Photos of Frog Fountain In Progress

 

Here’s some work in progress photos of a sculpture recently commissioned by Frog Pond Village. The style of the piece is based on work by Barbara Franc. See the finished piece here.

The first four pics show details of the framework being constructed. I really kind of liked the way the skeleton looked and probably would have stopped there if I’d been making the piece for myself.

This next set of photos shows the first wire I used to skin over the framework. The client wanted a rust finish, and you would think it would be easy to find rusty wire… After visits to five scrap yards, all I could find was a spool of welding wire for a MIG welder. Funny, I could have sworn that I’ve been surrounded by rusty wire all my life till I went looking specifically for it. I also visited a number of hardware stores looking for heavy gauge wire without a galvanized finish. Apparently, if they still make it, no one stocks it.

Although the MIG wire looks okay in the photos, it really didn’t work out. For one thing, it was too springy and didn’t hold to the form the way I wanted. The idea was that it would form sharply defined muscles by bending around the frame, but because it was so stiff, it tended to curl away from the form and the end result was too rounded and too messy. I also felt like it wasn’t thick enough to compete with the underlying form… Although the piece was intended to have gaps between the wire, the thin wire just didn’t have enough volume. So I moved to a thicker electric fence wire. This is what I had in mind in the first place, but now I’ve got to find some way to remove the galvanized coating. Yeah, a torch would do it, but A) I don’t want to breath the fumes, B) the wire has a tendency to burn through, and C) it would melt the tubing that makes the frog spit water. So that leaves us with either sandblasting, acid or time. I have a feeling that time is going to be the winner.

This piece wound up being far more difficult than I anticipated… The wire had a tendency to twist as it came off the spool until it became a tangled snarl. The spool itself was too big to pass through the form, which I wanted to do in order to wrap around the support structure so that the wire would be anchored in place. Otherwise, it might slide over the form and eventually kind of unravel. Eventually I developed a system of pulling out a long length or wire, doubling it, and weaving it in and out of the frame. Then I would repeat the process, starting by pulling the new wire through the loop at the end of the last run. Basically, you kind of give up on keeping it from tangling and learn to make the tangle work for you instead of against you. I think it was kind of like crocheting, but, I don’t crochet, so don’t quote me on that…