EDIT: OMG!!! A DD!!! I was totally not expecting to see that when I opened up my internet today.
Thank you everyone for the congratulations, the favs, the following, and the llama badges! I can't respond to everyone who's sent me messages, but I've read all of them and wanted to say thank you! You guys are awesome.
Lately I've been very busy preparing for a lot of art events. Which means I've been making a lot of small, simple, 'cookie-cutter-ish' designs. And frankly... I was getting kinda sick of it. I really wanted to do something big. Something cool. Something I could put up and display that said "LOOK HOW AWESOME I AM!!"
....I also happened to have way too much scrap metal piling up in my shop that I needed to get rid of. As well as a bucket of silverware that's been sitting around for months going "Please, use meh!"
So this last weekend, I strapped on my Creativity Hood and went to work!
I'd had this idea of a large Sea Dragon wall sculpture bouncing around my head for quite a while. It was the sole reason I bought all that silverware... and with an art festival coming up, as well as a local exhibit, this seemed the perfect time to throw down with my inner sea monster.
This bad boy measures 8ft long x 3ft tall, and weighs somewhere in the range of 50lbs-ish. So not terribly heavy, just very unwieldy to transport.
The frame is crafted from rebar and 1/8in + 1/4in round bar, which is used to make ribbing (a frame for the curve of the body) and supports (so it doesn't flop and bend when you move it).
I had a lot of large scrap chunks that needed to go. I can't use them on my smaller scrap animals, so they've been accumulating for quite a while and were becoming a real nuisance. Since this is so large, I used up just about all of it on this (hurray!).
I had originally planned on using silverware to form the majority of the body. But since this thing is so huge, I just didn't have enough silverware, nor did I have time to go and buy more. So I had to improvise a bit and figure out how to use what I had to the most benefit.
Knives make great spines and fins. All these knives are butter knives, so while they may be a bit pokey, none of them have sharpened edges or points.
Spoons make fabulous scales. But I wanted to do as little modifying of the silverware as possible (aka-didn't wanna chop off all the handles). Since I had all these spoons with really long handles, and laying them flat didn't really look good, I instead turned them into a bristling mane to accent the spines. If you've ever spent time looking at sea life, there's a lot of creatures out there with tendril-like cilia, and that's what I wanted to go for.
The tail fin I wanted to look distinctly different, so I used forks along with knives, giving the tail more of a spiny brush look. I didn't want to keep with the silverware handles on the tail. They would obscure the forks too much, and I felt that it would add too much clutter to the overall sculpture. So off went the handles, and I laid down a simple line of spoon scales to edge the fin and keep it in-theme with the rest of the design.
The copper tubing was an experiment. I haven't used copper in anything before. I don't have the tools to solder it anyway. But that doesn't mean I couldn't find a creative use for it!
Being that its naturally shiny, I figured the copper would make for a pretty, distinctive accent I could use to edge my design. I bent it so that it would follow the natural curve of the body, like stripes on a fish. Since I couldn't solder it, I cut 3in lengths of round bar, and inserted it into the pipe, then welded the rod to the frame. This way the pipe will stay in place, but is still removable/replaceable.
I'm really pleased with the copper tubing on this. With the body being painted, if there was nothing on it, it would be... too solid a blue, and would lose some of its impact. But the copper tubing breaks up the uniformity of the color, and draws the eye down the serpents body with its contrasting color.
The serpent looked really good in just plain metal. But I wanted to paint it. I've recently been playing with an automotive dual-color paint that turns blue and purple depending on the angle you look at it. And what is more fitting for a sea monster then shimmery scales right??
You can't see it very well in the picture unfortunately... and you need decent lighting to really get the best effect of the paint. But the body shifts colors when you move to different angles! Its really pretty, and accents the grey and silver tones of the steel very nicely.
I tipped the tendrils in a coppery gold paint to add further visual contrast and draw the eye down the body. Living them silver caused the scales/cilia/spines to all blend together into this patch if silvery lump. Like... it looked good... but there wasn't really any notable, eye catching contrast. Tipping it in gold added more color to the overall piece, and helped tie in with the copper tubing to everything felt more naturally connected.
The face I left plain steel for visual contrast. I ran stripes of weld bead for texture decoration, and darkened the metal. The teeth were a lot of fun.
They were a bit of an experiment, since before this, when I made teeth, they were just simple triangular cut-outs. That wasn't going to work for this. I wanted some seriously nasty chompers on this guy, and I wanted them to look like actual teeth. Not retarded, ghetto flat cut-outs.
The eye I purposely made large and very bright and flat, to give it that 'big-eyed' fish look. I really wanted it to pop and stand out so when you look at this up on the wall, you've got this baleful eye gazing down on you.
I'm really hoping I can sell this big fella somewhere. If not... I guess he'll have to decorate my wall for a while... oh darn!
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If you'd like to purchase any of my work[link]