Saturday, July 26, 2008

Au Bout de ma Ficelle

Well, I'm not really at the end of my rope(string), an expression my mother used to say when she was "fed up" with something. But it's a good thing I have a considerable amount of patience, as it seems I have been doing a lot of "creative" problem solving to get around things that have cropped up lately.

In my preparation for next week's Art Festival, I have been beset with finding innovative solutions to some situations that I've encountered in the past couple of days. Some solutions are necesssary because the kind of work I do is very, shall we say, spontaneous, and not all that carefully planned out ahead of time. I find that is how I work and after many years of trying to do things according to a PLAN, sometimes it just doesn't go that way, so I go with my gut and do things the way they WANT or NEED to go. Utilizing that approach necessitates being a "problem solver" or at least being able to circumvent situations that could otherwise be problematic.

A couple of examples come to mind immediately. Situation One: I am working on this balanced wall hanging, and of course, it has to HANG properly. I have encountered this problem before, so I was prepared for it, but just didn't know how I was going to get around it this time. The thing is kind of a chicken and I want it to hang by the middle of its back. Whenever I make this kind of bird and put the hanger in the piece (before it is cured) it inevitably wants to lean forward, like the chicken is pecking the ground. (NOT enough weight on the back end.) Since the way I make these chickens is one side at a time, I put my five cents in on this one. When I was sculpting and doing the back (the second side), I imbedded five pennies in strategic locations at the chick's rear end, so that it would balance. To my "chicken delight", it worked! The photo on the left shows the plainer side, the one I did first. You can't tell where the five pennies are because they are imbedded in the middle of the body, along with other structural items like copper mesh wire which prevent it from bending, some ugly gray clay to make it stronger and some liquid polymer to keep it all together.

The second problem I anticipate with this type of piece is where to drill the hole for the "legs" to fit in. I am going to use the metal 'found' object', sans coil, as the jambes. I realize it looks more like a wish bone, but think it might add a funky touch if I fashion it into legs.
Of course if I were to go with my gut and just drill away where I think the hole should go, it will probably not balance again. This is when I throw my creative problem solving ability out the window and approach the engineer in the family to determine exactly where the moments of force (or whatever you call them) dictate where to position the hole.
I haven't decided yet if the bird needs to have talons or toes: I might just paint tiny little claws on the end of the metal.


Cherylamie said...

hi girlfriend !!!
love the Bird !!!
idea , tape the feet to the bird
and test it !!!

Pat Sernyk said...

Thanks Cheryl. That's a great idea. Obviously no light bulbs here because that solution never occurred to me...
Knew there was a reason I was blonde.

Louise said...

Great to know how you work through your problems. I am learning from you thank you.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Looks like you have put a lot work and engineering into this little chick! I sure love the colors you chose, just beautiful!