August 13th, 2013
I arrived at the mold maker expecting my sculpture to be unrecognizable, covered in layers of polyurethane. To my surprise, the entire front of the sculpture was still visible. One leg had been removed, bits of wax had been added to make the sculpture more stable and pencil lines contoured the edges of the legs and arms making a guide for a seam in the mold.
In these images you can see the beginning of the mold process, the back of the sculpture is encased in clay while the front of the mold is made. Individual layers of polyurethane are added one by one to create a thick rubber coating. Once the rudder is sturdy enough, a plaster exterior is added. When the front side is complete the clay on the back is removed and the steps are repeated to create the back of the mold.
Here is a detail of the face and the hand with one layer of polyurethane. You can see how the delicate hand has been stabilized with wax extensions on the fingers.
Here you can see the right leg that has been removed. A seperate mold will be made for this leg and it will be cast and welded on at the end.
Here is the removed leg ready for it’s separate mold.
I will visit again tomorrow and share with you what I see.
July 13th, 2012
This is the last weekend of my show at the Compound Gallery. Thank you to Matt Reynoso and Lena Verderano Reynoso at the Compound Gallery, my wonderful husband Shane Bliss, my best friend Claire Taggart for all of their hard work and wonderful support in the show!
If you would like to learn more about the show, here are some links to online write ups:
Oakland Art Enthusiast
I am very happy with the work I made for the show and the feedback it has recieved. Please come and join me in the culmination of ‘In Our Nature’ this Sunday with tea, snacks and artist talk.
1167 65th st. Oakland, CA 94608
Closing Tea & Artist Talk: July 15th, 3-6pm
Talk will start at 4:00pm
July 11th, 2012
In Our Nature: Western Black Rhino
Available for purchase here, at The Compound Gallery.
The western black rhinoceros was heavily hunted in the beginning of the 20th century, but the population rose in the 1930s after preservation actions were taken. As protection efforts declined over the years so did the number of western black rhinos. By 1980 the population was in the hundreds. Poaching continued and by 2000 only an estimated 10 survived. In early 2006 an intensive survey of northern Cameroon (the last remaining habitat of the species) found none, but efforts to locate any surviving individuals continued. The illegal poaching, limited anti-poaching efforts, failure of courts to hand down sentences to punish poachers and more all contributed to the species’ eventual demise. No animals are known to be held in captivity. On November 10, 2011, the subspecies was declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
July 9th, 2012
In Our Nature: Baiji River Dolphin
Available for purchase here at The Compound Gallery.
The Baiji is a freshwater dolphin found only in the Yangtze River in China. The Baiji population declined drastically in decades as China industrialized and made heavy use of the river for fishing, transportation, and hydroelectricity. Efforts were made to conserve the species, but a late 2006 expedition failed to find any Baiji in the river.
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has noted the following as threats to the species: a period of hunting by humans during the Great Leap Forward, entanglement in fishing gear, the illegal practice of electric fishing, collisions with boats and ships, habitat loss, and pollution. During the Great Leap Forward, when traditional veneration of the Baiji was denounced, it was hunted for its flesh and skin, and quickly became scarce.
As China developed economically, pressure on the river dolphin grew significantly. Industrial and residential waste flowed into the Yangtze. The riverbed was dredged and reinforced with concrete in many locations. Ship traffic multiplied, boats grew in size, and fishermen employed wider and more lethal nets. Noise pollution caused the nearly blind animal to collide with propellers. Stocks of the dolphin’s prey declined drastically in the late 20th century, with some fish populations declining to one thousandth of their pre-industrial levels.
Text from Wikipedia
July 2nd, 2012
In Our Nature: Ibex
Available for purchase here at The Compound Gallery.
The Pyrenean Ibex has one of the more interesting stories among extinct animals, since it was the first species to ever be brought back into existence via cloning, only to go extinct again just seven minutes after being born due to lung failure. The Pyrenean Ibex was native to the Pyrenees, a mountain range in Andorra, France and Spain. The Pyrenean ibex was still abundant in the fourteenth century (Day 1981). The Pyrenean ibex’s population declined due to a “slow but continuous persecution” and disappeared from the French Pyrenees and the eastern Cantabrian mountain range by the mid-nineteenth century. Its situation has been critical since the beginning of the 20th century, when it was estimated that the Pyrenean population in Spain numbered only about 100 individuals. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the population never rose above 40 individuals. In 1981, the population was reported to be 30. At the end of the 1980′s the population size was estimated at 6-14 individuals. The last naturally born Pyrenean Ibex, named Celia, died on January 6th, 2000, after being found dead under a fallen tree at the age of 13. That animal’s only companion had died just a year earlier due to old age.
Text from Listverse
June 30th, 2012
In Our Nature: Grey Wolf
Available for purchase at The Compound Gallery.
A male wolf that made headlines by becoming the first of its species in more than 80 years to be found in the wild in California has crossed back into the Golden State on its determined quest for a mate.
The gray wolf, designated OR7 by wildlife managers, has traveled more than 2,000 miles since leaving its pack in northeastern Oregon last September and heading south, paying its first visit to California in late December.
“What happens is they leave looking for love. And when they don’t find it, they keep walking – because the love of their life is just over that hill,” said Ed Bangs, a wolf expert who spearheaded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s reintroduction of wolves to the lower 48 states in the 1990s. “He won’t stop doing that until he dies. Or he finds the love of his life.”
June 27th, 2012
The Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus), also known as the moon bear or white-chested bear is a medium-sized species of bear, largely adapted for arboreal life, which occurs through much of southern Asia, Korea, northeastern China, the Russian far east and Honshū and Shikoku islands of Japan. It is classed by the IUCN as a vulnerable species, mostly due to deforestation and active hunting for its body parts.(1)
Asiatic black bears, or moon bears as they are known because of the distinctive, yellow crescent-shaped marking on their chests, produce bile with the highest amount of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA).
It is thought that the bears produce the bile as a natural protection for their liver and to prevent gallstones and other illnesses during the long period of hibernation. The bile is reputed to cure everything from bruises to cancer, and is notably regarded and consumed as a libido-enhancing tonic. This makes the bears, and their bile, a valuable business commodity, and a target. (2)
2. National Geographic
June 25th, 2012
In Our Nature: Island Fox
Available for purchase here, at The Compound Gallery .
Ceramic and Underglaze
The island fox (Urocyon littoralis) is a small fox that is native to six of the eight Channel Islands of California. Because the island fox is geographically isolated, it has no immunity to parasites and diseases brought in from the mainland and is especially vulnerable to those the domestic dog may carry. In addition, predation by the golden eagle and human activities devastated fox numbers on several of the Channel Islands in the 1990s. Four island fox subspecies were federally protected as an endangered species in 2004, and efforts to rebuild fox populations and restore the ecosystems of the Channel Islands are being undertaken.
June 22nd, 2012
The thylacine, Thylacinus cynocephalus, Greek for “dog-headed pouched one”) was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped back) or the Tasmanian wolf. Native to continentalAustralia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century.
The thylacine was one of only two marsupials to have a pouch in both sexes (the other being the water opossum). The male thylacine had a pouch that acted as a protective sheath, covering the male’s external reproductive organs while he ran through thick brush. It has been described as a formidable predator because of its ability to survive and hunt prey in extremely sparsely populated areas.
Although the thylacine had been close to extinction on mainland Australia by the time of European settlement, and went extinct there some time in the nineteenth century, it survived into the 1930s on the island state of Tasmania. At the time of the first settlement, the heaviest distributions were in the northeast, northwest and north-midland regions of the state. They were rarely sighted during this time but slowly began to be credited with numerous attacks on sheep. This led to the establishment of bounty schemes in an attempt to control their numbers. The Van Diemen’s Land Company introduced bounties on the thylacine from as early as 1830, and between 1888 and 1909 the Tasmanian government paid £1 per head for dead adult thylacines and ten shillings for pups. In all they paid out 2,184 bounties, but it is thought that many more thylacines were killed than were claimed for. Its extinction is popularly attributed to these relentless efforts by farmers and bounty hunters.
The last captive thylacine, later referred to as “Benjamin” (although its sex has never been confirmed) was captured in 1933 by Elias Churchill and sent to the Hobart Zoo where it lived for three years. This thylacine died on 7 September 1936. It is believed to have died as the result of neglect—locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters, it was exposed to a rare occurrence of extreme Tasmanian weather: extreme heat during the day and freezing temperatures at night.