board, it was purchased by a man in California, he wrote the following.
When Joel tells you that he's an artist who creates with found objects, he ain't kiddin'. I have in my possession the marvelous desk lamp that Joel posted a photo of a several weeks ago. It's one-of-a-kind, springing as it did from his fertile mind, and it is already inspiring me to clean up my office so that assorted junk won't compete with it for attention. Needless to say, I have never seen anything like it. It's globular structure appeals to my sense of symmetry, while its ornate twists and turns fit perfectly with my taste for the baroque. No doubt about it, Joel is an artist.
There was a bar that was my usual hang out on Friday nights and I became acquainted with this fellow who worked at a machine shop in the area. After he got to know me he started bringing me rejects, saying " See if you can do anything with that." . Well he over time brought me these two pieces that I attached to each other to make this vase/cup. It's aluminum and isn't that heavy.
Someone suggested I try and create a tiny rose, so I began trying various mediums to make a rose, I never got the shape right, but in the process of trial and error I created this piece made from a Styrofoam meat tray, wire ties from loaves of bread and a green bath soap box. The frame came from a D.A.V thrift store.
It measures 3 1/2 " by 4".
This was given away as a Thank You to someone who helped me.
What started this was trying to get a stylized signature for my art, the free flowing two second wave of the hand signatures like those of celebrities. I noticed with all the loops in my name it was almost an abstract drawing in its self, so I took a piece of paper and began using nearly every marker, pen, and colored pencil I had, going over and over, I liked how it looked but it needed a form a defined area, so I randomly picked the circle. I had traded a pawn shop for three stretched canvases I picked the cleanest of the three and went to work, first drawing the circle very lightly with a pencil in the center, then going nuts writing my name. As I was nearing completion disaster stuck, or so I thought a drop of sweat hit the canvas causing some of the ink to run, I thought I could fix it with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball, it only aggravated the problem, I stepped back and thought why not blur the whole thing, so I did. I decided to keep the frame simple so as to not distract from the piece. The title started as vanity which I thought was too dry and had no life I then change it to self centered, which is more fun and light hearted.
My creative ability makes me feel odd at times. I had bought a few of those mini Pecan pies and after I ate one I looked at the little aluminum pan it was in, a shame to just fill up the land fill with this. My mind cross references all types of things that's the only way to explain it, as I studied the lines in the pan it struck me as to how flower like it was, it was only a matter of time till I was carefully flattening it and working on what to make the rest of the flower from. Since the petals of the flower was a cast off item the rest of the flower must be " trash" as well I began trying cardboard, finally settling on the heavier type with a corrugated center, by wetting and peeling layers and folding I got what I wanted. Since the pan was flattened I thought that it needed to be in a frame like a displayed pressed flower, hence the name. This piece was given to a friend in Canada to brighten her day.
A re envisioning of the cord wrapped wine bottles. That sums up the reason I did this. I was browsing the web and saw cord wrapped wine bottles, as I have said I like mechanical things and repeating patterns are part of that, but I wanted something with more color, so I rummaged through my junk drawer and found a small ball of nylon construction twine, it took a few tries, finding out which end to start from was one, my cat companions was the cause of another restart. Finishing the bottom was another headache, but I wrapped it in masking tape and painted it to match, then covered the whole thing in fabric glue to hold it together. I guess you could refill it, but I see it more as a very bright knick knack / conversation piece.
This creation highlights my ability to see other uses in common items. As to what was the inspiration for this, I don't really remember, the drive to create is my only answer. A few facts on the item, the upper section is not glued to the base so play sand could be added for weight, the brass coat hooks are not only screwed on but epoxied as well and I have found a places where you can buy dye that can be added to pipe cleaning solvent so that you can actually color this just about any color you want and it won't flake off like paint.
I wrote the poem, I guess it's a poem, sometime before the clock quit. It was one of those strange occurrences where you look at one thing the poem and realize it belonged in a clock or on a clock face. It was only a matter of getting a clip art clock face and adding my text to it. I had the text/face laminated so it will last far longer than me.
working in a auto salvage at the time, while pulling parts I found
these small gears in the backseat of a car and I realized they were
discarded starter parts, having a thing for mechanical items
I gathered them up thinking they would become part of an assemblage or
something, I was driving home that night and stopped at traffic light and
saw sunflowers on the road side dancing in the wind, that's when the idea hit
me to try and make flowers from them. Several failed attempts to create a
green stems that would allow a swaying motion lead me to try bailing wire, the
bolts are from a car fender, they pass through the center of the gears
and attach the wire to the gear/flower. I tried several different
items for a vase, none seemed to work. I had a few ceramic tile corners I had
bought , at first I just taped them together to get an idea what it would look
like, it clicked like a puzzle snapping together, a bit of sheet rock tape and
patch plaster I had me a vase. But what to fill the vase with, on whim I used
some of my steel wool to fill it, like moss you see in flower arrangements.
With the simple lines and steel mixed with ceramics Industrial Flowers fits as