Erin Riley is producing an exhibit of my TurtleArt and ArtLogo programming at Greenwich Academy in March of 2020 and is helping, along with Zoë Hedstrom, with the fabrication of the art work. In November we met up at the fabrication lab Erin manages to proof some of the beautifully printed pieces that Zoë has produced and to work on fabricating a large wood version of an ArtLogo series I have been tinkering with, "Dreamtime Variations."
After preparing the Shopbot we secured a 3/4" sheet of plywood to the bed and started milling the piece, which was nearly 4 feet wide.
Before too long the material began to reveal its limitations and glue would fail, causing the dots to pop free from the sheet. After running a few columns of dots I concluded that the integrity of the design was going to be lost and we stopped the job.
However, lemons to lemonade and all, we salvaged what we had milled and I decided to continue on with a fragment of the design to see where it went.
I had to wait for a day warm enough to spraypaint outside. I taped off the edges of the piece and left the dots exposed. I used a high quality primer/paint tinted flat black.
The paint dried and was remarkably flat, which looked awesome.
Then I used a foam pouncer and gray housepaint to paint the top of each dot. The pouncer made accurate coverage easy and fast.
I waited for the first coat of gray to dry then put a second coat on. After that dried I used a Q-tip to put dots of white housepaint in the gray dots. Here I wanted each white dot to be slightly different from the rest, from its placement in the gray dots (which while uniformly painted are a few different sizes), to its size. I dipped the Q-tip in the paint between each dot so a fair amount of white paint went on with each application.
The piece now hangs in my son's playroom in our home. I really like the physical dimensions of it (45 inches by 5 inches), the exposed ply on the edges as well as the unfinished wood parts contrasted with the paint, as if it were exposed by the milling process. I like the combination of machined wood and hand-painted art. Though Erin and I failed to achieve the original vision of the piece the resulting work was a pleasant surprise.
Many thanks to Erin and Zoë for their expertise, time, and materials as we prepare for this exciting exhibition.