Friday, February 4, 2011

Keeping Things Simple

Administering multiple blogs is a pain. I'd rather make sculpture than post images, but I'm willing to compromise and make the process as simple as possible. I take few images now so that image editing takes less time, and I plan on using this catch-all blog for all sculptures. No more dividing things into years. This will make your job of browsing harder, but the choice is pretty much between this, or nothing.

I quit taking pictures at all for most of 2010, and the pattern continued into 2011. Various friends prevailed on me to start taking the camera with me. No quantity of still images will ever show a sculpture so I decided to reduce the number to something more manageable. 10, 12, around in there, depending on the light, and then I choose four or five from those.

We'll start with 2011. I may go back and fill in some of the other years, at least those sculptures of which I have images.

Monday, January 31, 2011

11F-10, January 31

2017-11-22: Photobucket links removed, replaced with Blogger hosting

Friday, January 28, 2011

11F-9, January 28

2017-11-22: Photobucket links removed, replaced by Blogger hosting

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

11F-8, January 26

2017-11-22: Removed Photobucket links, replaced with Blogger hosting.

Friday, January 21, 2011

11F-7, January 21

2017-11-22: Photobucket links removed, replaced by Blogger self-hosting

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

11F-6, January 18

No report, but I did find a short comment in Email.

"Today was a lovely one for sand sculpture. Most interesting physical phenomenon was tremendous surf; most of the time it's pretty quiet here, but there were many sets of big waves just booming against the breakwater, or booming as they ran into the previous wave's reflection from the breakwater. When that happened, water raced for the sky, backlit by the afternoon sun.
     "The sculpture had some nice parts but I ended up being disappointed with its many defaultish parts. I was having a hard time concentrating, mind flying here and there. Ah, well, it was still a nice day and there were some nice folks out. Did you know that Hula Hoops have made a comeback? Two women came by with their hoops, and implied that they were going to some kind of hooping demonstration or contest. Their hoops looked bigger than I remember them being. One said she'd been hooping for a year or so. And then there was Marna, from Topanga, who sat near me and asked what my inspiration was. She said she's an artist."

2017-11-22: Replaced Photobucket links with Blogger self-hosting

Saturday, January 15, 2011

11F-5, January 15

2017-11-22 Replaced Photobucket links with Blogger hosting

Thursday, January 13, 2011

11F-4, January 13

Late in 2010 I put new wheels on my sand cart so I could make formed sculptures. The advantage is that the sand can be filtered to remove shells and rocks. When the sand is clean free-piling is fun but formed is more versatile. The restriction is that the shape of the pile is always a cylinder. Trade-offs.

And, also by this time, various friends had prevailed upon me to start taking a camera with me. For formed sculptures it's not so bad. I have the cart to shoulder the load.

I wrote no formal report about this, but I did send a note to a friend in Emai.

"Shortcutting here because I'm about done in. Yes... I'd been thinking about flowers, and at first thought about making something like a tulip. That would have ended up being symmetric, or nearly so, and also repetitive, at least in the image I had in mind. So, I changed course, and decided to make a deep V that would have light-admitting slots cut into it. I made the V part, but then realized I'd never be able to get at the other side of it; there would have to be some sort of structure to hold it all up. What you see in the second image is all that's left of that idea... and, looked at in a certain way, is quite flower-like, and that led to the title.
     "The day was beautiful. Very little wind, calm surf, just some thin wispy cloudes that are proably outriders of the system that's making you wet. The people who came by were the usual winter ones... calm, just hanging out on a nce day. I got a CD of music from one fellow who's a musician, among other things. He wants to do some performannce featuring music and sand sculpture. We'll see.
     "The thin leg you commented on ended up thin because it occupies the space between two ideas that didn't talk with each other quite enough. One idea was the tucked-in outside, and the other idea was the big space. Fortunately,. the sand was good enough to stand the strain of the conflict. <G> It is somewhat thicker than it looks, and there's enough structure at the top to attach things that might otherwise be leaning too hard on that leg."

CJ, a Venice blogger, happened to be walking the beach in the morning. Here's a link to her story, which has additional images.
Blogtown by CJ, "Free-form Sand Sculpture"

11F-4, "Blossom"

2017-11-22: replaced Photobucket links with Blogger hosting
2017-12-2: added Blogtown link

Friday, January 7, 2011

11F-3 (January 7)

I took no photographs of this, nor did I write a report. I was in the habit of telling a friend, and found that in the Email archive.

"I was still pretty tired today, but there was some sunlight and it was the last day of this tide window. Still brief, with about 3 hours between low tide and sunset. I cheated and started about half an hour early, and had to wait for big wave sets to get off my sand before I could dig it up. The surf was vigorous. Must be a storm out there someplace. Sand was pretty good. I filled the form, testing to see how much sand was actually required, and it turns out that 8 full buckets will do it. I heaped up the buckets and had some sand left over.
     "The sculpture was very pretty from some angles. From others... not so successful, but it did have some nice parts and areas. It could have benefited from a little more time. Six inches of extra height makes a difference; the last quick one, I didn't fill the form all the way. This one started with a long convex curve from base on the north to the top, somewhat concave on the south, with a vertical pylon in that face with spaces cut behind. Kind of an elongated half dome kind of shape.
     "I'm reconsidering the photography issue. A smaller camera would help but I still don't really want to get into image editing... but it's necessary, as you've seen with Larry's image assemblies. He does no post-processing other than cropping and resizing. I color-balance, adjust contrast as needed, crop and save a new file. If I make an assembly--I used to do these to simplify the Email and Web things, but stopped due to the work involved--I try to give the images space, as Larry did with the New Year day piece. Eventually I'll get a new computer, which will be faster, but I'll have to buy a new image editor because my version of Photoshop is very old and won't run. I use very little of Photoshop's power, but its ability to crop and resize in one process is something I appreciate. I just tell it what size I want the image, draw the crop boundary, and fwam. It's done.

Created Email-based page for this sculpture.

I did reconsider the photography issue. Starting with 11F-4, I added the Canon 1D Mark II and a lens to the kit. In late 2013 I bought an EOS 70D to reduce the weight. It was still too big to take on bike rides. I still don't have a small camera.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

11F-2 (January 5)

Not much time for this one, and I didn't take a camera. I wasn't writing reports then. All I have is the following comment from an Email message to a friend.

"I did sculpt. Didn't really have the energy, but it's the last day of the window so I just went and did it. Short window. I finished about half an hour before sunset. It was an interesting sculpture; I had this idea for a long curve slanting over from bottom to top, with another piece projecting near the top, going the other way. The problem with slants is that they can make the whole piece look unbalanced but the way the undercuts worked out on this one it really moved. Strongly leaned to the north, but with the piece projecting south, and that balanced it all. Lots of big surfaces, with relatively small spaces in their junctions. The beach was peaceful except for some work going on to remove the roadway for the earth movers. Mild breeze, warm sun; I was almost too hot with the windbreaker on. I don't thibnk you've seen that. Just very light nynlon. The sculpture used much of what I've learned in recent free-piles and used that in the more stable and consistent material.
     "Listening to Bruce... "If you love love, then love loves you too..."; "Another step deeper into darkness, closer to the light..."
     "Walking home from the beach was slow. I went back on Rose to avoid the hills... Just rolled the cart into the garage and staggered to the door. Need to go rinse out the sprayer. And I need some lunch."

Monday, January 3, 2011

11R-1, January 3

A friend of mine came to visit. She wanted to see a sculpture being made, and I wanted to show her, but the weather trumps plans. We walked around in the rain, instead. In the late afternoon the sky cleared and we gravitated toward the beach, where we found a new bluff cut in the beach by the outflow from Kenter Creek. She used her telephone to take these images in the lovely late afternoon storm-washed light.

2017-11-22: updated to replace Photobucket links

Saturday, January 1, 2011

11F-1 (January 1, 2011)

A year into retirement. I decided to start the year with sand sculpture, simplified to its essence. Just do a sculpture, and record only the basics of its brief existence.

That plan lasted about a week. It's mainly Jane's fault that, starting with 11F-4, I started taking that big and heavy camera with me again. "We want to see," she said. Well, OK, eventually I did too.

For this sculpture, though, it was sculpt or freeze. December 30 had been really cold. This day wasn't quite so bad but it still required a windbreaker. I didn't stay for better light. Walking is warmth. Finish the sculpture and start walking.

Later on, Larry used the images to make a 3-D computer model of this sculpture, which he then took to a 3-D printing place. After some clean up he had a small model of the sculpture. It is eerie for me to hold this little model of my work in my hand. The model has an interesting feature: due to the limitations of the process, the interior of the sculpture looks unrefined. When I look at it, I want to get in there with a tiny tool and bring the curves to my vision.

These images have been scaled so that, if looked at side-by-side with a Latchform sculpture, their sizes will be pretty close to what they'd be in the real world. The Short Form, used for this piece, makes a pile about 19 inches across. The Latchform is 21 inches.

Click on an image to see a larger version.
All photographs by Larry Dudock